Emily is ready for a change. She's been in the same town with the same friends for a long time...and none of them really understand her art. But when she goes to Philadelphia for a summer art institute, she suddenly finds like-minded people. One in particular, Fiona, intrigues and challenges her. But there are some things Emily is going to have to find out for herself -- like what the balance is between life and art, and which is more important when push comes to shove.
Same Difference is one of those books I've been waiting to find. I've for years tried to find a book about the life of a young artist and what it's like to discover your creative potential. I think I've found that in Same Difference.
Same Difference really made me reflect on my life as an artist so far. It exhibits a lot of the struggles people can face. Living up to the potential you so desperately want to have or discovering that you even have the potential or the passion. It's all illustrated through the characters in Same Difference.
The main character Emily, is one of those girls that discovers almost by accident one day that they like art and might not be too bad at it. She is perfectly balanced out by fellow classmate Fiona who has always lived the life of an artist, she knows she's an artist and wants desperately to prove to everyone what a genius she is, there is no other way. I loved seeing the artistic journey through both Emily and Fiona.
I thought it was really honest and real to see Emily struggle over her friendship with best friend from home Meg. Emily changes so drastically while in summer school trying to find herself, she struggles to find any common ground with Meg who is at home spending her summer with her boyfriend. Will they still be able to be friends at the end of the summer?
Another really interesting character is Yates, the student teacher and Emily's crush. He's not only fun to read about because of Emily's longings for him but for his insight into the life of a artist a year or two into school. He has some really interesting ideas about making a name, literally for yourself as an artist.
Most of the action inside of the classroom takes place in the drawing class or during field trips. We see Emily a few times in her Mixed Media class(?) away from the other students like Fiona and her posse. I would have really enjoyed seeing Emily more in that environment to contrast it with when she was with those other students.
I think Same Difference is a wonderfully unique story of finding yourself as an artist and as a person. I would highly recommend it to anyone that is interested in the arts or self discovery in general.
Same Difference was released on March 1st.
Genre: Young Adult
Review copy provided by publisher