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You Look Different in Real Life

3.67  ·  Rating details ·  1,943 ratings  ·  338 reviews
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 d
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published June 4th 2013 by HarperTeen
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Trina (Between Chapters)
Really interesting premise of documentaries following a group of kids every 5 years to show them growing up. I enjoyed the theme of these characters having grown apart over the years, and reconnecting during the book. But I don't think the way the plot was laid out did very much for the documentary premise.

The characters were diverse - white, Latinx, Black/biracial, gay, disabled. I wasn't sure how I felt about the portrayal of autism, so I'll refer you to this great review by Disability in Kidl
4. 5 stars

You Look Different in Real Life was just such a fresh read. With all these reality shows around following celebrities around 24/7, you would expect You Look Different in Real Life to follow a similar sort of route, well I certainly did. But no You Look Different in Real Life ended up being such a brilliant nostalgic read.

I remember when I was studying Sociology at college and watching a similar sort of documentary where it followed the lives of a class from a young age and checked back
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Thank you HarperTeen for sending me this copy. No compensation was given or taken to alter this review.

'This is not a soap opera, folks. This is my life. And if is absolutely, positively as unamazing as you can get.'

Sometimes I wonder how on world can I conjure up enough words into a review. The answer is simple, really: A lot was happening on the novel. Unlike others, You Look Different In Real Life for me was a rather bland ride, only exploring a few idea
Faye, la Patata
An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review. No money or any form of transaction was exchanged.

You Look Different in Real Life is the prime example why I do not want to partake in the activities of Facebook anymore, where people post everything about their lives, including the mundane and who-cares stuff, for the entire world to see and scrutinize and for people comme moi to ridicule (just kidding). I do not condone activities where the private and vulnerable moments of people are made
Disability in Kidlit
Review written by Corinne Duyvis for Disability in Kidlit. Follow us for more MG/YA reviews from a disabled perspective!

For someone who always crows about wanting to read/see more autistic characters, I’ve actually read embarrassingly few books fitting that criterion. I’m continually hampered by the size of my TBR pile, deadlines, and an assortment of other issues, and usually only come across autistic characters by accident.

So when author Jennifer Castle offered to send me a copy of her latest
2 Out 5 "A little too much Y and not enough A" Stars

While You Look Different in Real Life wasn't really for me, I think for a younger audience it may work. The only reason I listened to this in the first place is for a reading challenge (I needed a narrator whose name started with a Q).

Overall, for me, the characters were not memorable and it was really difficult for me to see where this story was going. Ultimately, there is a message there and that's why the ending is the only part that got a
I'm sure why I liked this so much. It certainly wasn't the protagonist, Justine. She was such a jerk. I know she's a teenager and teenagers are angsty and annoying, but something just wouldn't let me use that as an excuse. She was very woe is me despite everyone telling her how great she is and how she's the lynch pin for most of the book. Her pity party was pretty unbearable.

But despite Justine's terrible attitude, I found myself fully engrossed in the story and not able to look away. I wanted
Shanyn (Chick Loves Lit)
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow, src2013
On a vacation two years ago, I read Jennifer Castle's debut THE BEGINNING OF AFTER. I thought it only appropriate to bring her sophomore book YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE along with me on vacation this year, and I'm glad I did because I was able to pass it along to two different girls after I was finished, all while gushing about how much I truly loved it.

Full Review:
Charlotte  Black
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read The Beginning of After and loved the way that Castle has you thinking about the characters all the way through. So when I had the chance of reading this one I jumped at it.

Castle has a unique gift of providing us with characters that somehow fit into a category. But their personalities are not at all what you would expect and when it comes to teenagers of sixteen and seventeen with all the baggage that comes with teens these days I think she got this one spot on.

So Justine, Keira, Rory, F
Sarah  (sarahandherbookshelves)
Source: Edelweiss

I read You Look Different in Real life in less than 24 hours. You Look Different in Real life tells us the story of Justine and how when she was 6 and 11 she took part of a documentary along with four other children. Five years have passed once again and there are plans of making a documentary of their lives at 16. Justine at first is against this idea as her life has not how she pictured it to be. She also does not speak to the other participants in the documentary other than
Review first appeared on my blog: Book Addict 24-7

I received a copy from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle is a young adult contemporary novel that plays with the popular themes of life viewed through a camera lens--Reality Television--and shows us just how stressful and unglamorous the lifestyle might truly be, especially when you're a teenager trying to figure out not only who you are, but who you think the world wants you to be.

Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Dear Jennifer Castle,

How’d you do it? The stuff in here has me flashing back to my teenage self. You’ve got me thinking you must have been in my head back then. Because despite the subject of reality TV stars being far from my reality (anyone’s reality, actually,) you’ve managed to make them all feel real.

Justine especially, echoes so many of the thoughts that at one point or other were mine. Thoughts on longing, on guilt, on dissatisfaction, on being burdened, and even on being resentful for t
Brandi Kosiner
Nov 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Tee loves Kyle Jacobson
You Look Different In Real Life is one of those books that takes you by surprise. I have to say the idea of a documentary following kids around and seeing how they grow and what happens to them at the age of 6 then 11 and then when they are teenagers at 16 is an interesting concept. When I read the blurb of this book I was hooked. I can't imagine being in the spotlight at the most crucial times in a child's life. The Documentary is called Five at six/eleven/sixteen.

I have to say that I really lo
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Jan 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Even though my schedule is totally packed with books to read, I couldn't resist taking this one on because I loved the concept so much. And while it didn't completely blow me away, You Look Different in Real Life is a solidly written, emotional novel that delves beautifully into teens whose lives were dramatically changed by being caught on camera - both in good and bad ways.

The story is that Justine, Rory, Felix, Keira, and Nate were all kids who were placed together at the same kindergarten ta
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps

Justine and four of her classmates are part of a documentary Five At that followed the kids at age 6, 11 and are now shooting the 16-year-olds. The teens have grown apart and filmmakers want to reestablish their bond. The group includes: Rory, Justine's former best friend, who has Aspergers, the aloof Keira, golden boy Nate and his former best friend Felix who's hiding a secret.

I had a difficult time warming up to Justine as she continually chose silence over kindness and went against h
Elle (ellexamines)
3 stars. There are genuinely heart-wrenching parts of this book, but it ends up as just another romantic contemporary novel.

The Two Things That Could've Saved This Book
And, why they lacked here

1. Better thematic work. This was a boring take on a good premise. There's no clear thesis, but the book doesn't explore the issues of privacy deeply enough to get away with the lack of thesis.

2. Better character arcs. There are five interesting characters here, yet none of them have clear point A to poi
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Jennifer Castle has to be one of the most underrated YA authors. I never see people read her books but once you check out the reviews for her work, you'll see how much readers connect with her characters and storylines. ...more
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads
My goodness gracious. I am completely taken by surprise. I don't know what I was expecting, but I didn't think it would be laughter, tears, and such a full heart. Loved!

- - - - -

Review originally published on Rather Be Reading:

Have you ever misjudged a book? Maybe just thought it would tell a different story than what you read? When I began reading You Look Different in Real Life, I expected something a bit more light-hearted that I would breeze through. I stopped reading book summaries a few m
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bea
Justine is used to people recognizing her, acting like they know here even if they're strangers. That's what happens when your childhood is filmed as part of an award-winning documentary.

It started when Justine was six. She was filmed with four other students in her kindergarten class. Then again when she turned eleven.

Justine is sixteen now and it's time for Lance and Leslie to come back for another film. But Justine doesn't want anything to do with it.

She can see why Lance and Leslie picked th
Mar 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Read more reviews at What Danielle Did Next

Reality TV is depending on what side of the fence you stand on is either great entertainment or the very worst of media's many faces. Either way it can't be denied that there is something fascinating about getting an insider look into people's lives. The mundane becomes the must-see.

YOU LOOK DIFFERENT IN REAL LIFE tells the story of five kids, first filmed at six, then eleven and now the producers are back to catch up with the cast at 16. In the five ye
Judyth (Geeky Reading)
Feb 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own

When I saw this at the book store, a while before the release date, I wasn’t sure if I wanted it, mainly because of what I’d thought of Castle’s first book, The Beginning of After. But it sounded good, as I’m usually attracted to books with media-related themes. So I decided to give her another chance, see if I liked this one more. And I am really glad that I decided to get it, because I was pleasantly surprised with this book.

Justine, one of five kids who were chosen to be in this documenta
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
**4/4.5 stars**

Originally posted at:

It’s sad to say that I’ve had this book on my shelf for WAY too long. I borrowed this from one of my best friends and fellow book blogger, Richa (City of Books) – I’m so sorry for keeping this too long! – and unfortunately because there was never a good time, I kept putting off reading it. I HAVE SO MANY REGRETS. This book was amazing. Nay, it was awesome. You Look Different in Real Life had the right amount of humour,
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I couldn't help but be drawn to the concept of You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle. In our era of "reality" TV, to take a look at the story of some one who is put in the position of having their life filmed is brilliant. My only fear was that Castle would not do her idea the justice it deserves. No worries. This is an excellent novel.

First person present tense narration is not my favorite. I don't despise it, but I find it
Jan 23, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2013, fiction
When the documentary series started, Justine was young enough to not recognize how it would impact her life. Five kids living their lives, with a film crew checking in on them every five years. It was fine when they were in kindergarten, but now that they’re sixteen? Things are different, and the close-knit group is no longer all that close–or even speaking to each other. So when the camera crew shows up and expects a story, Justine and the other teens struggle to give them what they want. But t ...more
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it

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 Lan
Aug 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, ya
3.5 starts
They started off in kindergarten sitting in tiny chairs, getting to know each other, capturing their lives behind the telephoto lens. Five children at ages six and eleven, they made documentaries capturing their lives, splashing it up on the big screen making celebrities out of such small humans. Now at age 16, they are back on the scene, hoping to capture the five teens but these teen’s lives are far from what the directors are craving. The collaboration they once had, the unity they
Nov 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had heard many great things about Jennifer Castle’s first novel The Beginning of After, but with so much to read already, I never got around to reading it. When You Look Different in Real Life came out though, I was immediately intrigued by the premise. With its theme of “docu-reality”, I expected a drama-filled teenage story, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover a quiet, more character-centered story.

Though we follow the story through Justine’s narration, we get a great look on the four
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If you have Young Adult literature fans in your family, or you're a YA reader yourself, I recommend you pick up a copy of Jennifer Castle's new book, You Look Different in Real Life as part of your summer reading list. The novel explores the dynamics among five youth who are featured in a documentary series together: they were first filmed back in kindergarten at age 6, then filmed at age 11, and now, age 16. The narrator, Justine, feels and notices everything, and the way she reacts to whatever ...more
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Jennifer Castle received her B.A. in Creative Writing at Brown University and worked as a celebrity publicist’s assistant, an advertising copywriter, and a struggling screenwriter (yes, that’s an actual job) before falling into a niche producing websites for kids and teens. Her debut, THE BEGINNING OF AFTER, was a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults selection as well as a Chicago Public Libra ...more

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