You Look Different in Real Life

You Look Different in Real Life

3.66 (1,978 ratings by Goodreads)
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Readers of John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Laurie Halse Anderson will be touched by the emotional depth and realistic characters of Jennifer Castle's teen 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 funny, You Look Different in Real Life is an affecting novel about life in an age where the lines between what's personal and what's public aren't always clear.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 368 pages
  • 146 x 216 x 31mm | 435g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0061985813
  • 9780061985812
  • 1,217,719

Back cover copy

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.
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Review quote

"Although the story is told from Justine's perspective, her four classmates are equally complex and interesting, with deep personal conflicts. Castle succeeds in providing suspense and drama as each character's emotional baggage is unpacked on and off the screen."--Publishers Weekly
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Rating details

1,978 ratings
3.66 out of 5 stars
5 22% (429)
4 36% (712)
3 31% (622)
2 9% (171)
1 2% (44)

Our customer reviews

I liked Justine and connected with her right away, I felt confused for the first part of the book. I knew the premise but it just felt like everyone was going around knowing something that I didn't. Why Justine had changed, why she felt like such a disappointment, and what had changed at school. But I think that was the whole point. Because as you get into the story, Justine remembers the moments as the film crew is there again, and things all begin to fit together. One of the themes is that Justine is disappointed, and it comes out as anger. She is disappointed that she didn't live up to what her eleven year old self thought she would be. But then she begins to see what is special about her, what makes everyone special. That we all have a story to tell. It may not be one that makes millions, and then again, maybe we aren't looking at it the right way. But I loved each moment where something clicked for her. Where she realizes that it is okay to change, that she needs to love who she has become, and that she can always start working for another goal again. Another theme is friendship. How it can change or how some relationships just reach an end, whether natural or by a fight or other circumstances. I liked watching her with Felix, seeing how they encourage one another, how a true friendship should be and what we should strive for. Then there are the others that ended, and how Justine deals with the parts that were her fault. There was one part near the end where they were all together and had went through a lot, and she said that they helped make each other whole. They realized more about themselves and life by being together. The characters are all fleshed out well, and the pacing was good. The ending wrapped things up really well and I enjoyed the story overall. Bottom Line: A refreshing premise that delivers emotion, and shows the lives of characters that were changed both positively and negatively by being on more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
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