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young adult book reviews & more

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian

Same DifferenceEmily is searching for something real. Summer in her hometown of Cherry Hill doesn’t feel fun anymore as it should, especially since her best friend Meg got a boyfriend. So she decides to attend an art program in nearby Philadelphia. She figures that since she’s always liked drawing, this will be a chance to discover herself without everyone else’s expectations weighing her down. But is a change of scenery really all that Emily needs to forge her own identity? Because it seems like Emily keeps running into the same old problem with friendship, boys, and personal insecurities no matter where she goes.

As she did in her debut A Little Friendly Advice, Vivian crafts a realistic portrayal or life as a teen. Readesr will be swept up in Emily’s life, in all her awkwardness and struggles to define herself because of Vivian’s vivid writing. At some point, I stopped thinking of Emily as just a character and her life as just a story all due to how real Vivian makes Same Difference seem, and this made me care about Emily even more. Vivian does a fantastic job of capturing a point in a young woman’s life where nothing is definite and personal identity is just beginning to blossom in a way I was especially able to relate to. The incorporation of art only adds another dimension of depth to Emily. I truly enjoyed the juxtaposition of Emily’s city life versus her life in suburbia, including the friendship spites and boy troubles, because it demonstrated in a way that humanity with all its blessings and flaws is universal and that escape can’t define who you are.

Fans of Vivian’s fantastic first novel A Little Friendly Advice, as well as Readers who enjoy Lisa Yee, Courtney Summers, Sarah Dessen, and Deb Caletti, will most definitely want to check out her latest. Readers who like Vivian’s writing will likely want to check out A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell, which will be released early April.

Rating: 4.75

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

9 munch(es) :

madison said...

I really want to read this, even though I wasn't crazy about A Little Friendly Advice.

Lenore said...

The search for identity is one of my favorite themes in literature and the art element sounds like just my thing.

Polo.Pony said...

This looks like a really good book. Thank you for the review!

towerofbooks said...

Great review. I've been wanting to read this.

Bookworm said...

It sounds great, as does Vivian's first book--great review, too! (:

Carol(ina) said...

I nominated you for the Your Blog is Fabulous award! :)

http://bookluver-carol.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-blog-is-fabulous-or-so-ive-been-told.html

BTW this sounds like a great book!

Em said...

I have a copy of this and I've been wanting to read it. Just have to whittle down the stack. :)

taylormorris said...

I'm a big Siobhan Vivian fan. I think she writes spot-on about the complicated nature of girls' friendships. She does it again with Same Difference, and now I'm already eagerly awaiting her next book!

Jen said...

I want to read this.

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