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What Would Emma Do? Paperback – December 30, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781416974321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416974321
  • ASIN: 1416974326
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.9 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,953,120 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Rachel Kramer Bussel VINE VOICE on December 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
Emma Proctor is one of my favorite YA characters I've encountered in a while. She's independent and willing to speak up, seemingly after a lifetime of going along with the (boring) crowd. She writes letters to Jesus asking about how she should handle certain situations, namely, having gone from having a few close friends to being regarded by even her best friend as a freak. For most of this book, I admired Emma's commitment to what she wants (to get out of Wheaton, Indiana), though Cook lets us see that some of Emma's eagerness may be misguided (she will have to figure that out ultimately for herself).

Emma's the kind of girl who's only applied to one school, so convinced is she she'll go there. She's sassy and opinionated and is willing to take some risks, like befriending Todd, the only Jew most people in her town have ever seen, and openly defying the school's head queen bee/mean girl, to stay true to herself, even going so far as to alienate the people closes to her.

Emma's faith is something that is central to the premise of this book, though it's not ever fully tackled. Is she a believer? It's hard to tell, but she certainly makes her stance clear when facing the hypocrisy of her local church, in a reality TV spectacle that's not all that unlikely. As Emma struggles with how much to reveal about what she knows regarding the popular girls' drugtaking and fainting spells, she quickly finds she has very few people to turn to. Her new crush, her mom, and certainly, the man upstairs she keeps writing to, seem to be letting her down.

This was a fun book with a heroine who's a witty non-conformist, who is constantly searching for answers, and only sometimes getting them.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It isn't often I enjoy a book as much as I enjoyed this one. High School senior, Emma, is smart, focused on her future and has more problems than she can count. Throughout the book she talks to God, asking some excellent questions of Him and even those talks are laced with her wonderful, witty sense of humor.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I’m probably going to say it more than once, but I loved absolutely everything about this book! If it comes down to it, I’ll even admit to wanting to spend a day inside Eileen Cook’s mind, because it seems that it could be a fun place to be for anyone who has ever read any of her books. Admittedly, apart from this book, I’ve only read one of her books so far, but I have another two waiting on my kindle to be read, and because I had such an awesome time reading this book – and finishing it in less than a day – I’m moving those two books up on my to-read list.

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.
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By Jill on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It began when Emma kissed her friend Colin right in front of Santa at the Fort Wayne Mall. Since Colin was Joann's boyfriend and Joann was Emma's bff the kiss violated Girlfriend Rule #1. Senior year at Trinity Evangelical Secondary in very small town Wheaton becomes a difficult journey of self discovery for Emma. Cook's insights into Senior Year life, love, faith and friendship will be familiar to anyone who has ever experienced 'Senioritis'. Emma prays for a miracle cure. She learns that instead or trying to please and pacify those around her she must figure out what she wants for herself and how to feel good about herself as she tries to fulfill those wants.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Originally posted at arielavalon.com

Emma has made the worst mistake you can make, she kissed her best friend's boyfriend, Colin. To make it worse, she lives in a small town, so she runs the risk of everyone knowing about it. Somehow the kiss keeps quiet, but now her best friend doesn't trust her, the boy is ignoring her, and Emma is feeling awful. When scandal breaks out in the town, and only Emma and Colin know the truth, she must decide what is worth giving up to save someone else. With so many people in town asking what Jesus would do, she discovers it's time to start asking what she should do instead, and live her own life.

This book kind of disappointed me. Alright, so it's obvious from the title alone that this was going to have religious themes. That is fine, I set myself up for that. I wasn't expecting, but I certainly didn't miss all the hinted relation to The Crucible. The town Emma lives in, is one of those highly religious small towns that tend to get a little carried away by their faith. They like to bring their faith into everything, even places it doesn't really need to be focused on, and anyone who questions it is singled out and shunned.

The characters were a little lacking. Emma was decently fleshed out, but the other characters didn't feel real enough to me. A few of them, like Colin, I thought was going to have more role to play in the story and then he was hardly around. I guess in a way it make sense, but the whole thing felt off to me. Sure, I flew through the pages to see what happened next, but I wasn't compelled to keep reading.

The plot was off from the summary.
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