The Compulsive Reader: What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

I was attracted to this book due to my own religious upbringing, and I found it to be an interesting and different read.

Emma Procter is stuck in the dinky, ultra-religious town of Wheaton where everyone knows everyone's business (like how she accidentally kissed her best friend's boyfriend), and Emma is sick of it all—especially the hypocritical girls in her class who claim to be devoted to Jesus, but in reality have been taking drugs at parties—something Emma has witnessed. So when those girls begin passing out and the whole town makes a big deal over their innocence and begins pointing fingers at blameless teen outcasts, Emma faces huge problems. Should she tell the truth about what she saw, even if it means burning her one-way ticket out of Wheaton?

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 religious element of the book is a unique touch, and Emma's monologues to God help propel readers through the book and define her as a skeptical, yet hopeful, maybe-kinda-not-quite believer. Her sentiments about God and religion are similar to many teens’, and she deals with something that every Christian has to face—those judgmental and oftentimes hypocritical believers who enjoy condemnation more than spreading God's Word. Despite some of the reverend's religious claims being a little fanatical though, this book has an interesting take on teens and faith, and is executed in a non-judgmental manner, which teens will appreciate. Otherwise, Emma's crazy antics and her unique outlook on life will keep readers on their toes laughing, and an optimistic ending will satisfy.

Cover Comments: I like the bright colors, and the arrows used in the book--it's a fun motif. The scene with the coupel kissing is cute, and kinda-sorta goes with the book, but I'm sure it's more of an eye-catching technique than anything. Nonetheless, this is a fun and very appealing cover!


Janssen said...

I've had a copy of this sitting around for ages. . .time to pick it up!

nadine said...

I just got this in and am looking forward to reading it.

Unknown said...

Sounds pretty cool :) Heard quite a bit about it, glad you liked it.

The small religious town somewhat reminds me of Toews's A Complicated Kindness.

Michelle Fluttering Butterflies said...

Hadn't heard of this before, but it sounds interesting. I am quite attracted to that cover! I wouldn't have that with that cover that it was a book with a strong religious influence though..

Kate said...

This sounds interesting and I will get it if I see it.

Thao said...

I love this book really much although some characters annoyed me.