I was in a rough patch around the time Jasmine announced her search for Filipino book bloggers who would be willing to be a part of a blog tour she and a Filipino author have been planning on for months. Frustrated, I decided to “apply” for a spot. Not only to give myself a boost, but also because the book seems promising. And lucky me, I was chosen! Thank you so much Jasmine for the opportunity to be a part of this and being one of the first few readers who get to read this book I ended up enjoying immensely!
Publication Date: August 23rd 2016 by Roaring Brook
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Number of Pages: 214
My Rating: ★★★★✩
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.
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 hostage-taking survivor and was reading a eulogy for the policeman who died saving my (character’s) life, and I cried horribly. I couldn’t stop crying, the audience was so worried for me. I didn’t even know what happened, but I remember being determined to put up a good show that I imagined being on the character’s shoes and just connected with her. It was scary and confusing and relieving all at the same time. I’m not sure how actors could constantly keep up with that.
The author, being a private academic tutor for young Hollywood stars, seems to understand the whole situation and has successfully played it out.
What I like about this book is the honest portrayal of the acting industry—it’s not all fun. Especially when your mother is like that of Joss’ who doesn’t embody any characteristic of a mother at all. Unfortunately, it happens in real life. Expectations in this industry can be too much and all cameras are on you, literally following your every move. Judging when you’re wrong, judging when you’re right.
Who cares if bags or gowns or diamonds are real when people are not?
Although it needs a bit more improvement story-wise and character-wise, I thought it was fantastic! I’ve heard stories of actors doing scenes against their will and I’ve heard people criticize them for that. This book was refreshing, giving us a sense of understanding and sympathy towards these people we really know nothing about.
The blurb sounds like the typical YA book, “struggles, crushes, secrets” but the book itself was different from what the blurb is trying to deliver because it’s more than just that, so I really hope they’d change it. The cover was also misleading; not until about 40 pages in, I thought the story would be about a TEEN but no, Joss is a CHILD. A 12 year old. And you can’t really blame me for assuming that because the girl on the cover looks like a grown-up teenager. I also think the more appropriate (and marketable) title would be The Locals. Just thinking about it makes me so giddy!!! But of course I don’t have a say on that, but wouldn’t that be cool?!
Overall, I recommend this book to readers who are so obsessed with what happens behind the camera! (I’d recommend it to myself.) It’s new and simple, it’s fast-paced, it’s refreshing. Ugh. I’m getting myself a copy when it comes out! And you should, too! 😉