Author: Anne Pfeffer
Publication date: October 25th 2011
Age group: Young Adult
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover rating: 3/5
Content rating: 4/5
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 soon learns that Michael died with a secret. He decides he owes it to Michael to take on his 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?My thoughts:
Well, this book seriously took me by surprise! It wasn't anything like I expected it to be but I don't mean that in a bad way. I figured it would be a light and easy romance but it was way deeper than that. Loving Emily tackles many difficult issues and it tackles them well. I really regretted starting it late at night because it meant I couldn't sit and read it until I finished. Pfeffer had my attention caught from the very first page and it was so hard to set this book down as I got so invested in the characters and the story.
Loving Emily is told from the point of view of a teenage boy, Ryan. Even this was refreshing and done well. I find that 99% of the books I read are from a girl's point of view because usually, the ones told by a guy are full of action and not the kind of book I'd usually pick up! So it was nice to have a boy talking about every day life and realistic problems. Ryan loses his best friend, Michael, in a car accident and blames himself for not being able to stop it. This book follows Ryan's journey through his grief. We see him trying to come to terms with losing friend while trying to make up for what he sees as his failures.
While the relationship between Emily and Ryan is intense and central to the story, it's not overpowering and there is a lot more going on in the book than just that! Ryan gets caught up with some serious business involving a girl who Michael used to be with. From this we see how genuinely nice Ryan is and how committed he is to always trying to do the right thing. While he tells himself he's just doing it all out of guilt, you can tell he's truly interested in just helping out and hates to let people down. I really liked that about him and found him to be a likable protagonist and very easy to relate to and feel sympathy for.
I didn't find Emily as likable for a lot of the book but as it goes on, we learn more about her and see why she acts the way she does. Ryan and Emily really don't know what they're doing in life and it's interesting watching them try to navigate their way through a whole bunch of crazy situations! I loved the writing in this book. It flows well and Ryan's voice is so distinct and believable. It's very easy to get caught up in the story and the emotions of the characters. I also don't think I saw any formatting or typing errors which is always a plus!
Overall, reading Loving Emily was an enjoyable and unpredictable experience. I would certainly recommend it to fans of contemporary YA novels and I can't wait to see what else this author has to offer in the future.