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What Would Emma Do? Paperback – December 30, 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 7–10—Emma Proctor is the only person in her small town with big dreams of leaving. Even worse, she slipped up and kissed her best friend's boyfriend, who was also her good friend. And when members of the popular clique begin fabricating stories of drug poisonings and place the blame on the school outcasts, Emma is one of the few people with proof that they are lying. Now she must make some tough decisions: Will she risk her track scholarship and ticket out of town to do the right thing? And will her friendships survive this drama? Cook keeps this book fresh with her smart and sassy protagonist. While some of the plotlines are predictable, Emma's moral struggles and subsequent questioning of her born-again faith are touching and sincere. Fans of chick lit will appreciate this book.—Jessie Spalding, Tempe Public Library, AZ
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"What Would Emma Do? is a smart, witty, and genuinely real take on one girl's struggle to discern what she believes and take on the humongous decisions in her life. From the get-go, Emma's upbeat and self-deprecating attitude ensnares and entertains readers, making it easy for them to relate to her, even if they don't all come from small towns." --The Compulsive Reader
“Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud.” --Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead
“Not since Judy Blume’s Margaret introduced herself to God has there been such a funny, genuine, conflicted, wanna-be-sorta-good-maybe-later girl as Emma. Cook’s tone as she takes on the big ones—life, love, faith, and friendship—is pitch perfect.” --Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Midnight Twins and The Deep End of the Ocean
"Smart and fun and full of heart." --Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras & Broomsticks and How to Be Bad
"Cook keeps this book fresh with her smart and sassy protagonist....Emma’s moral struggles and subsequent questioning of her born-again faith are touching and sincere. Fans of chick lit will appreciate this book." --SLJ
Top customer reviews
Eileen Cook has created characters that are relatable and believable - she totally nailed teenage angst. What Would Emma Do? is a smart and funny book that had me laughing out loud. I couldn't put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, easy read - regardless of one's age.
I'm not sure if this book is a book for young adults or for an older audience but it certainly worked for this over-the-hill teenager. It was a pleasure to follow Emma as she struggled with the consequences of doing the right thing even when just about everybody turned against her--a great story for both younger and older readers.
What Would Emma Do is exactly the sort of book I would like to read more of. It has the exact mix of all the elements that makes it that perfect read. First of all, it takes place in a little town called Wheaton. It’s not just any small town; it’s one of those small towns that locals describe as “the heartland of America”, and where religion is taken so seriously, it almost reaches cult-like proportions. Nothing much ever happens in Wheaton, but high morals and the church’s rule are the order of the day. Anything or anyone that is considered different, or falls outside of the belief system of the citizens of Wheaton, is rejected and revolted against with a burn-at-the-stakes passion. So imagine the widespread panic incited by the popular crowd when the unpopular kids at school are suspected of being terrorists because apparently they’re trying to poison students one popular girl at a time and...oh yeah, they’re “different”.
That was actually the second thing that attracted my interest in this story. The first would be Emma’s voice. Every chapter opens with Emma having a little monologue with God. Nothing offensive. Just a regular teen sharing her thoughts with the Lord. That right there instantly connected me with Emma, because I’ve had a few similar monologues with God, and I couldn’t help smiling as some of the things she said to Him were like an echo of my own words. Anyhow, I also really liked Emma because she made me laugh. I don’t mean smiling or giggling, I’m talking belly-clutching, tears-rolling-down-my-face laughs. Laughs that made others stare at me as I was trying to get control over my dignity, laughs. Yep, this author nailed it with the humor. Anyone who doesn’t laugh at least once while reading this book would, in my opinion, rank right up there next to sauerkraut. Especially with the locker incident. I read it like three times, and every time it made me laugh. OK, so you get my point about the humor, right?
Darci – the Reverend’s daughter – she’s the antagonist in this story. And trust me, she’s pretty scary. Nothing freaks me out more than a two-faced, scheming, lying, pastor’s daughter with the face of an angel who is the most popular girl in school and who is loved by ninety percent of the townsfolk. In their eyes she can do no wrong. That means, anyone who has the misfortune of landing on Darci’s wrong side, don’t stand a chance. Darci and her posse rule the school, rule the town, and have all the important decision-making adults wrapped around her pinkie. So where does that leave pariahs like Todd and Emma? Emma just wants to do the right thing, but she has so much to lose if she tells the truth. While she makes up her mind about whether she should do the right thing or let a few innocent students take the fall for Darci’s elaborate scheme, she suffers one embarrassment after the other, and have her own issues to deal with such as her relationship with her mom, falling in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and the school’s Jewish outcast. This girl has to make more than one tough decision and lots of times I was happy not to be in her shoes because I had no idea what I would’ve done faced with the same dilemmas.
There’s a tiny smidgen of romance in this book, and I especially love how the author dealt with it at the conclusion. The characters – main and secondary – are all three-dimensional and each of them has a unique voice. The small-town atmosphere, and specifically the entire Faith Forward scene at the end, was done terrifically! I felt the crowd’s anticipation and got caught up in their exuberance. The conclusion was just right, and if I had written this book I wouldn’t have done it any differently. What Would Emma Do subtly presses the reader to contemplate what decisions they would make if they were in Emma’s shoes and how it would affect their faith.
I’m fast becoming a fan of Eileen Cook’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. The two I’ve read thus far has proved to have substance and were refreshing in its approach to the subject matter. I’d recommend What Would Emma Do to fans of Miranda Kenneally’s books. If you have a sense of humor, appreciate sarcasm and irony, and have an open-minded view towards God, I’m positive you’ll love this clean read as much as I have!
Most recent customer reviews
Emma has made the worst mistake you can make, she kissed her best friend's boyfriend, Colin.The CrucibleAre You There God? It's Me, Margaret.Read more