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Unscripted Joss Byrd

3.55  ·  Rating details ·  294 ratings  ·  104 reviews
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
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published August 23rd 2016 by Roaring Brook Press
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Laurie Flynn
I have a fascination with actors. The roles they play, their processes, their lives on and off screen. So when I first heard about UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD, I was incredibly excited to start reading. A glimpse into the life of a young actress trying to leave her mark on Hollywood? Yes, please.

In UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD, the titular character, Joss, is a twelve-year-old actress who has been praised for her movie roles thus far. But on the set of her most recent movie, The Locals, she struggles with scri
The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)
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. Somethin
Victoria Coe
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a character! What a story! Joss Byrd is a rising young film star with loads of natural talent, a desperate need to work, and a secret. While on location of her latest movie, she panics over the script - that changes daily - until the plot thickens off-screen and she's faced with the biggest decision of her career. UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD is a story of family, friendships, and Hollywood, and most importantly, a fresh, lovable character who finds a way to be true to herself. Highly recommen ...more
Neil (or bleed)
Oct 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I don't know what to say. Anyway, review to come. ...more
Margot Harrison
When I was twelve, I had the misfortune of wanting to be an actress. I took drama classes with adults and had some strange (and occasionally sketchy) experiences with theater people. Lucky for me, perhaps, I wasn't good enough to make it in the biz. But now, thanks to this absorbing novel, I have a window into the lives of those child stars I used to envy.

This is not a Hollywood wish-fulfillment novel. Joss is a twelve-year-old actor who has been to the Oscars, but her life is anything but glamo
Kathleen Glasgow
UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD is a compelling (and often humorous) behind-the-scenes look at the life of an up and coming young Hollywood star. Joss Byrd is a whip-smart, engaging young girl with a secret (no spoilers, here!) and talent to burn. Led by her powerhouse stage mom, Viva, Joss is a star on the rise, filming a movie with the legendary director Terence Rivenbach. I can't tell you anymore than that--to do so would ruin Lygia Day Penaflor's crafty, spunky plot--full of Hollywood lore, tales, and ...more
Jasmine (Jasmine Pearl Reads)
*I would like to thank Lygia Day Peñaflor for sending me an ARC of this book.

This doesn’t affect nor influence my review.*

Here’s a backstory for you…

Last year, while I was scrolling my twitter timeline, I ended up following Lygia (@lygiaday). First impression? I was quite sure that she’s a Filipina or at least Asian. Also, her surname is the same with my closest friend’s surname. Coincidence? I bet not. I also knew that her book would come out this August because I did some stalking. There’s thi
Tehlor Mejia
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: want-to-read-ya
(disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. my opinions are all mine :))

Wow. What an incredible achievement.

I didn't quite know what to expect when I jumped into Joss's world. I had expected something full of drama, celebrity teens and their love lives on set.

Boy, was I underestimating this book.

Unscripted Joss Byrd was beautiful, poignant, sad, and triumphant. The main character was absolutely fierce, relatable while still feeling like she could stand up
Cori Reed
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 Stars

I have mixed feeling about this one. I had never heard of it before, but ended up buying it after filming a silly video for our YouTube channel in the YA section of Chapters (coming soon!)

The main character is 12, which isn't something I've experienced in YA before. I can definitely understand why it isn't marketed as Middle Grade, as a lot of the topics covered are a little more grown up (for example, our main character is a child actor, and her mother has an affair with the director
Dani (Dani Reviews Things & Love in a time of Feminism)
- I received an ARC copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my rating nor the content of my review.
- This book may be triggering to some people. It contains cheating and references to child and sexual abuse.

Joss Byrd started acting at the age of 6 thanks to her mother promising her a day off school to go to an audition. From that day on, Joss worked and worked, determined to stay out of school and do what her mom wanted, all the while hiding a secret a
Having an interest in acting, I was very excited to read this. There are cute YAs that feature acting and film sets that focus on glamour, fame and cute co-stars, but I loved the gutsy realistic vibe I got from this one. It certainly delivered in that aspect, but disappointed me in others. Probably because I went it thinking it was something, when it was someone else entirely. See, I imagined this was going to be about a young girl who has a passion for acting and the ups and downs she goes thro ...more
Hazel (Stay Bookish)
This was one heck of an unflinching story and I really applaud Lygia for writing it. Joss Byrd's narrative as well as the portrayal of acting and flawed mother/daughter relationships were gritty and realistic. The story read like an equivalent of an indie film. However, I personally wasn't fond of the flashbacks and feel like some themes and characters could've been explored better. But would I recommend it? Yes! Because this book isn't what you expect it to be. It's not about the drama or roman ...more
Janet McNally
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a beautiful book. I loved Joss's voice, and found it completely compelling and real. Joss is only twelve, but like a lot of young actors, she's mature beyond her age. Still, when she was faced with the puzzling and hurtful behavior of the adults around her, we're reminded that she's a kid, and this broke my heart. Lovely writing and a fresh, vivid look at a fascinating world. ...more
Ruth Lehrer
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fresh, interesting take on a young actor in Hollywood. The voice of Joss Byrd will stick with me for a long time. I'd love to see them turn this book into a movie! ...more
Ashley Blake
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult
An unflinching look at a Hollywood kid, this book is heart wrenching, empowering, and beautiful!
Bridget Hodder
Sep 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A standout!

It's no surprise that the author of UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD has spent years working in the movie business and knows her way around stars, sets and scripts. Because this book lifts the veil of false glamour that's so carefully draped over the harsh realities of what it actually means to be a "child star". But not in a gritty way, or a simplistic one. This book is delicately balanced and told in a true, clear voice.

The story takes us through the final days of a movie shoot, and into the wo
Casey Lyall
Oct 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There's nothing brighter than what might be ahead-" UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD

Movies, like many things in life, look like an exciting adventure until you dig a little deeper to reveal the complicated dynamics required to make them work. UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD takes the reader behind the scenes of a movie set, revealing all of the drama, excitement, tension, sweat and tears a production has to offer.

Joss Byrd and her mother, Viva, have been hard at work on her film career for the past six years. They're
Lindsey Klingele
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-i-adore
Everything in this book felt so real, and I found I had a hard time putting it down. I loved getting the insider's glimpse into not just how a movie set works, but what it's really like to be a child actor. Joss's struggles with her stage manager mother are really well-drawn and compelling. I loved seeing her try to find her voice and make her own decisions in a world where she has so little control over her own life. Go Joss! ...more
Lauren R.
DNF page 28. What's the cut-off age for a book to be middle grade instead of YA? This one is a bit too young for what I'm in the mood for right now. I think the main character is like 12 here. ...more
Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries)
May 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher for review.

If you care at all about celebrities, you probably find child stars and their troubles fascinating. They die young (Corey Haim, Dana Plato), they die very young (Heather O'Rourke, Judith Barsi), experience problems as they become adults (Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan), and occasionally come out the other side okay (Christina Aguilera). Joss Byrd is twelve years old and already an accomplished actress
Unscripted, Joss Byrd is definitely in my wheelhouse. I love YA books about actors/actresses/musicians. I love books where children/teenagers are forced to play the role of adult, especially when dealing with their own parents. And I love books where the character's emotions are so real, that you want to jump inside the book and hug them. Unscripted, Joss Byrd has it all.

The story is told through the eyes of Joss, a twelve-years-old, up and coming actress shooting a movie on Long Island's M
Jenn Bishop
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What does life really look like behind the scenes of a future Hollywood hit? Through the lens of the precocious child actor Joss Byrd, we get a glimpse of a movie in the making and a girl on the cusp of understanding her role in the Hollywood machine. The author clearly knows the world she's writing about -- her experience as a tutor to the teenage stars of some of our favorite TV shows and movies shines through in the details that bring Joss's story to life. I loved following the push and pull ...more
Mar 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arcs, blog-tours
Unscripted Joss Byrd was a smooth ride. It mirrored parts of myself that often go hidden. It’s always easy to say be true to yourself, but it takes a lot of courage to actually do it.

Full review on my book blog: (Will be up on March 15!)
I can't remember how I originally heard of this book, but the plot sounded fun. Joss Byrd is a young actress in Hollywood, considered one of the best around with a bright future, and she's just been cast in a new movie. While filming, she struggles to live up to her overbearing mom's expectations, tries to understand what's going on around her, and does her best to keep her own secrets safe.

I ended up reading about a quarter of the book, maybe more, before putting it down. I liked the idea behi
Hailey Hillman
I didn’t like this book because it was not my type to read and there was a little of things in the book I didn’t like. This book is nothing but drama. I like drama books but this book is not my type to read. Unscripted is about how this girl has to go somewhere and she doesn’t want to so she fights with her mother. This book is how the girl is fighting with her mother over crazy stuff. Also, I didn’t like how the girl was in the book to people. This caused a lot of drama for the girl in the book ...more
Adventures of Nikka
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Full review on my blog, P A P E R & T R E E S!

I thought this book was promising to begin with, but it turned out to be so much better than I thought it would be. The story follows Joss Byrd, a child actress, on the set of her new film The Locals. And no, it’s not that simple.

It was so nice reading about something so familiar. Being on stage, acting, performing, are few of my passions but unfortunately couldn’t do anymore because of college. I remember once, I played the character of a hostag
Nicka (With love, Nicka)
Full review is posted on my blog:

As I was reading this book all I could think about was myself, yes myself. Well not as the main character but the whole setting of this story gave me nostalgia, as a kid I’ve always dreamed of being on stage acting/singing but enough about me, I just wanted to share a little bit about myself.

I’ve read quite a lot of books that has the same story line but I can definitely say that out of those this book was the best. The wa
Parker Peevyhouse
I love Joss and felt so protective of her while I was reading her story. She's a child actress famous for her roles in serious films--but there's a lot of trouble on her current set. She can't keep up with the script changes (thanks to her dyslexia), her adult co-star is terribly frightening, and her mom is both flighty and overbearing. Joss goes through some serious ordeals throughout this story, and they all felt very believable. The level of detail really shows that the author has worked on T ...more
Sonya Mukherjee
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This started off as an intriguing glimpse into the life of a child movie star with a needy, high-pressure Hollywood mom. As the story progressed, that aspect of the story was always relevant, but it also became something more. Joss is a tough, complicated character, struggling with her close-but-difficult relationship with her mom, with secret learning difficulties, and with fears about her future, all while readily accepting the real-life roles of family breadwinner and serious actress.

The sto
Molly Booth
Sep 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fourteen and up
Recommended to Molly by: Bridget Hodder
This is a rare book that deals with heavy issues, but reads quickly and with grace and humor. (I would compare it to Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian in that regard). I truly loved this book's main character -- Joss is a young woman who knows too much about the darker sides of Hollywood, and learns to stand up for herself with her mother, other actors, and director. The adults around Joss are constantly crossing lines, and she strives and strives to set normal, healthy boundaries. Jos ...more
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