on August 23rd 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult, YA
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.
A copy of this book was provided for review by the publisher, this does not influence my thoughts on the book or this review.
I haven’t heard too much about Unscripted Joss Byrd but as a contemporary fan, I couldn’t resist picking up a contemporary debut! Unscripted Joss Byrd is an interesting debut that will not only appeal to teens, but to middle grade readers as well.
Joss Byrd has been an actress ever since she was a young girl. Working on her latest indie film, she has to confront some hard emotions she does not want to, process what it means to be a young woman in hollywood and what lies in her future. Unscripted Joss Byrd is a strong debut with a strong voice and a compelling story.
While Unscripted Joss Byrd is described at YA, I find it interesting that the main character is 12. Because of that, I could see this read connecting with middle grade readers but there is some more mature content that I could see marketing struggle to pitch this as middle-grade (in particular, Joss struggles on acting in her latest role as her original contract states she does not have to film a scene in which her character is molested–or it’s even implied– because she is understandably uncomfortable with doing so).
Joss’s voice was one of my favourite parts of the novel; she’s independent, fierce and a bit shy. She really grows throughout the rest of the novel and critically examines her life in a way that I found refreshing, especially as she confronts some harsh realities of being a young woman in Hollywood.
Unscripted Joss Byrd is a quick but strong read, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for Peñaflor’s next novel!