Same Difference HC
Publisher: First Second
Release Date: December 2011
Price: $16.99
Creator: Derek Kirk Kim
Format: 96 pgs.; B&W; Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5964-3657-2
Age Rating: Teen+
ICv2 Rating: 5 Stars out of 5

Not every artist can get the Ignatz, Eisner and Harvey awards based on the same creation.  Derek Kirk Kim did that with an earlier version of this book, which has now been beautifully repackaged by First Second.  The dust jacket is a transparent overlay of fish, from a scene within the book, eye-catching and unusual.  The story itself, though, is the reason for all of those awards.  This is not an action-adventure story.  Instead, it is a quiet, introspective pair of interwoven tales about truth, lies and relationships.

Simon has spent years beating himself up for a bad personal decision from his high school days, while Nancy has been corresponding with a lonely man who thinks that she is someone else.  Both stories lead to a road trip to the same small community near the Bay Area, where both characters have to face their own lives.

The artwork will not appeal to everyone, but it was simple and didn’t get in the way of telling a very moving story.  The characters were believable, including their flaws and foibles, and it was easy to identify with them, even at their strangest.

While aimed primarily at adults, older teens will find this story to be readable and interesting.

--Nick Smith: Librarian Technician, Community Services, for the Pasadena Public Library in California.