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?
I wanted to like this one more than I did. I just didn’t get it.
Told from alternative points of view between Jesse and Emily, and sometimes Esther, The Difference Between You and Me just didn’t click with me. Jesse is a great character, a little misfit, a little social outcast who has a secret thing going on with Emily, the popular chick in their high school. Jesse’s parents were activists back in their day. Currently, her dad is a psychologist and her mother is a breast-cancer survivor. I thought her parents were really cool. And I like the values they instilled in their daughter.
Esther is a character Jesse meets in after-school detention. She’s a more active activist than Jesse. Jesse is a theoretical activist let’s say. She does her posters and has all the opinions, but she doesn’t do anything. Esther does. So they team up to save their school and the town from a big chain store (similar to walmart). What I found annoying and couldn’t see the point in it was why Jesse tried to keep what she was doing with Esther a secret from her best guy friend (who was being home-schooled). I felt like she was being secretive for no good reason. And it ended up hurting her friend’s feelings. Like Emily, I can understand that being a secret, but not Esther.
Emily…now Emily was annoying. She wasn’t a horrible snob but she was full of herself, if that makes any sense. And she was very goal oriented and rigid. She couldn’t see things from another’s point of view and didn’t see anything wrong about keeping Jesse a secret. Basically she thought she could have her cake and eat it too. And when Jesse stands up against something that Emily believes in, she thinks she can sway Jesse to her side and that’ll be that. But Jesse has a mind of her own and Emily’s feminine wiles aren’t enough to hold Jesse.
Also, the whole issue Emily and Jesse were fighting over…I didn’t even feel like it had been resolved. Overall, I felt like this book was a bit of a mish-mash. The characters weren’t that likeable and then things didn’t feel very resolved at the end.
I know I’m not doing a good job articulating why I didn’t like the book. But yeah, overall, it just didn’t work for me. It had some potential that it didn’t live up to. C
..and that’s your scoop!
Book cover and blurb credit: http://www.goodreads.com