This book attracted me mostly due to its name– somehow, the book description didn’t give me an idea of what to expect.
Same-same is as quirky as the name would lead you to expect- quirky without being either cute or light. The focus was on character– mostly that of Cesar.
Cesar was on a bad path in LA, one likely to end like that of his brother, who is in jail because of his role in a gang shooting. Cesar has already found himself involved in one truly terrible crime.
Moving to Alaska with his mother gives him a new start, just not the one he’s looking for. He’s got a plan to move back to LA and move in with his dad. Unfortunately, his father is most notable in this story for his absence.
Luckily for all involved, Cesar meets up with his local cousin, Go-boy. The reader as well as the characters in the book wonder whether Go-boy is crazy. Certainly, the letters he writes to Yoko Ono are crazy. The signs he puts up around town are pretty crazy. On the other hand, there seems to be a method to his madness.
My favorite character was Kiana, Cesar’s girlfriend and Go-boy’s cousin. She’s a teenage math genius who doesn’t always make good personal choices. I’d love to know what happens to her down the road.
The books looks at issues of character and of responsibility, questions of how one decision (or non-decision) can change a life. I didn’t always like the conclusions the characters came to, but they had me thinking. Same-same is thought provoking while being funny and readable.
Thank you to Unbridled Books for providing me with a copy of this book!