eARC Review – Dear Emmie Blue

Title: Dear Emmie Blue

Author: Lia Louis

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication date: July 14th, 2020

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

In this charming and poignant novel, teenager Emmie Blue releases a balloon with her email address and a big secret into the sky, only to fall head-over-heels for the boy who finds it; now, fourteen years later, the one thing Emmie has been counting on is gone for good, and everything she planned is up in the air. 

At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address…and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens.

Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she’s desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she’s the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship—she’s given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she’s convinced this is the moment he’ll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?

Emmie Blue is about to learn everything she thinks she knows about life (and love) is just that: what she thinks she knows. Is there such thing as meant to be? Or is it true when they say that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans? A story filled with heart and humor, Dear Emmie Blue is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Review

**Thank you to Atria Books, Netgalley, and Lia Louis for an early copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

Emmie Blue has been in love with her best friend for almost 10 years. They met at 16 after she tied her email address to a balloon and sent it off into the sky. Emmie suffered a tramautic event and lost all her friends, so when the reply came from Lucas she was overjoyed. They share the same birthday, and didn’t live all that far apart. They became quick friends and spent every birthday together. On their 30th, Emmie was sure he was going to confess his love for her and they could start dating. Instead, he announced he was engaged and wanted Emmie to be his best woman.

This book was quite the rollercoaster. In the beginning, I found myself confused at times as the writing involves flashbacks. With the eARC version, it was hard to tell when the flashbacks were happening, but I’m sure this will be more clear in the finished copies so I would not take this as a criticism. Dear Emmie Blue is told entirely from Emmie’s perspective, and it contains themes of found family, overcoming traumatic events, and finding love for yourself. I found myself totally relating to Emmie throughout the entire book.

Without going into too much detail and giving spoilers, the highlights of this book include the romance, Emmie’s burgeoning friendship with her elderly landlord, and her dealing with the aftereffects of being sexually assaulted at her school by a faculty member when she was young. Lia Louis managed to fit so many plotlines into the novel without it feeling like it is too much.

I frankly was not a huge fan of Lucas as a character. You learn more about him as the book goes on, and I was not impressed by him as a person (which could be partially the point). His downfalls serve to pave the way for the love interest, but he did everything wrong, so I don’t know why Emmie sticks by him. It doesn’t make sense and really he seems unhealthy for Emmie to have in her life.

Overall, a very poignant and interesting story that makes you think about fairytale love stories, and the difference of being in love with someone and being in love with the idea of someone.

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