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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Book Review: Dear Emma by Katie Heaney

This is rather charming and sweet – recommended for those who enjoy YA/coming of age.
Dear Emma
by Katie Heaney

File Size: 2151 KB
Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (March 1, 2016)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group
Genre: Coming of Age
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0

Harriet, the author of her college newspaper's pseudonymous student advice column "Dear Emma," is great at telling others what to do, dispensing wisdom for the lovelorn and lonely on her Midwestern campus. Somehow, though, she can't take her own advice, especially after Keith, the guy she's dating, blows her off completely. When Harriet discovers that Keith has started seeing the beautiful and intimidating Remy, she wants to hate her. But she can't help warming to Remy, who soon writes to "Dear Emma" asking for romantic advice.

Now Harriet has the perfect opportunity to take revenge on the person who broke her heart. But as she begins to doubt her own motivations and presumably faultless guidance, she's forced to question how much she really knows about love, friendship and well-meaning advice.

Emma is the pseudonym for Harriet, a sophomore at college. The advice she gives in the college newspaper is direct, logical and mostly fair. In spite of her skill on the articles, Harriet can't give, or take, the same smart advice for issues in her own life.

Harriet shares an apartment with two other sophomores, Mel and Logan. They share studying, partying, fashion tips and, of course, romantic support and advise.

Harriet meets Keith in a class and they begin to "hangout". Things seem to be going well until he stops texting and calling and pretty much ignores her in class. This turn of events is hard enough to deal with but then Harriet sees him out with Remy, a beautiful girl who is now working beside Harriet at the library. Should she warn her? Should she seek some type of revenge? Would she take Keith back if she could?

The writing is clear, crisp and the tone appropriate for college students. I did not immediately get the connection between Harriet and Emma but had to chuckle when I did. There are moments I smiled, although there were more moments that I shook my head and winced. It has been many years and I don’t think I relate well to high school or college romance anymore.

I think when I accepted this title for review I was hoping for more than teen or young adult dating angst. Unfortunately, my hopes were not realized. The best parts of this novel for me were the “Dear Emma” letters and replies. I also liked the ending that develops for Harriet and Remy. While going through the book I really wanted to get to the end and I didn’t like that attitude. It clearly reminds me why I don’t usually read coming of age or YA stories. They just don’t hold my attention.

In retrospect, as I am thinking of the story, I am thinking kind thoughts for a sweet book. I do think this is a good read for younger readers or those who do enjoy YA/coming of age stories.

I received this from Grand Central/Hachette through NetGalley for an honest review. This qualifies for my NetGalley Challenge and Alphabet Soup.


  1. Sounds like a book younger reads would enjoy.

    Majanka @ I Heart Reading

  2. Great review. This sounds like something my great niece would like to read, I will have to see if she has heard of it before or not.


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