Kiwi's Reviews > The Difference Between You and Me

The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
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Jul 13, 12

bookshelves: 2012

** spoiler alert ** This was meant as a throw-back to my various times of reading any sort of remotely lesbian literature I could find, especially if it included teenagers and/or baby-dykes. This one certainly hit the bill. I loved that it wasn't a coming out story; I've certainly read plenty of those, especially with teenage casts. It was lovely to read about a lesbian in high school who had been out for years--I don't read about that quite as often and I always love to because it's my story too, having come out at 13/14 (bisexual-and-then-gay).

I enjoyed the tale enough. It felt very high school in that not much actually seemed to be going on--let's face it, many high school experiences aren't extraordinarily plotty--but that it felt like a lot, with all these new feelings and realisations. It felt really organic for Jesse to be going from this activist-without-a-cause (not that Standing Up for the Weirdos isn't a cause, it's just not a very particular one, especially in high school) into an organised activist actually helping to host events. (And again, that may hit home for me because I went through a similar growth experience, although a bit earlier on.)

I was thrown by Jesse's POV being in third-person while Emily and Esther's were in first. Esther's, at least, I enjoyed; Emily's drove me mad. (Having been more of a Jesse in school with no extra attraction to the Emily's, that sort of POV does have the tendency to vex me.) That said, I have come across more high-school-preppy characters that I've come to like anyway; Emily just drove me mad. She seemed set on ignorance and tried to flat-out manipulate Jesse; despite talking about being "soul mates" and things like that, she didn't seem to have much regard for Jesse at all when it came down to it.

I quite enjoyed Esther, though, even if she was just another obvious stereotype. She was another one that I related to--I'm sort of an Esther/Jesse cross, and have been since mid-sophomore year (prior to that I was just a Jesse). I found her unflappable and quirky nature endearing. I loved her interactions with Jesse.

Wyatt, as another stereotype, made me laugh; I had a Wyatt of my own once upon a time.

Jesse's parents were glorious. I loved the bonding scenes over the bird-house, both her father and her mother.

I wasn't as disappointed with the little-wrapped-up ending as I thought I would be. I would have liked to have known if their campaign against the Big Evil Corporation (which I kept reading as StarMarket instead of StarMart :B) was successful - but that would have dragged the book out for another long time. I liked seeing Jesse break it off with Emily without seeing if any new sort of relationship would form between Jesse and Esther (and I would be pleased either way). It's also very high school to have things NOT come together in this perfectly rounded story arc, so I didn't mind reading it that way.

In the end it was a nice, quick and easy read with some substance and tender moments tucked inside even with the stereotypes, tropes and eye-rolling dialect. It's not a book I would go tell all my friends to read pronto, but if I saw one pick it up randomly and start flipping through, I'd smile.
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