Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Same Difference by Siobhan Vivian (Review)

Same Difference
Siobhan Vivian. Scholastic Inc, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-00407-7

Emily Thompson is getting out of her South Jersey suburb to take art classes at a pre-college summer program in Philly. Detaching herself from her best friend Meg is not easy, especially when Emily has difficulty making friends at art school because she's more J.Crew than vintage. But as Emily's confidence grows in part because of her friendship with the fearless Fiona, and Meg's relationship with her boyfriend deepens, the girls naturally distance themselves from each other. Emily revels in her new persona; crashing art gallery openings and flirting with the teaching assistant. Yet having new friends does not mean giving up the loyal ones left behind, and Emily eventually realizes that not everyone is who they pretend to be. Vivian's talent is that she writes about very realistic and relatable teen experiences without being cliche. Teen girls in particular will be able to see themselves in this novel. Whether they identify with the attention-seeking Fiona or the slightly introverted Emily; they will no doubt find company in their own struggles with friendship, love, and self-expression. Vivian (A Little Friendly Advice) writes with intriguing insight, reliving those stressful and often confusing moments of adolescence where everything mattered so much.