quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


The Difference Between You and Me (Review)

Title: The Difference Between You & Me
Author(s): Madeleine George
Edition: Hardcover, 261 pages
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
Publication Date: March 15, 2012
Source: Borrowed from Library
Buy: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository

The Summary

Jesse cuts her own hair with a Swiss Army knife. She wears big green fisherman's boots. She's the founding (and only) member of NOLAW, the National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos. Emily wears sweaters with faux pearl buttons. She's vice president of the student council. She has a boyfriend.

These two girls have nothing in common, except the passionate "private time" they share every Tuesday afternoon. Jesse wishes their relationship could be out in the open, but Emily feels she has too much to lose. When they find themselves on opposite sides of a heated school conflict, they each have to decide what's more important: what you believe in, or the one you love?
My Opinion
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 outcasts 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.

These two girls are going through a difficult period, both sexually and mentally. Trying to identify who you are, what your values are, and how best to live your life is hard enough for adults, let alone teenagers. George does an excellent job juxtaposing Jesse and Emily, which highlights this struggle. Jesse knows who she is sexually; she knows she is attracted to females, but she isn't sure what her true values are. Emily is confident in what she stands for; she sees opportunity and takes it, but can't decide if her feelings are for males, females, or both. Esther, a secondary character, acts as a tandem between the two, and gives the reader a solid foundation to grasp.

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!

Other Books by Madeleine

Title: Looks
Publication: June 12, 2008

Final Rating
Book Cover: 4/5
Book Title: 4/5
Plot: 9/10
Characters: 9/10
Writing: 8/10
Ending: 9/10
Overall: 43/50: B

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