Title: Spot The Difference
Author: Juno Dawson
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Short Story
Publication Date: 26th Feburary 2016
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Summary: Avery has always suffered at the hands of bullies, so when she’s given a seemingly-miraculous opportunity to join the ‘A-list’ she grabs at it with both hands. But appearances can be deceiving, and soon Avery’s not so sure she likes this new version of herself. And it’s only by overcoming her fears that she can learn the true meaning of being comfortable in your own skin.
I have been intrigued by Juno Dawson’s work ever since her appearance at YALC in 2016. She has such a strong online presence that i thought there’s no way her work would not match up to that on paper. After finding out that she’d written quite a few books that had slipped under my radar, i started to collect some for a rainy day. Spot The Difference was one of them.
This short story was released in 2016 as a part of World Book Day, with a whole other host of children’s and teenagers short stories by some of your favourite authors. I’ve been in a little bit of reading slump recently, and as i’m on my way out of it i wanted to read something that was short and snappy (and to be honest, get my yearly target back on track, oops!) So i picked up Spot The Difference as my first read by Juno Dawson.
I loved the story of this. It’s based in a school which has the clearly defined roles of students. The popular ‘a-list’ students, the freaks, geeks, musicians, theater kids and the people who are just floating around. It always fascinates me to read about these groups within schools and makes me reminisce to my school days, no matter how awful they were. I found a lot of my memories coincided with the students in this story, and that made it a lot more enjoyable for me.
The characters themselves were as well rounded as they could be for a short story. I always find character development very difficult to achieve when writing under 100 pages, however i loved Avery’s character and also her best friend Lois. They came across as strong individuals an definitely an inspiration for many young girls that read this book.
It’s very much a book about self love and understanding who you are, and learning to accept that. It takes you though a quick patch of Avery’s life when she is particularly struggling with what is right and wrong and what is best for herself. It’s without a doubt going to be very important for young girls.
The writing style read a little young for me. But i am seven years older than the characters in this, so that’s understandable. However, i’d definitely pick it up again as a quick read and it did the job of entertaining me. I did love the chatty writing style that Dawson writes in, and it’s only made me more excited about picking up more of her work in the future.