~ Book Review: You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle ~

Title: You Look Different in Real Life
Author: Jennifer Castle
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: June 4th, 2013
Pages: 355
Source: Bought
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary

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.

 I was extremely surprised at how much this story got to me. Not only do we get a set of well rounded characters that you can instantly connect with, you also get this captivating story of five individuals that were once all friends but have drifted apart. 

Justine, Rory, Nate, Felix and Keira were all hand picked at five years old to star in an up and coming documentary called Five to Six. Little did they know that, that little film would shoot them into stardom. The directors Leslie and Lance Rodgers decided to make it a four part series and film every five years until the kids turn twenty-one. When they filmed Five to Eleven we got a glimpse of where their friendship were and where they were at that point in time. Five years later Leslie and Lance are back to continue their story, but a lot has changed since they were all eleven. Justine and Rory have had a falling out, same goes for Nate and Felix. They have all grown apart and barely know each other now. We follow their wonderful journey to finding themselves and getting to see their own lives through the lens this time. 

You Look Different in Real Life actually made me question many things. Such as: What has changed in the last five years? A lot. Are you still friends with the people you were once close with back then? Not really. Did you live up to what you thought you would be doing? That one is still pretty much up in the air because whenever I get asked "Where do you see yourself in five years?" I honestly never know how to answer it because you never really know. You have to live your life in the now and just enjoy the ride. 

You Look Different in Real Life is an impressively, beautiful, well written story that you can get lost in for days. Not only does Castle's writing style draw you in from the very beginning, but she also manages to capture what these five individuals once were and now are. Five totally different stories are woven into one so effortlessly that you can't help diving in head first and getting lost in this incredible story.


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