Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Same Difference” as Want to Read:
Same Difference
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Same Difference

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  2,244 ratings  ·  257 reviews
When Derek Kirk Kim (The Eternal Smile) published his debut graphic novel back in 2003, it made an immediate stir. The story about a group of young people navigating adulthood and personal relationships is told with such sympathy and perception that the book was immediately hailed as an important new work.

Seven years later, it's clear that Same Difference has won a place a
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published December 6th 2011 by First Second (first published 2003)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Same Difference, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Josh Angel I'm not sure, but I can tell you that this is for mature audiences. …moreI'm not sure, but I can tell you that this is for mature audiences. (less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.68  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,244 ratings  ·  257 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Same Difference
Set in the Bay area, this is a memoir of Derek Kirk Kim. It tells of his time as a college student remembering running into mistakes he made during his high school years. He actually liked a blind student and because of being embarrassed what people would think of him, he did not go to a dance with her. He grapples with this aspect of himself.

It's a black and white comic and the art is good. It's humorous in a good way. The story is good and I enjoyed this little book. It was an interesting sto
Jan Philipzig
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a wonderful little book! Kirk Kim needs only eighty pages to tell a fully realized, subtly poetic coming-of-age story--one that features some of the most believable, compelling, and memorable characters I have come across in a while. Brilliantly conceived and beautifully executed, Same Difference fully deserves all those Eisner, Harvey, and Ignatz Awards it won.
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
About half way through this book, I realized that I'd actually read it before, probably in the original edition. But I remembered very little about it, so I kept on reading. Besides, it's very short. I can't remember what I thought of it the first time around, but I ended up with mixed feelings this time around. Kim's art is fantastic. The cover actually does a great job of showcasing it. And his characters and dialog are very natural and realistic. But I just found these people unlikable. Not e ...more
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: x
I’m a huge sucker when it comes to book presentations, covers, and displays. If done just right, a book’s “hello” or first impression can awe a reader even before opening the book. Pure magic when it happens!

Same Difference by Derek Kirk Kim possesses that kind of power. The beautiful and fun wonder of the moving fish bowl effect for the book’s jacket lured me right into the story. I was already happy!

Have you ever felt as if everyone around you changed and moved on, but you remained the same?
Oct 26, 2013 rated it liked it
Graphic novels are definitely outside My reading comfort zone. I decided to read this one (actually more of a novella) because it's one of the World Book Night 2014 selections.

I feel really unqualified to even attempt a review because I'm sure I'm supposed to appreciate how the illustrations propel the story, but I'm just too much of a word person. I want to create those visuals in my mind, so I have to sort of tap another part of my brain when I approach a graphic novel.

At its core, Same Diffe
Mariah Roze
Jul 31, 2016 rated it liked it
I received this book 2 years ago for free from the World Book Night U.S. And when I was looking on my self for a book to read I stumbled upon this one. I am a high school special education teacher and was really excited when I saw this book because its a graphic novel. I miss understood that because my only experience with graphic novels are young adult or children books. This is NOT one of those. This is for sure an adult book.

But in other words, this was a fun read and kind of funny. I am now
Dec 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
An interesting story about two friends that is overall a fun read, but the ending is underwhelming. I felt like the book stopped just when it got good, when the real plot started. Nancy was a very one-dimensional character, just there to listen to Simon process his feelings. But her story and why she corresponded with Ben Leland was far more interesting then his mopey pretentious artist ennui.
Dave Schaafsma
Sep 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is a ten year anniversary hard cover edition with a beautiful cool clear dust jacket with fish on it, a very funny intro by his friend and sometime collaborator Gene Yang (American Born Chinese) and an afterword on process by the author. The story itself focuses on buds Simon and Nancy and lies they tell and have regrets about. The story is good, okay, not remarkable, but the dialogue is really wonderful, funny, entertaining and finally affecting. The art is the best I have seen from Kim, a ...more
First Second Books
Aug 05, 2011 marked it as first-second-publications
We're so excited to be publishing a deluxe new edition of Derek Kirk Kim's Same Difference -- it's a book that inspired us all to see what comics really could be.

Also our designer's treatment of the deluxe-ness is so cool! There's an acetate jacket on the book -- it's clear -- printed with the fish that you see. Then the title and the people are actually printed on the case.

How neat is that?
Sooraya Evans
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very satisfying read.
Loved the plot and jokes.
Gorgeous artwork!
In the appendix section, we get to see other works in different art styles.
Karen Henspeter
Apr 29, 2013 rated it liked it
o Your full name: Karen Henspeter

o APA citation: Kim, D. (2011). . New York, NY: First Second.

o Genre: Realistic Fiction

o Format: Graphic novel

o Selection process: Lesesnie, T. (2011). Same difference. Voice of Youth Advocates, 34(5), 494.

o Review:
The opening of Derek Kirk Kim’s graphic novel finds Simon and Nancy, two Korean Americans in their twenties, shooting the breeze at a pho restaurant in California. From beginning to end, readers have the opportunity to eavesdrop on their conversations
Dani Shuping
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
The first publishing of Derek Kirk Kim's "Same Difference & Other Stories" (by TopShelf) is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. I fell in love with Derek's method of storytelling and his ability to capture the human emotion within his characters faces. That hint of surprise, that pang of sadness, or the look of longing over a lost loved one so eloquently captured in the characters faces. And while I missed out on the chance to buy a new version of the older book, I was excited to see ...more
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
As far as graphic novellas go, it's just plain good. And honest. Excellent characters. It doesn't try to do more than it can, and because of that I want more of it. The effect, at the end, is a little like that Raymond Carver short story, "A Small Good Thing," which would be so much better as a graphic novel. Same Difference is not tragic. It's comic all the way through, but it asks... What do we do with our regrets? Our egos? The people we've hurt? Nancy and Simon's friendship is perfect, envia ...more
Oct 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
SAME DIFFERENCE seems to have won every award the comic world gives out (The Eisner, Harvey, Ignatz) and for good reason. Kim creates well-rounded, likable characters with sharp, realistic conversation and a pleasant drawing style. The adventure centers around Simon and Nancy, two aimless twenty-somethings facing the changing world of transitions and past missed opportunities. One being a high school lie Simon still dwells upon with unresolved regret. While Nancy has been responding to unrequite ...more
Nov 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, graphic-novel, humor
I understand why it had to end, but I missed the characters when the book closed. I saw and heard myself in them--OMG! I remember those deep conversations about nothing and the struggle to become. LOVED this book...boy, did I laugh! Well done!
May 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not quite sure how to articulate my love for this comic.. It's everything I wanted and more. When I do figure that out I'll be sure to let you know. Until then, I highly recommend giving this a read. ...more
I really want to add a half star here.

I was not sure what Same Difference was supposed to be about. As you well know by now, First Second is a favorite publisher, but that the comic won the Eisner, Harvey and Ignatz Awards I really couldn’t resist giving it a try. Yeah, I felt that excited, but seriously, I was worried it would be something I could only appreciate from the outside looking in, from way outside looking in. Then there is that vague description that alludes to young people angst.
Dov Zeller
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
"Meet Simon and Nancy and the memories that haunt them" says the inside flap of "Same Difference." It's not the most accurate or compelling tagline. We are meeting the memories that haunt Simon to a degree. Really we're watching Simon and Nancy consider the state of their lives, and the consequences of their actions, past and present, with perhaps a bit more concern for themselves than for the people who they've harmed. But that's part of the charm of this book. We get to see our "disaffected" y ...more
Jul 05, 2012 added it
Shelves: libs-678
This graphic novel reminded me the most of Ghost World by Daniel Clowes because the plot is sort of similar; in this graphic novel the main character, Simon, and his best friend Nancy travel to Simon’s home town to ‘stalk’ a man that has been sending letters of unrequited love to Nancy’s apartment addressed to someone named Sarah. While this plot is what slowly moves the novel along the main focus is more introverted. The characters learn about themselves in during this experience and the lesson ...more
Jennifer Bacall
Mar 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Same Difference gives a peek into the day-to-day lives of a group of Korean 20 somethings attempting to make their way in the world. It isn't a huge story that knocks you over the head with a moralistic idea- instead it allows readers to glimpse the fears, insecurities, desires and humor of the characters. Kim allows his characters to be seen at their worst, in one case literally on the toilet. We join them as they drift into reverie listening to Tom Waits 'I Don't Wanna Grow Up' and see how the ...more
Ethan Davis
Nov 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
The awkwardness and lack of surety really resonated with me. I graduated high school six and a half years ago, and going back to my home town still inevitably brings back memories, regrets, and questions of what I'm doing and where I'm going. This was more true before I got married, but even now I still feel like Simon when I'm home, running in to people from high school working at fast food places or Wal-Mart and wondering how different my life could have turned out if I had made different deci ...more
Sarah Rosenberger
Jan 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels, bipoc
Great artwork and an honest, absorbing story.

The characters have the same conversations every 20-something eventually has with their friends, and their struggles and emotions feel authentic for people in their 'quarter-life crisis' stage.

Honestly, my biggest complaint is that I wish the book was longer. I liked Simon and Nancy and would have liked to learn more about them.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Thoroughly enjoyed this graphic novel, the art was wonderful and it reminded me of my childhood because I grew up in a small California town (though this primarily takes place in Oakland). A lovely story about life and expectations and regrets. I just wanted more from it, but I still really enjoyed it.
The art was great but I didn't connect well with the main characters. Also, I didn't get the pop culture references. I wanted to like this because it's in northern California and features twentysomething Asian Americans, but it just didn't enchant me. ? ...more
Jun 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have a pretty solid crush on Derek Kirk Kim now. Loved the dialogue in this, the friendships, the reflection on new adulthood, and how the dramatic conflicts were treated so gently and with the exact right dose of sentimentality.
Jennifer Weibel
Sep 17, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novels
I loved Kim's drawing style and his quirky sense of humor. The plot, however, was shallow and predictable. I think I'm just too old for this book - it seemed light and sophmoric. ...more
Oct 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: graphic-novel
I just didn't connect with this one. The illustrations are great; I very much enjoyed those. I'm just sad to say that the story didn't capture my attention the way I wished it had. ...more
Jonathan Hiskes
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
A California dude wrestles with his high-school guilt. Is there anyone who doesn't know that story? Gene Luen Yang raved about this book by his friend, and rightly so. ...more
Aug 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
A great story about learning to move on and making things right. Clever dialogue with adorable artworks equals a good read in my book.
Eli Poteet
Jan 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
This story is written for my age group and I found that to be unexpected. I enjoyed the social media references. I could sense the historical realm was of the seaside town strips.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
JPL YA Reading Ch...: Teen Graphic Novel 1 4 Jul 13, 2013 09:56AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Peanut
  • Snapdragon
  • City of Secrets
  • not simple
  • Skim
  • Dragon Hoops
  • A Game for Swallows: To Die, to Leave, to Return
  • The Breakaways
  • Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer
  • The Color of Earth (Color Trilogy, #1)
  • Page by Paige
  • Robot Dreams
  • Meal
  • Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Travels to the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes
  • Garbage Night
  • All Together Now (Eagle Rock #2)
  • The Liars of Mariposa Island
  • Pashmina
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Derek Kirk Kim is an award-winning Korean-American cartoonist. He won both major industry awards in 2004, the Eisner and the Harvey, for his debut graphic novel Same Difference and Other Stories, which was originally serialized on his website Lowbright (formerly known as "Small Stories"). He also won the Ignatz Award for promising new talent, in 2003, for the same graphic novel (which was original ...more

Related Articles

Love, murder, obsession, grief, and a mid-life crisis or two. This year's buzziest contemporary literary fiction features women on killing...
71 likes · 6 comments
“Who knows anybody?” 1 likes
More quotes…