The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
Release Date: March 15, 2012
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Publisher
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?
The Difference Between You and Me really wasn’t anything like I was expecting. I thought it was mostly going to be a love story about Emily coming to terms with who she is. That really wasn’t the case at all. The story revolves around Jesse the most and it’s really about her finding herself, standing up for what she believes in, and just growing up. Emily’s role in the story is a bit smaller and infuriating.
I really loved Jesse. She was very complex and very unique. She didn’t care to be different but her feelings for Emily really made her vulnerable. That made her feel extremely believable to me. Throughout the story Jesse grows. She has to figure out what’s more important to her, her secret relationship with Emily or her beliefs. I had a lot of fun watching her journey and I think we could all stand to be a little more like Jesse.
Emily on the other hand….The book is told from alternating points of view with Jesse in the spotlight more often, but when Emily had her turn I couldn’t help but pity this poor naive girl. She is vice president of student council and very serious about it. She also has a very serious boyfriend, but she meets Jesse once a week for a short make out session. She was very unlikeable, but I think she was supposed to be. That’s just who she was. It was a great way to show the contrast between them. Props to Madeleine George for writing such very different but equally interesting characters.
The Difference Between You and Me isn’t a romance so don’t go into it expecting one. It’s an intelligent story about a girl struggling to figure out who she is in a unique situation. I enjoyed every second of it and I think you will too!