Book Review: Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Penaflor

Unscripted Joss Byrd
Author: Lygia Day Penaflor
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary
Released: August 23 2016
Review Source: Roaring Brook Press

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.

Joss is what some people call an average teenager. That is if you can call acting average. Having stared in a few things already she feels as if she's prepared for her role on the indie film The Locals. But times start to get trying, and it only seems as if things aren't easy to handle.

This book was actually very difficult for me to take in. I want to work in this industry that this book sheds a light on. I want to be an editor, so it isn't anything like acting. But the industry is one and the same. I know the hardships and the trials that accompany this field. But to read about it and be in the character's shoes - especially a teenage actor - it makes me cringe.

Showbiz isn't glamorous. Yes Hollywood makes it out to be. But when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it, it's tough work. My first day on a set I worked for almost 24 hours straight. Mind you this was an unpaid gig too. I was just doing it to get my foot in the door. And this was what I did as someone who wants to be an editor...not even an actress. I saw the strain that put on the performers. And I couldn't imagine teenagers doing it.

This then makes you wonder and think about all those Disney child stars...about all the dramatic TV shows we love that are on ABC Family/Freeform or The CW. And it makes you wonder about their performers and stars. What their life is like. What they go through. We see things from green pastures. This book makes you see it from the other side.

It's a great story, and probably one that would interest a lot of readers. But for someone who has goals and inspirations to being in the industry being shown in the story, it's a tough book to read.

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