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You Look Different in Real Life
Cover of You Look Different in Real Life
You Look Different in Real Life
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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 YA novel You Look Different in Real Life. Justine...
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...
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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 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.

About the Author-

  • Jennifer Castle's first novel, The Beginning of After, was named an American Library Association Best Fiction for Young Adults selection and a Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Book. She wrote many unproduced movie and TV scripts before returning to her first love, fiction . . . but she's still hooked on film and the way we can find and tell our stories with images. She lives with her family in New York's Hudson Valley.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    May 6, 2013
    When Justine was six years old, she and four classmates were chosen to star in a series of documentaries filmed every five years to trace their changing personalities, interests, and concerns (the premise clearly owes to the Up series of films that have followed a group of British children until adulthood since 1964). Now it’s time to make the third installment, and 16-year-old Justine, having mixed feelings about her celebrity status, isn’t sure she wants to take part. After some coaxing, she reluctantly agrees, but she has no idea that the filming of her all-too-mundane life will lead her and the other participants on an unforgettable journey. In a sudden act of rebellion, the five decide to dismiss the director’s plans and take the recording in a new direction. Although the story is told from Justine’s perspective, her four classmates are equally complex and interesting, with deep personal conflicts. Castle (The Beginning of After) succeeds in providing suspense and drama as each character’s emotional baggage is unpacked on and off the screen. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jamie Weiss Chilton, Andrea Brown Literary Agency.

  • Kirkus

    April 15, 2013
    Five teens linked by a documentary following their lives reunite to film a third installment. As 6-year-olds, they became easy friends, playing dress-up, watching cartoons and trying to stay quiet enough to win a prize from the kindergarten treasure box. At 11, their lives were more complicated. Autism, the loss of a parent and bullying are all caught on tape. When the filmmakers return five years later, the five barely speak to one another. Felix feels invisible. Nate is big man on campus. Keira is coldly beautiful. Rory is an awkward loner. Justine, the star of the first two movies, drifts without purpose. The reunion promises, for better or worse, to change everything. Multiple storylines and characters are slowly revealed through snippets from the films as well as Justine's memories. The five teens are well-rounded and interesting. Unfortunately, the story is unnecessarily complicated by a too-big cast and throwaway characters. Additionally, Justine's abrupt change from hating the camera to loving its voyeuristic power feels false. The story lags in the middle, making pacing an issue. In spite of these glitches, Castle's individual scenes shine. Unfortunately, the sum of the parts does not equal a whole. Clever premise, uneven execution. (Fiction. 13 & up)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    July 1, 2013

    Gr 8 Up-Ten years ago, five kindergarteners and their ordinary lives were the subject of a documentary. Five years later, they were featured in a second documentary. Now they're 16 and it's time to once again be in front of the camera. Many changes have occurred since the last time they were filmed: Rory's been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder; former best friends Nate, who has reinvented himself as a cool jock, and Felix no longer speak; Keira, whose worst memory was caught on film, is a member of the popular group; and Justine, the break-out "star" of the two earlier films, feels that she's no longer interesting and hasn't accomplished all she had hoped to. The producers struggle to find usable footage and resort to staging some scenes, which in previous years was unnecessary. A team-building weekend ensues, which Keira uses to further her own agenda. While the book starts off slow and a bit tedious, it becomes much more interesting and exciting around the time of the bonding weekend. This novel is an interesting look at difficult subjects, such as autism, homosexuality, and friendship. A perfect fit for fans of Siobhan Vivian, Deb Caletti, and Sara Zarr.-Melissa Stock, Arapahoe Library District, Englewood, CO

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The Horn Book

    "This provocative novel explores what makes observing strangers fumbling through life so addictively entertaining-and so eye-opening, too."

  • Publishers Weekly

    "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."

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "The five teens are well-rounded and interesting. Castle's individual scenes shine."

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