My rating: 2 of 5 stars
ARC kindly provided by HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review.
‘Editing Emma’ describes itself as “The secret blog of a NEARLY proper person”. I can definitely see why. This was perhaps one of the weirdest, strangest novels I’ve read because of the silly and unfortunate character who narrates the entire thing. I always enjoy book which are written in a different form, such as a series of blog posts which act also as a sort of diary, however, I’m not sure I’ll ever want to pick up a diary novel ever again. I feel like diary novels are the type to either make it…or fail it. In this case, the novel failed at it…miserably.
Like the main character, I’ve made a list of why this novel didn’t quite make the list:
1. The main character was the archetypical heart broken, girly-girl who got her heart broken by some popular and hot boy. As per the usual, she proceeds to grieve over her loss – or her shattered heart, which is wayyyy to hyperbolic for me – and isolates herself from society for a good few months in order to recuperate. Oh dear. Can anyone sense the drama already? Well, she is messy and she is unclean – apparently she also smells, too! Oh, yes. Because she couldn’t be bothered to take a shower – this Emma person must have really neglected her personal hygiene to the point where her best friends started insisting on having her shower first, then receive her smelly hugs!
2. The supporting characters were nothing special either. Seriously, it was like I was constantly bombarded by very very very boring characters who were just so mediocre. Her best friends were literally pieces in this huge puzzle which made absolutely no sense. There was one purpose to them, and one purpose only – they would make the novel more “diverse”. So yes, there were lesbian friends, sexually free friends, African-American friends: It literally felt like the author just stuffed them in so her novel could and would be promoted to a wider audience. I really dislike having characters put in simply for the sake of them. If you are trying to make this novel “diverse” then at least make realistic characters.
3. TL;DR: the characters were under-developed.
4. This will be perhaps one of the most graphic novels in terms of explaining how the human body works. There were times when I absolutely cringed at the lack of censoring: for example, when Emma is peeing or when she describes every singly moment of her showdown when she is on her period and she sits on the toilet – again. One thing you will know is that Emma really has a thing for toilets. Really.
5. The plot and story itself were boring. I had to force myself to read and finish this novel. It was like every other young adult novel which has stolen the plot of yet another sappy romantic comedy slash depressing and teenage young adult novel. There wasn’t much movement and when it did happen it literally lasted like half a page. And then it would spiral down its slow slow slow black hole of boredom until you would actually fall asleep. I’m dead serious. I had to put the novel down and take a 30 minute nap because my eyes got tired from staring at the pages.
6. Jesus, do NOT get me started on the end. What end, I should hear you ask? Absolutely garbage end. It like I was led on this whole “inspiring” journey towards something that actually NEVER happened and then the whole thing decided to give off the appearance that the author has cut you off mid way to the ACTUAL story what was supposed to have happened.
I’m puffed at criticizing this novel.
Congratulations to Chloe Seager on her debut novel!
1 star : Strongly did not like the book, writing and plot was bad. Idea of the book was against my liking.
2 star : Didn’t like it, didn’t find it interesting or gripping. Seemed to drag on to me.
3 star : An average book. Wasn’t bad or good. Everything else was well done. Original idea.
4 star : Like a 3 star but has potential to it as a series or the book grew on me as it progressed and certain scenes captured me. I Enjoyed it and read it in one sitting.
5 star : I LOVED IT! I stayed up late until 3 am. Author is a genius, characters, plot, idea, development, EVERYTHING was EXCELLENT. Nothing else can possibly be said except that its 5 STAR!