7 Reasons Why “Unscripted” is Your Perfect Quarantine Read

Claire Handscombe

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Are you looking for a fun new read to take your mind off all, you know, this? Then let me submit my book, Unscripted, for your consideration.

The story of Libby, a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan, it’s quirky, endearing, and by turns touching and funny.

Here’s what Karin Tanabe, author of The Gilded Years, among many other novels, says about it:

“…deftly turns the classic tale of a celebrity crush into a modern transatlantic story that’s original, emotionally honest, and a whole lot of fun.”

You can get it in all the usual online places, and the ebook is currently around $1.99 or the equivalent price – a total bargain.

And here’s why it’s a great one to sink into this spring.

It’s happy

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to read about right now is a pandemic, a disaster, or even a sad love story. I want something that will make me smile. Make me remember that good things can still happen. Unscripted is gently funny at times, and has a happy ending, but you’ll have to read it to find out what kind!

It’s got a little depth

Unscripted is not just fluff, though. I know I’m biased, but I think it has important things to say about love, friendship, second chances, and following your dreams.

It reminds us of what matters

A lot of us have been reminded lately of the things and people that really matter to us. Libby learns valuable lessons in Unscripted. Writing it made me newly thankful for my fab university friends – and I continue to be thankful for them now and for the chance to Zoom with them.

The chapters are short

Thanks to our phones, our attention spans were already shot before all this stuff. Now, a lot of us are finding it really hard to concentrate – or to motivate ourselves to pick up a book at all, especially one with long chapters. Most of the chapters in Unscripted can be read in just a few minutes. It’s not a huge commitment to pick it up.

It’s less than 250 pages long

For a lot of the same reasons, short books are all that a lot of us can contemplate right now. Unscripted is just 249 pages, so it’s ideal if you’re wanting to get one book closer to your Goodreads goal this year.

It will transport you

Whether you’re a homesick Brit who’s missing London or you’ve had your trip to California cancelled – or, in my case, both! – there’s something here for you, in this book set partly in Cambridge, partly in New York City, partly in London, and mostly in Pasadena.

It’s not a series – but there is a sequel

If, like me, you fall in love with these characters and this world, you’ll be glad to know there is a sequel – a YA novel set in 2016, two years after Unscripted, that focuses on one of Thom’s daughters as she works hard to get into arts school and not get distracted by a boy. Unscripted stands completely on its own, and you won’t need the sequel to appreciate or understand the ending, but if you want more, you can buy Girl, Unstrung as an ebook now.

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Claire Handscombe is a British writer who moved to Washington, DC, in 2012, ostensibly to study for an MFA in Creative Writing, but really, let’s be honest, because of an obsession with The West Wing. She is the host of the Brit Lit Podcast, a monthly show about news and views from UK books and publishing; the author of Unscripted, a novel about a young woman with a celebrity crush and a determined plan; and the editor of Walk With Us: How The West Wing Changed Our Lives.

Washington, DC
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