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Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lydia Day Penaflor

Monday, October 22, 2018

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.

Goodreads Summary

I was a little surprised that this book was in the young adult section of my library, but the more I read the more I could see it belonging in either a children/teen's section or young adult. Joss has dyslexia, but she is an actrees. Her dyslexia makes it very difficult to read the lines, particularly when there are changes made (which seems to be all the time). Her mother is often frustrated with her and will do nearly anything to get ahead for her own gain (it's truly disturbing). Joss has to make a movie titled, The Locals; she was super excited for the part, but later finds out that the movie is based upon a young woman's horrible, abusive childhood...and she doesn't want the movie made. Joss has to navigate both moral decisions and live in a very adult-centered world. 

Joss's character was by far my favorite. She was inventive, smart, and resourceful. Her mother disgusted me. I wish she thought more of and about her child. I wasn't surprised by her many bad decisions. I hated how a movie was made when the victim expressly said she didn't want it made. There should be more protection for victims of sexual and physical child abuse. I liked the ending and wished that Joss had a wonderful life (hard to say, but her head is in the right place).

4 Stars

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