Saturday, July 13, 2013

You Look Different in Real Life....but you still look like a great book!

Book:  You Look Better in Real Life
Author:  Jennifer Castle
Publisher:  Harper Teen
Date:  Now available
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A

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.

Initial reaction
Another fabulous book!  If I had this streak in Vegas, I’d be rich!!!

Cover story
I like this cover.  It just shows a girl thinking.  It’s perfect.  I think the title captures the whole idea of the novel as well.  Hooray!

What’s the Story?
I’m starting to get worried.  I’ve read so many good books this year that I am just waiting for a real stink bomb to show up.  Thank goodness, this was NOT a stink bomb!  In fact, this book was just the opposite.  This book made me laugh and cry and feel so good!

I think this is a great book for our time.  With so much reality TV around, it’s easy to caught up in what happens without thinking about the effect it may have on the people being filmed.  I think this book did a good job of showing what it might be like to be those people.  I mean, everyone has seen people break down or be treated meanly in these shows, but does anyone ever stop to think about how those people feel about stuff when the cameras stop rolling?  I loved that this book gave us those inside glimpses into what happened.

This book is about kids being filmed in documentaries, but really it’s about the ties that bind us together.  These kids had all grown apart.  They suffered from all sorts of miscommunications and misunderstandings, but they always had that connection that the film gave them.  It was great to see that when it really mattered, they all came together to help out one of their own.

This was a very heartwarming book for me.  I really grew to love these characters, especially Justine.  Her voice was very compelling.  I enjoyed watching her grow into herself in the book.  She really was a wonderful character.  I liked the other characters as well, although I wish we had gotten to know Keira a little better.

Another thing I really enjoyed is that even though there wasn’t tons of action in this book, I still felt that I could not turn the pages fast enough.  I felt so connected to these characters that I really wanted everything to work out for them.

I really, really enjoyed this book.  It wasn’t overly angst-filled, but I think it addressed a very relevant topic by showing the other side of reality shows and what they can do to the people who are in them.  I also thought that the premise was an interesting way to show a group of teenagers going through a lot of common adolescent issues.  I think that teen readers will really identify with these characters.

The Soundtrack

We’re Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes

Home by One Republic

It’s Time by Imagine Dragons

I’ll Stand By You by The Pretenders

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  I think it’s interesting, relevant and relatable.  What more could you want in a book?

I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.  I received no compensation, financial or otherwise, for this review.  Not even an offer to do my own reality TV show.

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