(Amazon / Goodreads)
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.
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
My rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Overall, I enjoyed this book, but I had quite a few problems with it and am split on a lot of aspects, for example the main character, Emily. At times, she was so easy to relate to and understand, but at others I just wanted to shake her and make her stop imitating others and start being herself. Her journey was portrayed well, but in my opinion, Emily's progress in finding who she is happened too late in the book. At first, she imitates her friend Meg, and later, after going to art-school by herself, she imitates her new friend Fiona. That imitating Fiona instead of Meg was portrayed as progress, though, seemed wrong to me. Only in the very end does she try to be herself only.
I personally don't mind extremely self-conscious characters, but I've heard a lot of others say they're annoyed by main characters who are whiny and doubt themselves too much. If you don't like those kind of characters, this book isn't for you - there's a lot of whining and a lot of self-doubt. I don't usually mind that, though, as it's something I can relate to.
The other characters were okay. They were really well-written, but as people, both Meg and Fiona got on my nerves. How both of them blamed Emily and tried to manipulate her was annoying, especially from Fiona - she's supposed to be so different, but she can only be different if those around her like how she's different. I appreciated her character more, though, when we learned about her insecurities towards the ending.
The writing was great and vivid - it was so easy to imagine I was there with Emily, and teenage life was described realistically, both in her home-town and at the art-school. I loved how art was used to show Fiona's growth, and the aspect of the art was interesting in general.
The romance between Emily and Yates was okay. I loved Yates as a character, but I didn't like the romance as part of the main plot all that much. I would have preferred if Emily didn't have a love interest, as this would have helped her be only herself and not try to impress others as much.
Another problem I had with this novel was the predictability of the plot. From the first few chapters on, the reader knew (well, at least I did) how the storylines with Meg, Fiona, Yates, etc. were going to go, and except for the very end, there were no unexpected twists, which left me a little bored with some of the storylines.
Overall, this was an okay read. The writing was great, but the plot too predictable.If you like reading about insecure, self-doubting characters, you should read Same Difference, but if you're easily annoyed by those characters, I don't recommend this one for you.