The Difference Between You and Me by Madeleine George
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I knew each of the three types these girls (Jesse, Esther and Emily) exemplify when I was in high school and things haven't changed in the 30+ years since then. They're very clearly defined and feel very real. It was easy to understand Jesse's Out/Proud/Activist outlook, to roll my eyes over Emily's Perfect Girl/Closet Case actions and smile at Esther's Action Oriented Passion. And that should have been enough - but usually girls in high school grow and change, and except for a little bit at the end, there was no real change in any of them.
Another problem for me was the ancillary characters/background, which felt a bit like tossing in the kitchen sink. It felt like restraint when Emily didn't have an eating disorder on top of it all; I actually groaned out loud when we walked into Esther's house. Finally, while I enjoyed the interior monologues for Emily and Esther, it was odd that we got a more distant view of Jesse.
So why three stars and not two? Because I really did believe in the characters, despite the outside stuff.**
ARC provided by publisher.
** (note, I'm not going to get into the librarian quibble about a public library using LC and not DDC because the vast majority of readers aren't going to notice)