The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George

High school sophomore Jesse is in your face non-conformist and the creator of NOLAW, the National Organization to Liberate All Weirdos. She cuts her hair short, wears gigantic boots, and gets confused for a boy often. She’s also a lesbian, out and completely comfortable with her sexuality.

Popular, overachieving Emily is very traditional, has a part-time job at the public library, practically runs the student council, and has the perfect boyfriend, Mike. And every Tuesday afternoon in the handicapped bathroom on the third floor of the library, Emily and Jesse hook up like wild animals.

Mike has no idea. Jesse’s best friend Wyatt doesn’t know. Nobody knows. Emily justifies hiding their relationship because she’s convinced that if she doesn’t act like everyone expects her to, then no one will take her seriously and her promising future will be ruined. Making out with a social reject is certainly not what people expect of Emily. And Jesse keeps it a secret because if anyone knew she was hooking up with the girl helping StarMart, a huge corporation that threatens to close down local businesses, get a grip on the school and town, her radical friends and liberal family would feel betrayed.

Even though there is a big difference between Jesse and Emily, and on paper they don’t make any sense, they are deeply connected by their indescribable passion for one another and quite possibly in love. Read The Difference Between You and Me if you want a story of a messy, realistic relationship that’s as funny as it is complex.

Review by Annica Stivers, CLP–West End

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