From the Publisher
Praise for SAME DIFFERENCE:
“Readers who have wondered, 'Are these the friends and the life I want to have?' will see themselves reflected in Emily's achingly real struggles, heartbreaks and triumphs.” KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review
“Vivian finds the true voice of every character, even those who aren't truthful.” AKRON BEACON JOURNAL
“[Vivian's] talent for scene-setting and evocative imagery is especially effective for a story about a girl just discovering her eye as an artist and herself as a person.” PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
Emily's life reeks of the ordinary: she lives in suburban New Jersey in a posh gated community and hangs out at Starbucks with her friends in a town where "most of the buildings are old, and if they're not, they're eventually made to look that way." When Emily heads to Philadelphia for a summer art institute-complete with an eclectic cast of funky classmates and one dreamy teaching assistant-she faces the classic teen dilemma of whether to choose the familiar over the new and exciting, while figuring out who she really is: Emily from Cherry Grove or Emily the aspiring artist? ("I look like two halves of two different people mashed together," she reflects during a trip to the beach. "Is it possible to be a poseur in both worlds?") Vivian (A Little Friendly Advice) serves up the story with vivid description and dialogue; the author's talent for scene-setting and evocative imagery is especially effective for a story about a girl just discovering her eye as an artist and herself as a person. Ages 12-up. (Mar.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal
Emily has it all: a perfect house, a BFF who lives across the street, and a neighborhood Starbucks that serves the girls twin frozen mochas before they order. When Emily enrolls in a summer art program in Philadelphia, what could go wrong? The fact that very little does happen is part of the problem here. The teen and her life are just a tad too sunny to be real. She navigates her way through the big city, the artsy crowd, an edgy new friend, creative demands, and a forbidden first love. All this is a refreshing change from her scripted suburban life. She dumps her best friend for the excitement of it all. Some of Emily's choices, the people she trusts, and the circles in which she travels are just plain dumb-even for a naive and sheltered kid. She works as hard to reshape herself as she does to create her art. And all to great success. There are no major crises here, just affluent coming-of-age stuff. The edgy artist, Fiona, whom Emily befriends, is the most interesting character and she fades out of the story. The premise of Emily's potential, her creative talents, and her spirit of growth and risk-taking are all well and good. It's the small conflicts that never seem satisfyingly resolved that makes Emily's near misses and great luck feel contrived and sugarcoated.-Alison Follos, North Country School, Lake Placid, NY