Monday, June 3, 2013

4.75 stars: You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

"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."

Expected publication: June 4th 2013 by HarperTeen. I received a digital ARC of this story.

I hate admitting when a book has made me cry; probably because I'm embarrassed or something. The thing is, when writing a review, it helps to be as honest as possible and say everything you think about it and how it made you feel. So here it is... I cried a lot. At first, most of it was out of sadness, because the book is so well-written and you can just feel the pain that all the characters are feeling. It's so palpable and realistic. The author so clearly had the characters express teen angst, jealousy, hurt, and loneliness. But later, I was crying because of good things that were happening to the characters, and at the end I was crying because of the pride I felt for the main character Justine.

This tale is like a modern day Breakfast Club. You have five teens who are required to spend time together, but there is so much tension, emotions, and other feelings between them that have been causing conflict for the last five years. Then as the story progresses, they have to work through their issues and they become closer than ever. Someone on Twitter recently asked if there are any stories out there that focus on friendships instead of love, and this book does just that.

These characters are your typical teens. They have trouble enjoying their lives, because they feel that other people they know have it better than them, or in the case of the main character, she isn't who she thought she would be by the age of 16, and she feels like she's let herself and everyone else down. The teens learn what makes them special, and Justine still feels she hasn't found it at the end of the journey, but then it's pointed out that it was there right in front of her, and that others had seen it. The ending, which resulted in some very ugly crying on my part, is where Justine and the world see how amazing she is. Obviously, this is a book I would recommend that teenagers read since it will show them that they're not alone and it will give them hope that there is a place for them in the world.

I mentioned that this book is realistic; well, I meant every single detail. There are just these tiny things that are mentioned that are so true to life and help make this story the most relatable thing ever. "We sit in total silence now, Felix running his finger in strange patterns on the couch, making the microsuede change grain back and forth." I don't know about you, but I have done that a lot! That's just one of so many examples.

 To say that this book is well-written would be an understatement.

1 comment:

  1. I am, quite frankly, shocked that this book was good. Though there are a bunch of YA books that sound not too good and end up being pretty great. Hurray!