Book Description via Goodreads:
Paperback, 256 pages
June 7, 2012, Orchard
Source: Victoria & Orchard (Thanks!)
Emma as a character was relatable. I could easily imagine her as one of my friends: simple, values family and open to the idea of romance. She was an ordinary girl going through some ordinary life-changing events. Her voice was genuine. She could be funny and sarcastic but at the same time reflective and sensitive. She wasn’t trying to be perfect. She was simply trying to be herself. She was voicing out issues and problems that other teens deal with, too. I think this last bit made Emma even more realistic. She struggled with hurt, coped with changes in her life and accepted her new place in LA.
The story started with Emma, her sister Bex, and her mom moving to LA. It was a fresh start for them after her parents divorced. It seemed that everything she thought was ‘stable’ and ‘permanent’ was changing. Her dad had moved in with his girlfriend. They were moving halfway across the world, leaving behind Manchester, their house, her friends, her school and most importantly, her dad. Emma didn’t want this kind of set-up. I enjoyed reading about her family’s dynamics. Although Emma’s family was generally optimistic, there was still a growing tension and gap between her and her dad. Even though Emma was going through all of these, the book remained light. There was no dramatic heaviness.
Reading about LA was one of my favorite things in this novel. Stainton did an amazing job recreating and portraying LA in her book because after reading Emma <3 LA, I felt like I lived there. She gave it an eccentric but familiar vibe, enough for me to be interested and intrigued but at the same time ‘settle’ in my mind.
In the beginning of the novel, I was introduced to a better version of the dorky, eccentric Oscar. He was funny, charming and easy to be with. Emma was comfortable around him. I immediately saw the spark between them. It was ever-present but compared to other sparks in YA romance, it was the constant, stable spark. As the pages flew, this constant spark was burning brighter and brighter. The two were meant to be in obvious (and easily taken for granted) ways. They have known each other for years and were now reunited.
My only complaint was that Alex was given little chance to interact with Emma. I liked Alex as a character. He was famous, accustomed to its pros and cons, but he was also real. He wasn’t too down to earth but he wasn’t snobby as well. I felt that it would have been great to see more of him.
Emma <3 LA is a fun and enjoyable YA contemporary. If you’re looking for a quick and light read, this one is for you!