Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: You Look Different In Real Life by Jennifer Castle

Title: You Look Different In Real Life
Author: Jennifer Castle
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: HarperTeen (June 4, 2013)
Source: ARC Copy Provided by the Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Contemporary
My Rating: 4 Stars!

Book Description:

For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.

The premise was simple: five kids, just living their lives. There'd be a new movie about them every five years, starting in kindergarten. But no one could have predicted what the cameras would capture. And no one could have predicted that Justine would be the star.

Now sixteen, Justine doesn't feel like a star anymore. In fact, when she hears the crew has gotten the green light to film Five at Sixteen, all she feels is dread. The kids who shared the same table in kindergarten have become teenagers who hardly know one another. And Justine, who was so funny and edgy in the first two movies, feels like a disappointment.

But these teens have a bond that goes deeper than what's on film. They've all shared the painful details of their lives with countless viewers. They all know how it feels to have fans as well as friends. So when this latest movie gives them the chance to reunite, Justine and her costars are going to take it. Because sometimes, the only way to see yourself is through someone else's eyes.

Smart, fresh, and frequently funny, You Look Different in Real Life is a piercing novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear.

My Thoughts and Review:

This book had such a great premises that I knew as soon as I saw it (and the great cover!) I wanted to read it.

This book is narrated by Justine, the star of the show at both six years old and then again at eleven. She and four other classmates were picked to be documented every five years until the age of twenty one. 

Justine has been the favorite, the sweetheart in each episode,  only this time at sixteen, she isn't so sure she will be that person anymore.  So much has changed for her and her friends over the course of five years. She feels like a completely different person, inside and out and she isn't happy with the realization that this time, she will hardly be the star. Her friends have changed, her family has changed, even her once trim and slim body has changed. She doesn't feel like she has accomplished anything she wanted to be or do at age eleven and she isn't really ready for the world to know it.

Even though Justine narrates this story, it really is a story about all five of them. Nate, Felix, Rory and Keira. All of them have changed and they all have their secrets and they all need each other, whether they realize it or not.

I so loved this. It was such a great way to show the characters growth throughout the years and throughout this final documentary of their life. I love how it all played out. The secrets, the heart break, the lessons, the friendship and the love. I don't know what I was expecting from this read but it wasn't the emotional one that I got. I didn't know I would become so invested in their lives and how attached I would be to Justine by the time the story was over.

She is a typical teen that isn't perfect, has made some mistakes, is a little self centered and has a whole lot of growing to do, something she does throughout the story. It was nice to see her change. Not on the outside, but on the inside as she discovers who is really is and what she wants out of life. As she learns that the movies and consequent fame, have not made her who she is but that she and her decisions, good or bad, has made her who she is and will continue to do so. 

This was a great story about a difficult time in any youths life, that time when you are on the fringe of adulthood and still trying to find your place in the world. 

*All Opinions are my own and I was in no way compensated for my review*


  1. Oh, wow, first of all, I love that this is a standalone. I didn't think they made those anymore. :)
    Secondly, the characters sound simply amazing. I love that it focuses on them all, and not just Justine. I've had my eye on this one for a while and I had a great feeling about it. I'm glad I was right.
    Great eview!

  2. Loving the sound of this! I'm with Maja, I'm excited that it's a stand alone and that we'll get the complete story arc and character arc all in this one book. It seems like there's a ton of growth experienced by all, and I just love stories like this:) Cannot wait!

  3. It really is nice when that happens!

  4. This sounds so unique, I don't think I've read anything similar and its a standalone..woot! Glad to hear you learn about all five. Thanks for sharing this one, I am adding it to my wishlist!

  5. I might have a copy of this one... It sounds amazing and now that you said it's really good, I'll have to be sure to try my best to fit it in!

  6. Allllli... give me a pep talk. I'm on page 33 and bored to tears with this book. I want to set it aside, but it expires soon.

  7. It definitely isn't fast paced at all. It sort of reads like a documentary. It does get better but the pace never really does pick up but it does become more interesting. hang in there!

  8. I'm glad you reviewed this! I haven't heard much about it, though that's probably my fault for not keeping an eye out. It definitely sounds like a unique read, and I can't wait to follow the characters' stories here. Lovely review!

  9. Ooh this sounds like such an interesting premise! And I'm really happy to hear that the story was so emotional and that you were so invested in Justine and her friends' lives. I'll have to check this one out when it comes out. Wonderful review, thanks for introducing me to it! :-)

  10. Thanks for stopping by Sam and Lauren!

  11. This sounds so good and really different. You have definitely convinced me to get this one.

  12. I am always up for a great stand alone. They are becoming a rare breed these days.

  13. interesting.. Don't think I ever read a book written in that way. Must have been very different. I do like the premise myself and it does look interesting to see them change through the years in the book.

  14. This sounds really interesting and there was a real documenter that did something similar and checked back in with people over time. Would be interesting to see how people change but difficult for the people in the spotlight especially if things were not going well.

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  16. I thought this was a very well written introduction to the close relationship between teenagers and television. The characters were very convincing; the plot was very compelling; and the book provided me with a fascinating window into teen-age life in suburbia in the 21st century. The book has helped me to get a better understanding of the world in which my grandchildren are living. I liked it so much.

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