Title: Emma Hearts LAAuthor: Keris StaintonPublisher: OrchardPublication Date: 7 June 2012Source: Review CopyRating: 4/5Synopsis from Goodreads
Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better... But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who's turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?
Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.
Maybe LA's not that bad after all.
There is so much more to this book than the synopsis suggests. Emma moves to LA with her mother and sister following her parents break-up. Her mother has the most fantastic job offer that cant be turned down, no ordinary job mind you, Emma's mother is an astro-physicist. The detail and research Keris has put into astro-physics really shone through the narrative adding depth and detail to the story.
The comparison of life in Britain to life in LA was thought provoking, I think I may now want to go and live in LA [ : D ] Not only for the weather but for the way of life and the believe that anything is possible, oh and the food.
Emma is having a hard time adjusting to her parents break-up and her father being in a new relationship. The move to LA gives Emma the opportunity for a lot of soul searching and developing self-awareness not only of herself but also understanding her reactions to events and criticism. It was lovely to follow. Keris has the unnerving knack of writing in exactly the way I think, which makes her characters so relatable to me. Emma is surprisingly mature for her age, she works her way logically through her problems, she is self-aware and open minded, a loyal friend and a terrific sister. I loved the close relationship she had with her family.
Emma's move to LA was like watching the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle slot into place, everything just fit perfectly. Proving that life can take a completely different route to the one you were expecting but these changes may in fact be the best thing that could happen to you. The way in which the breakdown of a marriage can be viewed as 'for the best' was profoundly portrayed; it is better to be happy and apart than together and miserable. The way parents emotions are reflected by their children was insightful, if you're happy their happy type of thing.
I cannot tell you how much I adored Oscar, he is such a quirky character. Geeky but totally comfortable in his own skin, love love love him. The inclusion of Jessie from Jessie Hearts NYC (review HERE) really added to the story, it was nice to have the updates on the relationships from that book included in this one. The portrayal of fame and how scary it can be to have the paparazzi follow you everywhere, making relationships difficult really made me think about how lonely it must be not having an opportunity to relax and just be yourself. The decision to seek fame is something that needs careful consideration as it isn't just about the talent but how much of normalcy you are willing to give up in order to achieve it. The behind the scenes look at the 'industry' was insightful.
I have to say that Keris has done it again, she brings wonderfully evolved characters and their settings to life while producing warm fuzzy feelings at the end of it. This book should be on a list of the perfect books to read on holiday.