All tagged Jennifer Castle

Big-Ass (Belated) 2014 Summer Reading List

I started writing this post in May. Oops.

I always like to put together a highly-aspirational list of the books I'd like to read over the summer. My schedule is a bit more flexible, in theory, and so I hope for chunks of time to read. I don't really think there's a particular type of book that makes a "summer read," though I know for a lot of folks that's not the case. 

My list of 20 books (I'm so not getting to all of these--let me know if you've read any of them so I can prioritize) and my comments are below. 

Click on the book cover image for more info.

Thought-Provoking, High-Concept - You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle

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

You Look Different in Real Life is a high concept novel, one that at face explores the experiences of five teens who are the subject of an ongoing series of Up-style documentaries, but at its core examines the way we construct identities, or identities are assigned to us. 

We see this experience through the eyes of sixteen year-old Justine, accidental star of a documentary series following five classmates at six, eleven and now sixteen. Leslie and Lance, the directors, have crafted a story for these children, and they each have played into their roles. Justine is sarcastic and rebellious; Felix has been cast as the working class kid (but he also has a secret); Rory is autistic and loves Ren Fair; Keira is elegant and distant; and Nathan is the popular Golden Boy. 

The fact that I go right to thinking about people a.k.a audiences makes me mad, and the fact that I don’t know how to change that makes me even madder. But what can I do?

The thing is, Justine doesn’t feel like the star anymore and has to be dragged into participating in Five at Sixteen by Felix, who dreams of being the focus of this edition of the series. As they reunite once again, the years of their lives being woven together become harder to avoid, and old pain bubbles to the surface once again.