SAME DIFFERENCE (Push, March 2009)by Siobhan Vivian is a quiet sort of story. Emily gets a summer scholarship to art school in Philadelphia. There she meets the intriguing Fiona and the quite handsome TA, Yates. In some ways, her life in the suburbs and her life in the city are similar. She manages to keep a low profile. However, as the summer progresses and Emily becomes more sure of herself as an artist and a person, Emily knows that change, while sometimes difficult, is also inevitable.
Emily and all of her friends lead fairly normal lives, mirroring the lives of many teens (including the residents of the back bedroom). I think lots of readers will find themselves reflected in the characters here and in their lives. For kids looking for books that reflect their own lives, books that reassure them that they are somehow "normal", this book and Vivian's first novel, A LITTLE FRIENDLY ADVICE are good picks.
In a little while, we will head off to the Children's Mass at church. Since the resident of the back room were little, this has been our choice of service for Christmas (and when I was in the choir, it was the mass where I was song leader as well). There will be hokey skits by the kids in the parish in lieu of a sermon. I will cry quietly because it is all so wonderful. Tomorrow, Cali and her fiance will join us for the great present exchange. We will eat lasagna with my sister and her significant other (which I have yet to prepare). It's smaller than it used to be and I will miss those who are no longer present. But, all in all, it will still be the Christmas we have created for ourselves. Merry merry to all of you.