Review of Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein

Summer Unscripted
by Jen Klein

Published by Random House Children's Books
on June 13, 2017

Source: copy sent by the author for possible review

Photo credit: @jenryland Instagram

What is Summer Unscripted About?

Girl looks for a sign. Enter: boy. 

Rainie doesn’t have a “passion” like her friends do. She’s more of a dabbler—quick to give up and move on. But as graduation approaches, she wishes she had more direction. 

So when gorgeous Tuck gives a monologue that literally puts into words exactly how she’s been feeling lately, it’s a sign! Tuck is her passion. How could she not have seen it before? 

Girl follows boy. Enter: second boy. 

Rainie convinces her ex-BFF to let her work at the same summer job as Tuck. She’s got a foolproof plan to date him. 

But when she arrives, Rainie discovers things aren't that simple. And she meets Milo, a super-cute boy who also works with her. A boy with a complicated past. Girl needs to figure stuff out. Enter: drama.

Review of Summer Unscripted by Jen Klein

Summer Unscripted was a YA contemporary that had some great features but a few drawbacks.

On the plus side, main character Rainie showed a lot of character growth. At the start of the book, she's a bit ... flaky. She's schemed her way into a summer theater company as a way to get closer to a guy she's suddenly crushing on, and uses a former friend to help her get what she wants. She's pretty much out for herself without considering anyone else's feelings. 

By the end of the story, she's learned lessons about friendship and love and honesty. I loved that the book looked at the way Rainie and her friend Ella had drifted apart and then found a way to mend their friendship.

On the negative side, I wanted the story to have a much stronger plot. It felt a little meander-y to me. 

There's the main plot about romance and a subplot about the summer theater, and that wasn't always enough to compel me to keep reading. 

I also felt that some elements of the story felt young for YA. Even the book synopsis above sounds a little tween-y to me. I thought that the stuff about hobo signs and the comic aspects of the mythology-inspired play they're putting on would have been a better fit for a book targeted for tweens - I actually hope Jen Klein considers trying her hand at that genre, because this book had a funny, quirky vibe that makes me think think she'd be great at it.

If you love fluffy contemporaries but are love triangle averse, don't be scared off by the synopsis. Though one of the book's taglines is "one girl, two boys, all the drama," this was not the angsty kind of triangle. I thought it was pretty clear where things were going to end up - and the guy I was rooting for was adorable!

In sum, if you're looking for a cute summer read that won't cause you undue stress and don't mind a mild triangle situation, check this out!


  1. I'm not a huge fan of love triangles but if it's mild maybe it won't be so bad? lol! I've been all about cute summer reads and low angst lately so this one may work for me. Great review!

    1. It's one of those triangles that you can see which guy she should choose and you're just waiting for her to figure it out!

  2. I've been meaning to check out this author's books so if it's cute and stress-less then I'm in :D Thanks for the review!

  3. Sounds like a decent read even if the plot felt weak. I might have to check this one out.

    1. I just prefer books with a little more depth. But there is nothing wrong with a fluffier book in the summer either!

  4. I'm glad to hear that there was not angsty love triangle because that would have scared me off a bit. It definitely sounds like a fun summer read (: Lovely review, Jen!

  5. Sometimes it's nice to have a mind candy book that doesn't make me think too much.

  6. This is the first time I hear about this book, but it doesn't sound like my kind of read right now.
    Great review, Jen!


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