Tuesday, May 28, 2013
ARC Review: You Look Different in Real Life
You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle
Scheduled to release June 4
Source: Received an e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
I remember seeing Castle's debut work, The Beginning of After, when it released but never quite being able to squeeze it into my review schedule although I remember interested in reading it. Thus I made it a priority to check out her newest release in a timely fashion.
For starters, the premise is quite cool. At the age of six, five kids were chosen for a documentary. A follow-up film was created when they were eleven, causing significant fallout. Now the kids are sixteen and the documentarians are trying to cajole them into a third film with mounting pressure from the people funding them. Of course, after ten years, a lot has changed for the kids who are no longer friends, who barely speak and who have a lot of secrets.
The first thing I noticed about the book was how main character Justine held back elements of their story, leaving me feeling pretty confused and frustrated. I like knowing things and I don't really like waiting. Eventually most of my questions were answered but I disliked how drawn out things were up to then.
The second thing I noticed was the diversity of the characters: the five kids were chosen for their different personalities and backgrounds and that carries through the entire book. Justine misses the bright and witty self who won over audiences in the first two films; Nate has remade himself into the golden boy; Felix is jealous of Nate's easy charm; Keira's mom abandoned the film in the interim; and Rory's diagnosis on the autism spectrum has cost her the friendship of Justine. These are just one side of the characters and I mostly enjoyed getting to know them although they (mostly Justine as the narrator) also annoyed me many times. She just felt so sorry for herself instead of actually doing anything.
The highlight of the book was a long string of chapters toward the end when the five must come together to help one of their own-this is over the course of one epic night in the city and it shows a tremendous amount of character growth with all five having something major happen to them or realizing something important. I just felt that the beginning was a bit slow and not entirely necessary before we got to this good stuff.
Cover: I think this girl looks like Aubrey Plaza (April on "Parks and Recreation). This pleases me and helps make up for the huge font over face, which is not my favorite kind of cover.
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