This is Emily’s last summer of high school (she’ll be a senior in September) and it’s going to be her first summer apart from her best friend Megan. Emily will be taking some classes at the Philadelphia College of Fine Art. Since her town of Cherry Grove, NJ is within commuting-distance to the college, she won’t be living away, but she’ll be on campus three days a week. She’s super excited to get out of her town for a while, but she also has mixed feelings leaving her best friend, with whom she’s felt some distance since Meg got serious with boyfriend Rick. When Emily arrives at the school, she’s overwhelmed by the “coolness” of many of her classmates, and she’s instantly intrigued by and attracted to Yates, the off-limits teaching assistant in her first drawing class. Emily begins to get caught up in her art school world, especially when Fiona starts to pay attention to her. Fiona isn’t afraid to stand out in a crowd, and Emily suddenly craves to be rid of her small-town, good-girl routine.
Emily isn’t entirely convincing, and it’s obvious how the author wants readers to feel about her characters, as well as how to view “Cherry Grove,” but Same Difference is a pretty quick read with a handful of twists and turns, and readers might end up cluing in sooner rather than later to what’s important in their own lives, and in themselves.
Recommended to girls who like art, relationships, or getting out of town.
Call number: YA VIVIAN (Teen Room)
Reviewed by kate the librarian.