- Author: Camryn Garrett
Read book online «Off the Record by Camryn Garrett (read more books TXT) 📕». Author - Camryn Garrett
ALSO BY CAMRYN GARRETT
CONTENT NOTE: discussions of sexual assault and sexual harassment
this is a borzoi book published by alfred a. knopf
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Text copyright © 2021 by Camryn Garrett
Cover art copyright © 2021 by Erick Dávila
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York.
Knopf, Borzoi Books, and the colophon are registered trademarks of Penguin Random House LLC.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Garrett, Camryn, author.
Title: Off the record / Camryn Garrett.
Description: First edition. | New York : Alfred A. Knopf,  | Audience: Ages 14 & up. | Audience: Grades 10–12. | Summary: “A teen journalist uncovers the #metoo scandal of the decade: a bigshot Hollywood director is taking advantage of cast members.” —Provided by publisher
Identifiers: LCCN 2020043217 (print) | LCCN 2020043218 (ebook) | ISBN 978-1-9848-2999-3 (hardcover) | ISBN 978-1-9848-3000-5 (library binding) | ISBN 978-1-9848-3001-2 (ebook)
Subjects: CYAC: Journalism—Fiction. | Sexual abuse—Fiction. | African Americans—Fiction. | Youths’ writings.
Classification: LCC PZ7.1.G3745 Of 2021 (print) | LCC PZ7.1.G3745 (ebook) | DDC [Fic]—dc23
Ebook ISBN 9781984830012
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Also by Camryn Garrett
Los Angeles, California
New York, New York
About the Author
@JosieTheJournalist: help i forgot how to write
I’ve rewritten the same sentence five different times. No matter how I rearrange the words, they don’t sound good enough to be published.
Clearly, Black films only receive critical acclaim when they heavily feature Black suffering. Where are our happy movies? They exist, but you don’t see them winning Oscars.
I smack my keyboard. Nothing changes. I’m still on the living room couch, an episode of Real Housewives playing on the TV. My Word document stares back at me, cursor blinking as if daring me to rewrite the sentence for a sixth time. How am I supposed to end an op-ed like this? In conclusion, I’m sure most of the people reading this are white and don’t want to hear about race, but please don’t cancel your subscription.
I minimize the Word document, flipping to my email. No new messages. Still the same emails: one from Target, one from Spelman College confirming that I sent my application, a few from Instagram. Nothing from the contest. Nothing telling me whether I won or lost.
Ugh. I rub my forehead, staring up at the Deep Focus magazine covers hanging above our TV. The Obamas, Serena Williams, and Jimi Hendrix. They’ve been hanging there forever, some of the best covers of my favorite magazine ever. Normally, they inspire me.
They’re a little too in my face right now—while I’m waiting to hear back from the talent competition. If I win, I’ll get the chance to write an actual cover story for the magazine. Me writing a cover story for Deep Focus.
I take a shaky breath. It’s almost too much to think about.
I should be focusing on this op-ed I owe Monique. She enjoyed my last piece, and the one before it. That should make me feel better. But my anxiety doesn’t pay attention to how I should feel. According to my sisters, I worry about everything, even the pointless, but especially the very important.
I glance at the inbox again. Still no change. The winners are supposed to hear back by the end of today. But why are they taking so long? What if they didn’t like the samples I sent, or they thought my writing was too immature, or they got turned off by how much I write about race—
“Well, look here. Josie’s right where we left her.”
My head snaps up. Dad lumbers through the door, rolling a purple suitcase with one hand and holding his backpack strap with the other. I don’t know why Alice is bringing so much stuff when she’s just an hour away. She could come home every weekend, if she wanted.
Dad’s still in his accountant uniform—white shirt, black tie—the air of math and numbers swirling around him. He glances at the muted TV. Blond women in sparkly dresses lunge for each other across a gigantic table. I shrug.
“I leave it on for background noise,” I say.
Alice appears with an eye roll. She looks the same as she did when we dropped her off in August: ripped jeans, edges of her box braids tinged purple, her signature bored face. Looks like her first few months of college didn’t change a thing.
“What are you writing now?” she asks, swinging her backpack to the floor. “Another review of Real Housewives?”
“Shut up.” I only wrote those recaps to get my foot in the door and she knows it. “It’s a serious piece.”
“That’s what you said last time.”
I scowl, opening my email and sending the piece before closing my laptop. This piece is fine. If Monique doesn’t like it, she’ll send me edits, same as usual. At least it’s better than a Real Housewives