I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Unscripted Joss Byrd
Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: August 23, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Hollywood critics agree. Joss Byrd is “fiercely emotional,” a young actress with “complete conviction,” and a “powerhouse.”
Joss Byrd is America’s most celebrated young actress, but on the set of her latest project, a gritty indie film called The Locals, Joss’s life is far from glamorous. While struggling with her mother’s expectations, a crush on her movie brother, and a secret that could end her career, Joss must pull off a performance worthy of a star. When her renowned, charismatic director demands more than she is ready to deliver, Joss must go off-script to stay true to herself.
As a big fan of acting books, I was very excited when I received a copy of Unscripted Joss Byrd. This book really takes you behind the scenes of a movie set with Joss, a talented main character who is so sweet. I still really enjoyed this book, but I feel like it would be better suited for a younger audience, since the main character is 12.
Unscripted Joss Byrd is an acting book, which I loved. I haven’t read too many of these, but I feel like every time I pick one up, I really enjoy it. Something about learning about the behind the scenes work that goes into making a movie is really interesting for me. What I found really intriguing was the fact that the author actually teaches child actors. It’s nice knowing that the book is factually accurate. This books shows the reader what it’s like to be on the set of a movie and literally holds nothing back.
Joss is such an original main character! She is clever and talented, but also a child actor. I felt so bad for her because her mom is so rude and keeps all the money Joss makes from her movies for herself. Joss also has a big secret that is pretty difficult to hide, making her career so much more difficult. Joss’s ability to stay calm and be so sweet even though others don’t necessarily treat her that way is admirable and made me appreciate her so much more.
Though I enjoyed this book, I feel like it would be better for a younger audience. Joss is actually 12, which was kind of unappealing for me. However, she does have a very mature voice and honestly could pass for a teen. There’s also no romance in Unscripted Joss Byrd, unless you count Joss’s crush on another actor. There are some more mature themes in the book, though, making it kind of hard to put an age on it. I would say that a 12 or 13 year old would probably enjoy this book more.
Unscripted Joss Byrd is a book all about acting and contains a compassionate main character. While I still enjoyed reading the book, I would say that a younger audience would connect more to the story. I would still recommend this if you’re fine with the young age of the main character.