Same Difference is more like the same old when it comes to YA fiction. Its heart is in the right place, but much of the book feels like a retread. Vivian is a talented author, and younger readers may identify nicely with Emily. But Emily's transformation is quite sudden and, along with some other plot points, pretty forced.
Sixteen-year-old Emily is doing something different for the summer: Instead of lounging by the pool with best friend Meg, she'll be heading to Philadelphia several days a week to attend a prestigious summer arts program. Fueled mainly by her insecurity that she's not a talented artist, Emily has trouble making friends at first. Once fellow art student Fiona takes Emily under her wing, Emily's talent starts to soar -- and she attracts the attention of the class TA. (PUSH, Mar., 304 pp., $16.99, ISBN: 9780545004077, HC, 13 and Up)