Title: Editing Emma
Author: Chloe Seager
Publisher: Harlequin Young Adult
When sixteen-year-old Emma Nash is ‘ghosted’ by the love of her life Leon Naylor, she does what any normal teenage girl would do…
Emma spends the summer lurking in her bedroom, avoiding all human contact (and the shower), surrounded by the collection of chewit wrappers she saved from packs Leon gave her, back when he actually acknowledged her existence…
But seeing Leon suddenly ‘In a relationship’ on Facebook with the perfect Anna, spurs Emma into action and she embarks on a mission to make positive changes to her life (or ‘edits,’ if you will) and vows to use the internet for more than obsessively stalking Leon’s activities! Instead, she will use it for good and noble causes like finding someone who will actually be nice to her, and recording her findings for the rest of the world to see (i.e. BFF Steph and her mum) on her new Editing Emma blog.
But Emma soon discovers her ‘habit’ is harder to break than she first thought – turns out she’s not the only one ‘editing’ herself online (thank you Tinder for finding her mum’s profile, age 35, really?) and that life through an Instagram filter isn’t always what it’s cracked up to be. But it could be worse, she could have outed her best friend, accidentally chatted up a 12 year old boy and revealed to the world why Leon Naylor is worth no girl’s time or virginity… oh no wait, that’s exactly what happened…
I finished this book in about 4-4.5 hours and if that doesn’t tell you that I more than enjoyed this book, I don’t know what will.
I had never heard of this book until YALC this year. Due to my 6 weeks away in June and July, I was pretty out of the loop regarding new releases. I practically had no clue what was being released this Summer but when I saw Jim from Yayayeah_ on Twitter talking about this book, I have to say, I was intrigued. I looked it up on the web and was more intrigued. I then saw it in Waterstones and finally had my chance to actually see the book in person and that was basically it.
The format of this book is in blog posts which is something that made it so easy and quick to read. I found Emma quite funny and loved that she had a supportive group of girls as her friends. This book reminded me of Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging a little which was a book that I read years ago when I was in high school and loved. Editing Emma is the perfect mix of funny and serious. It includes the main topics that occupy teenage girls lives – friendships, family, love – but it also included more taboo topics that I have never read about in YA fiction before such as sex, masturbation and periods. I was, at first, a little taken aback because when have you ever read a contemporary YA fiction that talks about this? Never. But in fact, shouldn’t topics like that be discussed with teenagers in ways other than just that CPSE lesson you have every few weeks or months? This book covers that.
The plot itself follows Emma trying to reinvent herself over a few months. Throughout the plot, we see her attend college, attend parties, build a relationship up with her mum, how she interacts with her friends, and how she attempts to get over Leon. There were parts of this book that actually made me laugh out loud, to the point where my sister told me to stop being so weird. One of my favourite funny scenes is when Emma is called on to reenact a character from Frankenstein. Just thinking about it now makes me smile.
Emma herself is a funny person. At first I found myself a little frustrated by her love for Leon after he ghosted her, what with her keeping old chewit wrappers, and I really just wanted to shake her, but then I realised that I was looking at this book as a..new adult? Is that what I am? I don’t know. When I tried to remember what it was like when I and my friends were 16, which wasn’t all that long ago, it really made me think that Emma’s behaviour is typical of a teenage girl at that age. Her relationship with her small group of friends was one that I admired. Though all groups of friends have their ups and downs, as this book shows, it was great to see that they supported one another and were able to discuss taboo topics as previously mentioned.
As I have already mentioned, Editing Emma is written in blog format. This helped me to get through it quite quickly. It also meant the writing wasn’t too over complicated because a teenage girl was behind the blog posts, although thankfully that wasn’t that much slang in there because the older I get, the more I realise that I am no longer ‘down with the kids’. There was also the use of other social media featured, such as Facebook and Twitter. Both sites are such a large part of social interactions nowadays so it was good to see that this book featured current social media platforms.
I would most definitely recommend this book. It is funny, realistic and such a quick, easy read, perfect for when you might be feeling a little slumpy or you’re not sure what to read and you just want something to pull you out of that mood. 10/10 would recommend.
You can see more of my pictures (like above!) here!