You Look Different in Real LifeYou Look Different in Real Life
Jennifer Castle
HarperTeen

Publisher’s Summary
Readers of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Laurie Halse Anderson will be touched by the emotional depth and realistic characters of Jennifer Castle’s YA novel You Look Different in Real Life.

Justine charmed the nation in a documentary film featuring five kindergartners. Five years later, her edgy sense of humor made her the star of a second movie that caught up with the lives of the same five kids.

Now Justine is sixteen, and another sequel is in the works. Justine isn’t ready to have viewers examining her life again. She feels like a disappointment, not at all like the girl everyone fell in love with in the first two movies. But, ready or not, she and the other four teens will soon be in front of the cameras again.

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 Take
I’ve never read any of Jennifer’s books before now so “You Look Different” was a good one to cut my teeth on. Justine has mixed emotions about the cameras that will soon be documenting her life again for the big screen. There’s too much to live up to and as she examines her own life, she realizes that she’s disappointed herself a little. Not living out the dreams or goals she had at eleven. Letting friendships go because they didn’t “fit” anymore, and drifting away from others for reasons she doesn’t really understand.

So agreeing to the sequel of Five at is less than exciting. As she’s struggling to figure out what to show the camera and what the public wants to see, Justine ends up discovering herself. She finds out who she really is, who her friends really are and growing into the person she’s always been, but never seen.

I really enjoyed reading this book. It’s fast moving, funny, and real. Castle did a fantastic job with Justine growing in each relationship with the other Five at stars, as well as each character growing on their own. Even though Justine is the center of the novel, the other characters are still given a fair amount of screen time.

My Rating: 4/5 stars, worth the read.

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