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Unscripted

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4.20  ·  Rating details ·  445 ratings  ·  136 reviews
A funny and timely debut YA about the toxic masculinity at a famous improv comedy camp

Seventeen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho has her future all planned out: improv camp, then Second City, and finally Saturday Night Live. She’s thrilled when she lands a spot on the coveted varsity team at a prestigious improv camp, which means she’ll get to perform for professional scouts—incl
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Published 2020 by Abrams
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All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn  GraceThese Violent Delights by Chloe GongAll Your Twisted Secrets by Diana  UrbanWhere Dreams Descend by Janella AngelesThe Loop by Ben  Oliver
YA Debuts 2020
149 books — 538 voters
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767 books — 2,775 voters


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Average rating 4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  445 ratings  ·  136 reviews


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Molly
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
GUYS. I hit the point where I could NOT stop reading, and I just kept going.

This book is great. There are some aspects that certainly feel a little bit heavy-handed, but I'm also an adult reading YA fiction. I think that they would be great for the true intended audience because perhaps that teen isn't comfortable asking an adult or they don't know how to bring it up. I want to recommend this book to all of my female students who do acting and improv club.

While there are certain aspects that I w
...more
Eva B.
Never have I ever wanted to jump into a book and slap a character this much until I read about Ben.
Christina (Christina's Book Corner)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mandy
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I received this ARC courtesy of Amulet Books at Yallfest 2019. I am grateful for the opportunity to review an ARC for my readers, but this will not influence my final rating. All opinions expressed in this review are my own and based solely on the book. 

This book. This book was an accidental pick-up at Yallfest when I was waiting in line for another ARC giveaway, and it was sort of a panic grab. I saw that it mentioned some funnies and feminism, which always is a good combo, and hone
...more
Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was a pleasant surprise.

I happened to nab an ARC at YALLFEST and randomly chose a book from my stash to read as I waited in various lines. This book was the random chosen one. For the first 60-70 pages, I thought, "Meh, it's alright. Kind of cheesy." I don't like DNFing anything so I continued on. I'm so glad I did.

The slow and cheesy beginning now makes sense - we are supposed to see Zelda as a carefree kid. She makes stupid jokes, cares a lot about her family, and is obsessed with be
...more
Shannon Takaoka
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As the #MeToo movement has gathered momentum, there are too many of us who can relate to the stories being told… who ask ourselves how we would or should have responded in similar situations… who have had moments where we were conflicted about whether or not to speak up because we didn’t want to be seen as “rocking the boat.” Nicole Kronzer explores many of these issues in her YA debut, through a story that puts readers in the shoes of Zelda – a smart, funny protagonist who finds that her dream ...more
Carrie Firestone
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you, Pippin, for sending me an advanced copy of UNSCRIPTED! I devoured this beautiful debut in one day. So many of us have been in vulnerable situations where we want something so deeply or need acceptance so badly we fall prey to people who make us question our decisions, our gut reactions, and the very essence of ourselves. So many of us have watched people we love "groomed" by manipulative asshats. And so few authors truly capture the complexity of those dynamics. Kronzer nails it. She ...more
It's Jess✨
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How does one unpack such an AMAZING journey.

Firstly, this was an equally amazing story while also being so hard to read.
Trigger warning for sexual assault and homophobia.

Let me break down why is book is amazing and should be talked about more.
1. Understanding that a lot of industries (especially the arts) have allowed there to be distinction between male and female performers. How we need to end this perpetual state of excluding people because of binary or sexual preferences. That change can ha
...more
Shannon Fay
This book was an excellent read, but it was also very sad. Don't get me wrong, the book itself wasn't particularly sad (wonderful, sweet, infuriating, maybe, and ok, there were some sad moments, but the book itself wasn't terribly sad). But the fact that this book is still so relevant, that it is STILL such an important story. That part is downright tragic. The fact that books like these are still NECESSARY, that this is still a reality is pathetic. Because shit like this shouldn't STILL be a re ...more
Rebecca
TRIGGER WARNING: sexual assault (non-r*pe) and harassment

This book was actually hard for me to read, because many similar incidents happened to me with my ex boyfriend and separately in the world of politics. What a phenomenal book about something that is not talked about enough. I want to write a full review later, but seriously, every high schooler should read this book--especially high school boys!
Mel (ReadUntilTheLastPage)
DNF at 34%

**Trigger Warnings: sexual harassment, sexism, bullying, & abusive relationship/grooming**

I have been anticipating this book for so long… so I’m super bummed I’m deciding to DNF it right now.

When I first saw this was about a girl who gets accepted to attend an improv camp & has to fight against the sexism and toxic masculinity while being the only girl on her team, I assumed this was going to be like Moxie. While our main character, Zelda, does try to fight against the sexism and bully
...more
Lauren Kay
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Where. Do. I. Even. Begin.

This book is perfect, and I flew through it in two sittings. I laughed and I cried and I screamed in indignation and I laughed and cried some more.

As an improv junkie, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book. I didn’t know what to expect, because improv is *hard* and writing about improv is even harder. But Nicole does this beautifully. She writes really clever improv bits, has an amazing and diverse cast of characters, and has such great, tension-filled
...more
Lydia Hephzibah
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book tackles important topics, but it's important that important topics are dealt with well, and this was not well-written. The characters were underdeveloped (most of the friends were virtually forgotten about after the dragging intro) and the story felt rushed, and no justice was done to the storylines. I found Zelda annoying, naive and impulsive, and that never changed. Also, if you're going to write about comedy ... it helps to be funny. And this was not. It was cringey, immature and am ...more
Terri
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"'There's a lot of crap out there...But the way to get through it is together. Find your people. And then keep helping people up. It's the only way.'" (pp.320-21)

Coming out April 21, 2020!
Allison Liu
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"There's a lot of crap out there, and I've seen my fair share of it. But the way you get through it is together. Find your people. And then keep helping people up. It's the only way. Got it?"

Zelda has a dream career in improv, and is on her way to it. She's at a prestigious improv camp and joins the top team. Only, things aren't as good as they seem. She's one of five total girls at the camp, and there is no female counselor. She's the first female to make the varsity team in 15 years, ever si
...more
Samantha (WLABB)
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Someday, Zelda hoped to be a comedy writer for SNL, and she knew, many of her idols had roots in the improv scene. Therefore, her summer at improv camp was a vital stepping stone on her path to attaining her dream. When she arrived at the male dominated camp, she went along with the status quo, though she found the behavior of her fellow campers unacceptable. Eventually, their aggressions grew, and Zelda decided she had had enough, and was not going down without a fight.

It's a well known fact th
...more
Alex (Pucksandpaperbacks)
I was sent a digital copy of this book from the publisher through Net Galley for review. All opinions are my own.

TW: sexual assault & harassment, homophobic comments
Rep: POC/adopted & biracial characters, Japanese, lgbtq+, fat sc, albinic sc
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I went into this book feeling unsettled by the first 20% but it sure redeemed itself by the end. This was a very fast-paced book that tackled the topics of sexism and misogyny within the comedy industry very well.

Sixteen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho and
...more
Staci Vought
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.3. I give the audiobook a 5...the author absolutely nailed her storytelling. The only reason for less than a 5 overall is because it got a little stagnant in the middle. I loved the girls, the humor, the messages both subtle & overt, and much more. I do worry that based on the summary, some readers won’t be drawn in. This book is so much more than you think it will be! ...more
Tessa
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
I don’t know if I even breathed while reading this book, because I didn’t want anything to slow me down. This was a read-in-one-sitting book. An engaging YA tale that deals with complex, serious topics with nuance and balance. Improv, Boy Scouts, and so much more. What a fantastic novel.
Erika
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it! A “stood in my kitchen reading while simultaneously cooking dinner” kind of book...
Chris
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An incredible, hilarious, and powerful book. Through her protagonist, Zelda, Kronzer creates a call to action, pushing against a field (like so many others) driven by misogyny. I am excited for my daughters to read this and, more importantly, my son.
Mel Raschke
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A funny and timely novel. This is a debut book for this new author. Wish I had this book when I was a middle school librarian.
Melanie
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
With accolades from Printz-winning YA writer Nina LaCour on the cover, you know this novel is going to be a promising debut, and Nicole Kronzer delivers the goods.

The novel follows seventeen-year-old Zelda Bailey-Cho, who is attending Rocky Mountain Theatre Arts Camp with the long-term goal of writing and performing with groups like Upright Citizens Brigade, Second City, and Saturday Night Live. You'll find yourself cheering her on as she combats the toxic masculinity and "boys' club" vibe of t
...more
Desiree
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What is Zelda Bailey-Cho doing this very moment?
Because clearly the subject and protagonist of Nicole Kronzer’s debut novel “Unscripted” must exist off of the page. Bright, funny, quick, vulnerable, loyal, fierce, and immediately relatable to this frizzy-haired former collegiate comedy troupe denizen, Zelda surely isn’t fictional.
Set in an improv comedy camp and filled-to-bursting with compelling protagonists and antagonists, Unscripted is the perfect YA novel for the MeToo movement, with an i
...more
Kathleen
Oct 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Zelda arrives at Rocky Mountain Theater Arts camp armed with big dreams and surefire list of improv rules that will lead her to them. Yes, things seem a little weird when she finds herself one of only five girl campers among 200, but she makes the prestigious varsity team and takes her first steps toward SNL. It's all fine--great!--except Zelda's coach is a twenty-year-old Thor lookalike who confuses her with his hot-and-cold behavior. Her male teammates, unchecked, cast her as a secretary and/o ...more
Jessica Edelheit
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
How does one address the #metoo movement in a way that is accessible to teens? Author Nicole Kronzer has answered that question in the form of her funny, honest, and relatable novel "Unscripted." Told through the eyes of high school improv actor Zelda, who has always taken pride in being a strong, funny female, her ideals and ideas are put to the test by the sexist culture that exists on and off the stage. Zelda is a great character, but it's her supporting cast that really shines. The character ...more
Kristy Alley
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Zelda is a great main character! I love that this story focuses on a girl who is deeply invested in going after her dreams of one day being an SNL cast member. The sexism she encounters at a prestigious improv camp feels real and infuriating, but Zelda's friends (both male and female) help her find a road map for resisting. Her friends also help her (and readers) see the very realistic signs of an abusive relationship that are easy to miss in the beginning. Really good for teen readers!
Trisha
Update: My long review is now up at the blog, Trish Talks Texts.

Loved this a lot.

Longer review to come closer to release date. Thanks Netgalley
...more
Rose Eerdmans
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is funny, smart, moving, and brave. It is accesible and important, and everyone should read it.
Jenny
May 04, 2020 rated it did not like it
I kind of can't believe how much I hated this book.

If all the cabins were named after comedians, I'm incredibly surprised the varsity team's cabin wasn't called "Bill Cosby".

This was a book about a lot of people we are told are very funny. I don't remember really laughing at anything in this book. Also, it kind of sets itself up for failure being a BOOK about improv performers - improv is funny because it's -you know - improvised? Not a polished manuscript.

However, the book was also about sexual
...more
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