I received this book for free from Miss Print's ARC Adoption in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor
Published by Roaring Brook on August 23, 2016
Source: Miss Print's ARC Adoption
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.
I received the ARC of Unscripted Joss Byrd through the ARC Adoption program that Emma from Miss Print has set up. I think this is my second or third ARC I’ve received from her, and I have another that I have to read! It’s a great program for those that don’t get sent many physical ARCs from publishers. She sends them with the guarantee of a review from you within a month of publication.
Anyway, let’s get started, shall we? This book is about Joss, a teenage movie star, and it follows her filming an indie movie in, I think, Florida. What was cool to me was that this isn’t one of those A-list celebrity books that we see a lot. Joss was just a normal girl. I liked that aspect a lot.
Joss is also dyslexic, and I’m not sure I’ve ever read a book with a dyslexic main character before. As someone who loves to read, who has been reading since she was a wee babe, it’s hard for me to imagine. But that’s one of the reasons I do read—to help me empathize with people in situations I can’t imagine. It was really interesting to see Joss and her struggle with memorizing lines because she struggles to read them. That’s something I’ve never thought about before, especially when thinking of famous movie stars. We see the final product: the movie. But we don’t really know what the work-in-progress was like, the struggles that the cast and crew went through to make that movie as perfect as possible. It’s just interesting to think about.
One thing that bothered me throughout the book, though, was that I couldn’t figure out how old Joss was. At one small moment, her mom said something about Joss being at the sixth-grade reading level. And sixth grade is like 11 0r 12. But since Joss was dyslexic, her reading level wasn’t where she was supposed to be. So she was probably older than this? But a lot of people treated her like a little kid who didn’t know anything. I really don’t know how old she was. Which maybe isn’t a big deal, but I just couldn’t picture her in my head, and her voice sounded way older than an 11 year olds, so I just felt kind of disconnected from her a little.
Also her mom is the worst in the entire world. Not really, but she’s not very good. There wasn’t really anything redeemable about her mother, except some endearing moments you see in flashbacks. I wish she would’ve have some positive qualities, but I know that’s not always realistic. But I definitely wanted to hit her.
Overall, this was a fast read that I think a lot of people will connect with. Joss has a lot of real characteristics (more than just her dyslexia) that I think a lot of people will connect with. I personally had a hard time connecting to the story and her character. Part of the reason was the age thing (I really don’t know why that bothered me so much), but past that, I’m not sure why. But it was enjoyable. Maybe just not my kind of story.
This book comes out tomorrow! Is it on your TBR? Have you read any other books like it? Let me know in the comments.