I always thought growing up was growing up no matter where you are, until I left New Orleans. I'm not sure if I would have liked this book if I didn't relate to it so well.
Side note: I like the author's comments at the end of the book about cover photos:
...the image acts as an introduction and an epilogue to the story. It's what you ponder before diving into the first sentence, and what you stare at while the last line reverberates in your head.
She is so right. Most of what have turned out to be my favorite books ever were chosen randomly at the bookstore based solely on the cover.