[Book Review #62] ARC: Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor

Format: Physical ARC

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: August 23, 2016

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan USA)

No. of Pages: 211 pages

Price: None.

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

Book Review:

Before I start my review, I wanted to publicly thank my best friend Jasmine of Jasmine Pearl Reads for choosing me to be one of the few bloggers to review this wonderful book. I’ve had an amazing time reading, and reviewing Unscripted Joss Byrd, and I hope my review gets to pimp Lygia’s book the way it should be pimped.

Upon reading the synopsis of this book, it hooked me up immediately. I, being the loud, opinionated, and extremely bold person that I am, have been curious as to what it’s like to be a celebrity for quite some time now. I wanted to know how easy or how hard it is to be a star. Reading this book gave me the answers to some of my questions.

What I loved about this book was that it was completely honest. It aimed to educate the readers how hard it is to be popular through the eyes of the media, while having to deal with life in general. It tackled issues in the film-making industry, as well as how hard it is to maintain a reputation so as to keep a career intact. It took me 5-10 pages before I noticed just how enlightening this book was about this specific field.

Also, I loved that it was fast-paced and yet, every scene felt complete and satisfying. The events in this book were all realistic and everything went by on a fast-pace, without having to make the reader feel like there’s something lacking. The story might not be as in-depth as most YA books, but it still does the job of entertaining the reader.

Another thing I liked about this contemporary novel, is that it is unique. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read before. I usually read light and fluffy contemporaries, or mystery, but I’ve never came across a book with the same premise as this one. That makes this book a good unique read.

Now, for the horrible parts. Let me just get this off my chest: I sincerely hate Joss’ mother, Viva. I hate her with a passion bigger than my love for books. She acts less as a mother, and more as Joss Byrd’s manager. She aims to make her life more comfortable and pleasurable through her daughter. What makes me cringe at this thought is that the MC does not deserve to be treated this way. Actually, at first, I thought Joss was way too full of herself. But, upon discovery of the way she is treated, I actually have to give her major props for putting up with the people around her for using her to get life’s biggest comforts. She doesn’t deserve it, but she manages, and still is able to deliver. I love that about her.

“Unscripted Joss Byrd is a reader’s backstage pass to the film-making industry. It educates it’s readers as to how it is like to be a celebrity; how it is to be a star while still having to face life’s conflicts. Lygia Day’s debut novel will feed your curiosity, leaving you wondering how stars handle themselves in trying situations.”


Characters – 4.00

Plot – 4.00

Writing Style – 3.50

Pacing – 3.50

Ending – 4.00

TOTAL – 3.8 / 4 Stars

About The Author:


Lygia is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire, as well as I Am Legend. She enjoys writing about teens and has kept true to her teenage self by marrying her high school sweetheart and remembering her locker combination (32-18-12). She lives on Long Island where she is an avid equestrian and old-school roller skater. Unscripted Joss Byrd is her debut novel.

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6 thoughts on “[Book Review #62] ARC: Unscripted Joss Byrd by Lygia Day Peñaflor

  1. This book sounds so much fun, JM – books about Hollywood and its culture are always fascinating, and Joss sounds like a compelling heroine. I feel like a lot of people always think that celebrities have all the luck in the world, but we tend to forget that they also experience the same problems that we do. I also think that the character of Joss’ mom would be intriguing to read about as well.

    Great review, JM! 🙂

    Lyra @ Defiantly Deviant

    Liked by 1 person

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