The Script Says (Book Thoughts: Unscripted Joss Byrd, Lygia Day Penaflor)

24755483A lot of child stars grow up to be messed-up individuals, and we always wonder why. In Lygia Day Penaflor’s novel ‘Unscripted Joss Byrd’ we get a glimpse of why. The heroine of the book is Joss Byrd, a twelve year old child actress who is enjoying some success. She is on location in Long Island, New York for her film ‘The Locals,’ and she is not having a fine time on this shoot. She is having difficulties with the screenplay changes, and we find out it is because she is anorexic. Plus, she seems to be in an abusive relationship with her mother, who invests her earnings in shady business deals, and is having an affair with her director. I felt bad for Joss, and in this case, blame her mother for putting her in the situation, which becomes increasingly frustrating for the reader. When Joss tries to stand her ground, she is blocked in every step of the way, and when the film ends, seems to be back in square one. I was totally into Joss’s story, and now have an idea why child actors grow up to be damaged people. I wonder if this story is part of  a series, because the books in a kind of open-ended manner. I would certainly like to know what happens to Joss.

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