cover image Same Difference

Same Difference

Siobhan Vivian, . . Scholastic/Push, $17.99 (287pp) ISBN 978-0-545-00407-7

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.)