Review: You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

You Look Different in 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.

I jumped straight on the chance to review this book with absolutely no hesitation, mostly because I wanted something fresh and was on a contemporary binge but also because the idea seemed so original and Justine sounded like an interesting character. The documentary idea was great - documentaries like the Five at series from the book do exist, but I have never watched any and now I actually really want to!

The thing that made this book for me was the characters. I absolutely loved all of the main 'support' cast: Keira, Rory, Felix and Nate were all great and whilst Justine was the main character, I got to watch the other characters grow just as much. It's very rare that I'll find a book where the support characters develop as well. I also loved reading about the support cast's relationships with each other, for example Nate and Felix, Rory and Keira as well as Nate and Keira. I didn't love Justine as much as I should have, she was annoyingly wishy-washy, wanting everyone else to make her decisions for her and at times she became very hypocritical and spoilt. 

Even though I didn't like Justine that much, I still loved following her story because her narration was so authentic for a sixteen year old girl, and the story was so touching. It was so heartwarming to see these kids that have all grown apart for different reasons come together for one reason, and as well as refinding their friendships they all find themselves as well (I know, I sound so corny).

Overall, You look Different in Real Life was a fantastic read, whilst not fast paced or overdramatic it's very authentic and believable with a heartwarming story. The only real issue I had with this book was Justine, the main character, and that all of the ends were tied a little too neatly.

Overall Rating: B

Book released 4th June 2013 by HarperTeen
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review (Edelweiss)

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