The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch | ARC REVIEW

Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Title: The Movie Version
Author: Emma Wunsch
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: October 11th, 2016
Source: Netgalley
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository
A whip-smart, heart-wrenching debut YA novel about first love, first loss, and filmmaking that will delight fans of Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven.
In the movie version of Amelia’s life, the roles have always been clear. Her older brother, Toby: definitely the Star. As popular with the stoners as he is with the cheerleaders, Toby is someone you’d pay ten bucks to watch sweep Battle of the Bands and build a “beach party” in the bathroom. As for Amelia? She’s Toby Anderson’s Younger Sister. She’s perfectly happy to watch Toby’s hijinks from the sidelines, when she’s not engrossed in one of her elaborately themed Netflix movie marathons. But recently Toby’s been acting in a very non-movie-version way. He’s stopped hanging out with his horde of friends and started obsessively journaling and disappearing for days at a time. Amelia doesn’t know what’s happened to her awesome older brother, or who this strange actor is that’s taken his place. And there’s someone else pulling at her attention: a smart, cute new boyfriend who wants to know the real Amelia—not Toby’s Sidekick. Amelia feels adrift without her star, but to best help Toby—and herself—it might be time to cast a new role: Amelia Anderson, leading lady.

What I thought

I requested this book because it sounded straight up my alley, and upon reading it I found that while it wasn't what I was expecting, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

This is a book about mental-illness, which I wasn't expecting. At least, not from the summary of it. In this book, and this is a spoiler so cover your eyes or something, Amelia's brother, Toby, has schizophrenia. Amelia tries to deal with this fact throughout the book and tries to come to terms with it, as is her family. I don't know much about schizophrenia, but I can imagine how it might uproot a family and turn things around. So, I liked the fact that we were shown Amelia's family trying to adjust to their new normal and trying to understand and come to terms with Toby's mental illness.

Now, while I liked it there were some moments in the book in which I did feel uncomfortable with how it was dealt, but as humans we aren't perfect and we can't expect book characters to be either. It bothered me at times that Amelia seemed ashamed of Toby's schizophrenia, but then I thought that it could be a perfectly normal way to react at first and that it probably isn't easy to see someone you love change right before your eyes like that. So, I could put my feelings aside for the sake of character development.

Another thing that caught me by surprise was how we are promised some romance in the summary, but romance doesn't really play a big part in the story. If anything, it's more like a footnote or something of the sort. However, I'm glad for this because for the dear life of me I couldn't stand Epstein. What kind of name is Epstein anyway? He got on my every nerve.

I do like Amelia and I like that she's flawed and hurting and confused. I liked that she felt like a real person. Albeit, a person with supreme movie knowledge, but a person nonetheless. Also, she knows one of my favorite movies Frances Ha and for that, and that alone, I liked the book a little bit more.

Over all, this book wasn't what I expected, but it was still good. It's not worming its way into my favorites, but it was enjoyable and it certainly showed a character arc of acceptance and coming to terms with a loved one's mental illness.


  1. Oh wow, this sounds like a really interesting read! The cover was gorgeous and drew me in, but I think I'll be picking it up because of the synopsis plus because it deals with mental illness - which always interests me in books. Thanks so much for sharing! <3
    Geraldine @ Corralling Books

    1. It was. I just found it kind of misleading, because nowhere in the synopsis for the book is mental illness mentioned, so that was a surprise.