Friday, March 23, 2012

Book Review: Loving Emily

Loving Emily by Anne Pfeffer
  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1466341823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1466341821

Ryan Mills is torn with guilt over the death of his best friend, and it's all because of Emily Wintraub. If Ryan hadn't seen those incredible gray-blue eyes, hadn't pegged her as a Potentially Amazing Woman, he would never have gone looking for her at the party that night. He would never have left his wasted friend Michael alone, when Michael needed him and asked him to stay. And if Ryan hadn't left, Michael would never have driven off, totaled his car, and taken the cosmic rocket ride into death.

As far as Ryan's concerned, when you’ve done something terrible, you don’t deserve to be happy. He tries not to fall for Emily, but he can't help it. Before long, he is "completely, gonzo, out-of-control in love." Ryan then learns that Michael died with a secret. Still grieving, he feels compelled to take on his friend's unfinished business.

When Emily begins to question where his commitments really lie—with her or with Michael’s memory—Ryan is forced to examine his choices. What does he owe to Michael, to Emily, and to himself?

I agree with another reviewer that the cover, title, and description are actually misleading. This book isn’t just about “Loving Emily”, it’s about coming to an age, loss, family, grief, guilt, and love. This book was so much more, and a truly inspiring and thought-provoking read.

Ms. Pfeffers created a main protagonist out of a boy’s perspectives- Ryan so perfectly. I can’t help but fall in love with him. His sweet, nice, and would try to do the right thing. A good protagonist and a nice cast of secondary characters, an interesting plot and easy-to-relate-to conflicts makes this book a must-read. His character was so strong, I can’t help but wish a guy like this exist..:)

The family conflict which was apparent in this book, is a situation many could relate to, Ryan’s parents are always almost never home, leaving him and his younger siblings with Rosetta (their housekeeper). It was perfectly pictured how this kind of home affected Ryan so much, where parents unintentionally ignores their children.

The friendship between Ryan and Michael is realistic. I sometimes look forward to Ryan’s musings about their past adventures. Ryan’s grief for the loss is genuine, and I felt for him deeply. It was also so good of Ryan to try to settle Michael’s unfinished business, which I think became the very foundation of this book.

Even though Emily got the title of the book, I don’t think I really like her. She was not portrayed as super perfect, which is good, but she is not that nice too. Also, I think the development of the romance was instantaneous. I know Ryan has his eyes set for this girl long before the accident, but their actual interactions was just that party, and it was just a couple of minutes, and then the next thing I knew, they were a couple. ,I’m a little too harsh here, maybe I was just jealous of… Ryan likes and respects her a lot… But honestly, the author should have credit for this, since if Emily’s character is different, I don’t think this story would work out. Emily is an additional conflict to Ryan’s struggles. And besides, selfish she maybe, but any sane girl would not want her boyfriend to be always around with other girls, love interest or not.

All in all, Loving Emily give me an emotional roller-coaster ride. It was truly a bitter-sweet story. BEAUTIFUL and SAD.

Loving Emily- a great young adult story of growth in matters of family, grief, guilt, love and a person as a whole. Highly recommended to all, especially to teens!

♥♥~♥♥♥ ♥:)♥♥~♥ ♥♥

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