Publication date: 1st March 2009
My rating: 3 out of 5
Feeling left out since her long-time best friend started a serious relationship, sixteen-year-old Emily looks forward to a summer program at the Philadelphia College of Art but is not sure she is up to the challenges to be faced there, including finding herself and learning to balance life and art.
Same Difference is a sweet if a little predictable story of Emily a shy but down to earth girl who lives in the affluent suburbs and has had the same best friend Meg since childhood. She signs up for a summer Art programme in Philadelphia and finds herself completely adrift when she gets there, the art kids are cool, have opinions on everything and can throw phrases like "abstract representation" around like pros's. (I don't know what it means either) Emily finds herself taken under the wing of Fiona a confident and cool artist who chalks shadows on the street and starts to open Emily's eyes to the world of Art.
I felt quite sorry for Emily throughout the book, she's in limbo land: she has outgrown the predictable and samey suburbs but doesn't quite have a strong enough personality to keep up with the arty crowd in the city. She starts to really look and notice things around her especially in her sweet but very lame home town, starts to dress a bit differently and even tries different food under Fiona's influence but ends up consumed by her very overpowering new friend to the point she even trashes her own bedroom in the name of art.Ultimately she is really just trying to fit in to another world.
It all comes to ahead as Emily's artistic talent actually surpasses Fiona's which she doesn't exactly take very well. Emily finds herself completely adrift form her old friend Meg that she has outgrown and her new friend Fiona.
Overall, Same Difference was an enjoyable quick read even if it was a tad predictable. Nice way to spend a rainy morning though.