Monday 14 August 2017

Book Review: Editing Emma by Chloe Seager

Title:Editing Emma
Author: Chloe Seager
Publisher: HQ, HarperCollins
Release Date: 10th August 2017
Synopsis: According to Netflix, this is NOT how my teenage life is supposed to look.' When Emma Nash is ghosted by love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any girl would do - spends the summer avoiding all human contact, surrounded by the Chewit wrappers he left behind. Seeing Leon suddenly `in a relationship' on Facebook, however, spurs Emma into action. She vows to use the internet for good (instead of stalking Leon's social media),chronicling her adventures on her new Editing Emma blog. But life online doesn't always run smoothly. From finding her mum's Tinder profile, to getting catfished and accidentally telling the entire world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl's virginity... Surely nothing else could go wrong?!

Review: Let me start by saying I AM AN EMMA. You are also, or have at some point in your lives been Emma. It's all a part of growing up. We need to stand and fall so that we grow, and so that we have lots of embarrassing stories we can tell people. That is what this book did. There was also a Britney reference so I was sold. 

But I need to digress a little to in part explain why I loved this book so much. This is a fault I mention a lot (and something that will crop up in a couple of upcoming reviews). Judging books by their covers. No we shouldn't do it, but when there's so many books out there sometimes it happens. This is not a book I would have normally picked up. I have a tendency to think that this type of book isn't my jam. However I had the pleasure of interviewing Chloe as part of the #CringeFest and have now read a lot more contemporary YA fiction than intended this year. In doing so I have found once again that I have to open up and admit that I was wrong, this book is right and now lets go back into it....

The book is written in a diary 'blog post' style format, so that we go with Emma on her journey, getting our information in as much real time as is possible. But a blog post is always with a slight delay so there is some level of though. This makes for a really interesting protagonist. You get an open and raw narrative that also allows you to get a lot of history to. With Emma it was like a conversation. She was taking at you, and you got hooked on what she was writing. That private nature as the blogs weren't published made it more of a treat. She also wasn't perfect, but you couldn't help but be on #TeamEmma 

Situationally Emma goes through a lot, and with this, like with a lot of teen drama's, I feel there is an element of hype to a characters life. Adding extra levels of embarrassment, but it adds to the drama, encourages the comedy and it keeps you hooked. I was laughing along which is what you want to be doing, but I was also cringing, and that's just as important. I could see myself in so many elements of Emma, you don't want to, but the more I read through, the more I actually embraced it! Own the Emma inside you! We've all had a Facebook stalk now and again and we've all kept something given to us....Don't even lie.

On that note relationships are an important part of anyone's teenage years, whether you had ten boyfriends or two (or none...because being a bystander is also ok I'll have you know) and that formed a core part of Emma's story. This book was very open in terms of sex and relationships, and the perils (and to some extent danger) or internet dating. This is the reality of the world we live in, it's something more and more teens are having greater experience with and that we need to be talking about. I loved how her story bore out of heartbreak, and the depth that she felt for it. In the book she is almost mocked, or led to believe that she's crazy for having such strong feelings. BUT WE DID. You felt like it was the be all end all, you did stupid things, you over analysed ever single action, and you wanted to believe that it was all one big mistake that will fix itself and everyone will seeing rainbows. But that's also not reality and I loved the openness with which Emma experienced this, and the way that it didn't just resolve itself, she went through cycles and pitfalls and had to learn from them. I could empathise with her. You think you're fixing a problem yourself because you know best, but ohhh the benefit of perspective. 

It was here as in life, that we evaluate ourselves through the way we see and experience others around us and Emma had a great group of friends to be able to help, hinder and be the shoulder to cry on. There was ever different type of friend you've known or still had and at the heart of this group was their relationships and the roller-coasters you go on with your friends in as much as you do with everything else in life. It makes you appreciate your friends more, it almost makes me want to go back and try and fix bridges that have been set fire to. But i think that's almost a fruitless task, it's more about how you take what you've experiences and go forward with it. Make the edits, learn and move on. 

I'm not sure in this I've really expressed what i wanted to with this review, it all feels a bit like a ramble. What I want it to say is how much I enjoyed the book. It was fun, pacy, full of laughs, but also full of heart. It had depth, it had moments of sadness where you just want to reach out and hug a character or shake them, or wipe a smug smile off their face. It's a book that says, you know what its ok to go through these things, you just have to learn from them and in that reflection you find the version of you you want to be, not the version you're putting out for the world to be. We could all do from having a look and making small edits from time to time. 


C.H Squirrels said...

Can't wait to read this!

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