Meh. I don't love it, but I don't hate it. I think it would be eye catching to readers.
Why I Wanted to Read This:
It came in a box of new books I had ordered for my library and it was just so shiny, and I liked the title. I couldn't remember what it was about so I read this inside blurb and then the first few pages. Hooked me right in! Here is the synopsis from GoodReads:
For the rest of the world, the movies are entertainment. For Justine, they're real life.Romance?: Yes, a little bit. But it is not the focus of the book.
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.
Here is why I LOVE these kind of books. I see girls all the time that assume that people don't like them so they never reach out. So because they aren't nice, people aren't nice either, because if you are a teenager, you normally aren't the first one to be nice. But then it validates the first girl's thoughts. And they get such a big chip on their shoulder that they can't even think it might be coming from them. That people would be friends or at least friendly, if you are friendly too. I seriously had an 8th grade girl who felt all blonde girls were mean. I am sure there was blonde in her past who was mean, or she just got that impression from all the movies and books who make blondes out to be mean girls. So, when she moved into my school she wouldn't give any blonde, cute girls the time of day. And because she wasn't friendly, they weren't and it validated her feelings.
You'd think in this story Justine would know that the way people are perceived by others is rarely the way they are, after all, that is the story of her life! But she is so withdrawn and almost angry that she looks at some of the others that were int he movies with her--namely Nate and Keira--and just assumes that they don't want to be her friends. She judges them exactly as she hates others judge her.
Justine has such a huge chip on her shoulder. It drives me crazy when characters in books say things like, "I don't know how popularity works." It's so self-pitying. And the way she mopes around in the first few chapters makes me really wonder why she would have ever been the one to shine on camera.
However, it wouldn't be such a good book if Justine didn't make some major changes and she does. she learned a lot about herself and the others in the movie and she grows and changes. This is why I loved the book. Justine's path seemed natural and true to the story. Everyone had something big to reveal or overcome and most of the obstacles acme about because of the second movie. It was like they were all stuck back at eleven. The author did a great job leading us on their journey and I enjoyed going along for the ride!
To Sum Up: Great teen book that could teach a lot of readers something about judging others from afar and allowing yourself to open up to possibilities!