Elisquared's Reviews > The Difference Between You and Me

The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
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's review
Jun 30, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: contemporary, fiction, glbt, politics, romance, ya-middle-grade
Recommended for: Political Activists and Underdog Supporters
Read from May 13 to 16, 2012

I am an advocate for LGBT literature of all kinds, but especially within the young adult realm. During this time, teens are trying to figure out who they are, and not having such a huge part of the population represented is doing a disservice and promoting discrimination. Each teen should be able to find a reflection of themselves within the books that they read, and that's why The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George is so fantastic!

The book follows the story of two girls; Jesse is the outcast who acts out to try and make a statement. Emily is the popular girl working to be the perfect future business woman of America. They couldn't be more different, but they secretly meet every Tuesday for a hot and heavy make-out session. But they never acknowledge each other at school. This "relationship" changes over the course of the book into something neither girl saw coming.

I'm going to say it out right, there aren't many lesbian YA books out there. This is sad considering that even within a minority certain groups are another minority. But George does an amazing job brining this story, and these characters, to life. Jesse and Emily are good examples of queer (which I'm using instead of lesbian, as Emily never identifies) characters without being cliches. Each is dynamic and round, creating a whole person rather than a stereotype.

While the character interaction is what makes the story sing, I thought the most interesting part of the book was the writing. There are 3 point of views the story is told from: Jesse, Emily, and Esther, a girl who befriends Jesse at the beginning of the book. Emily's and Esther's chapters are told in 1st person, while Jesse's chapters are told in 3rd person. Now you may think that odd considering Jesse is the antagonist of the book. But after my intial surprise, I actually came to appreciate the difference. I think that George uses the 3rd person to distance Jesse for the reader, so we may experience her whole change, and the 1st person is used for Emily and Esther because they don't change. Being able to see the whole change helps the reader relate.

Overall, I really loved the book. It was really thought provoking, both politically and emotionally. The writing was crisp and original, often making me laugh, and I really liked all the characters. Madeleine George did an excellent job crafting an authentic story in The Difference Between You and Me, and I'm looking forward to reading more of her books!

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Reading Progress

05/14/2012 page 109

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