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TOtimes Books: OFF SCRIPT Living Out Loud by Marcie Ien


There’s something special about this book. No – there are many special things about this book! Off Script: Living Out Loud is Toronto journalist (and recently elected MP for Toronto – Centre) Marci Ien’s new biography/memoir, and it is fantastic. She tells her life story through short anecdotes, each a few pages long, depicting one event or another from her life. By the last page, you feel as if you know her, and have known her for years. For me it’s helpful that most of the anecdotes occur in Canada, more specifically, Toronto. But I think even if I weren’t from here, I’d still feel just as connected to her story.

There’s no possible way for me to summarize this book well. Not without leaving out so many of the key points and lessons she portrays. However, I can tell you about my favourite parts, without giving away too much.

Marci’s life is full of ups and downs, and she recounts both the good and the bad. I love when she speaks about her various roles as a newscaster, co-hosting, being on ‘The Social,’ etc., and how she got to each one. As a young adult I find it incredibly difficult to imagine myself getting anywhere close to where she is professionally. For this reason, it is reassuring to learn about the steps she takes to get to where she is. Marci conveys that it takes a lot of hard work, but sometimes a good opportunity simply comes up, requiring you to take a leap of faith and just go for it. Marci speaks about these opportunities and this hard work in a very humble, but proud way. She enforces what I’ve come to know – it’s okay to be proud of yourself. Humility is important, but so is recognizing your own victories, no matter how small. It’s the only way to keep growing and improving.

Perhaps my absolute favourite story in this book is the one where Marci and Toronto Raptors president, Masai Ujiri welcome several Dene students to Toronto from their school in La Loche, Saskatchewan. Before reading, I was generally aware of the school shooting that took place in La Loche in 2016. However, I wasn’t aware of the state of the school many months after, and the lack of help to restore it. In Off Script, Marci conveys what the aftermath of a school shooting really looks like, particularly in La Loche. Marci and Masai visit the school, and later start an annual program to bring several students from there to Toronto to experience new things and provide a sense of hope for their future. This story is more than a few pages (18 to be exact), and should you read it, you’ll certainly see why. 

Off Script leaves you with so many lessons to take in and apply to your own life. Marci is an incredible woman! Her writing makes you laugh, cry, gasp and clap, all within a few pages. The title could not be more relevant – Marci goes ‘off script’ so many times in her story, it is genuinely inspiring.

by Daisy Lanksteadtoreadornottoread.org

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