When seventeen-year-old Zelda is chosen for an elite team at a prestigious improvisation camp, it is a big step toward achieving her dreams, but first she must survive her teammates' sexism and coach's cruelty. - (Baker & Taylor)
Landing a prestigious spot at an elite improv comedy camp where she hopes to be discovered by a professional celebrity scout, 17-year-old Zelda is bullied as the only girl on her varsity team before a mercurial coach compels her to risk her dreams. A first novel. - (Baker & Taylor)
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&;including her hero, Nina Knightley. But even though she&;s hardworking and talented, Zelda&;s also the only girl on Varsity, so she&;s the target for humiliation from her teammates. And her 20-year-old coach, Ben, is cruel to her at practice and way too nice to her when they&;re alone. Zelda wants to fight back, but is sacrificing her best shot at her dream too heavy a price to pay? Equal parts funny and righteous, Unscripted is a moving debut novel that Printz Award winner Nina LaCour calls &;a truly special book, written at exactly the right time.&;
- (Harry N. Abrams, Inc.)
Seventeen-year-old Zelda is thrilled to be at improv camp along with her brother and his boyfriend. But excitement turns to dismay when her 20-year-old coach, Ben, both comes on to her and humiliates her—to the pleasure of most of her male teammates. This not only causes personal and aspirational crises, it makes Zelda doubt her own judgement and her ability to really gauge what is going on. On the plus side, Kronzer deftly combines what it means to be a female in comedy with a story of contemporary resonance that evokes the #MeToo movement. Less successfully drawn are some of the characters: Ben's attraction to Zelda never seems worth the bother, especially after things go south, which reduces him to a plot point. Likewise, Jesse, from a nearby scout camp, seems, well, too much like a Boy Scout and serves mostly as Ben's opposite. But Zelda's first-person narrative rings with authenticity as she weighs her options and finds her voice. Bonus: readers interested in improv will enjoy learning the fundamentals here. Grades 9-12. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.
School Library Journal Reviews
Gr 9 Up—Confident and talented, Zelda Bailey-Cho has her whole future planned out, and it starts at the Rocky Mountain Theatre Arts Camp, where she is offered a spot on the Varsity improv team, which has the chance to perform in front of industry professionals and elite camp alumni at the end of the summer. Not long after rehearsals start, however, Zelda starts to see the misogynistic atmosphere of camp. As the only female on Varsity, Zelda is often tasked with playing offensive stereotypical roles, such as a prostitute or "sexy secretary." The boys on her team constantly put her down and find it hard to believe that she was the author of the funniest sketch. Her coach, 20-year-old Ben, only adds to the problem, yelling at Zelda in rehearsal and calling out her mistakes in front of the team. Outside of rehearsal, Ben is overly nice to Zelda, and as he makes romantic advances, she grows more and more uncomfortable. Things spiral out of control, and it is not until after an unwanted physical encounter with Ben that Zelda steps forward and speaks out. Kronzer skillfully brings to life the improv setting. The characters are authentic and friendships seem real, as does Zelda's confusion over how to feel about Ben. VERDICT The humor of improvisation does not detract from the powerful messages of consent and gender equality, but rather adds some lighthearted moments to a serious plot. Recommended for libraries serving teens.—Katharine Gatcomb, Portsmouth Public Library, NH
Copyright 2020 School Library Journal.