[615]: Dear Emma by Katie Heaney


Have you ever been surrounded by exuberant teenagers talking all at once? When you’re trying to hold on to your sanity and rather, futilely keep track of the conversation at the same time? That’s how I felt while I was reading this book. Don’t get me wrong this was funny and entertaining. But at times, I wanted to tell everyone to shut the hell up (the characters, I mean) so I can figure out what the hell was going on. There’s an almost manic quality to the writing that reminds of  Lorelai and Rory Gilmore’s notorious dialogues. That’s either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much of a fan you are/were. But no matter how good The Gilmore Girls was, I could only watch it in little doses before I run screaming to the hills.


Dear Emma follows the story of Harriet, an advice columnist who found herself possibly needing a dose of her own medicine after being unofficially, unceremoniously dumped. It seems shady that Keith would simply fade out of her life hoping that she wouldn’t notice the underhanded way he was shafting her. But when his new girlfriend wrote a Dear Emma letter, Harriet saw an opportunity to avenge her hurt pride. However, the more she gets to know Remy (who happens to work at the library with her), the more she realizes that she might just be a hack when it comes to love and friendships in general.


This book tackles the dynamics of relationships in the era of social media and modern technology. From the nuances of texting etiquettes to our online stalking tendencies,  Dear Emma shows us how relationships work/break through our interactions in the modern world.  But the general lesson I can take away from this book, is that boys are stupid. I can’t tell you how often I said that while I was reading. After the hundredth time, my husband finally took offense and mumbled, “Not all of us are.” To which I conceded, okay fine. Not all the time then, under my breath. And these guys are supposed to be college students. When do boys actually grow up? The answer scares me, to be honest.


One of the things that drove me crazy is the authenticity of the dialogues. In some instances, this would’ve been fully appreciated. But halfway through the novel and after all the shouty-caps and gratuitous exclamations points, I got tired.  I kid you not, I was exhausted. There is nothing more tiring than keeping the fervent enthusiasm of the dialogues in your head. Not even my teen can be this exuberant. Though, I should mention that Dear Emma has its moments as well.  Not everything is  fun and boy-bashing games (though those were fun, too).

Regardless of that hiccup, I think that this is one smart, funny chick-lit. Expect to find positive dynamics between women that shows friendship, camaraderie, and empowerment. Katie is a BuzzFeed editor, so you know you’re going to be on the up and up with the millennials.

GOODREADS SUMMARY | AMAZON | CHAPTERS | Grand Central Publishing, March 1st, 2016 | Paperback, 320 pp.

  • Sounds like there is so much going on in this book and you needed a break to wrap your mind around it! Glad you enjoyed it though Joy!

  • Jazmen

    I seen this book I forgot where and I was like ehhh, nah. I’m kind of glad I did–not that the book sounds bad but it sounds like a lot. I’m not sure I can tackle this one. Thanks for this honest review, Joy!

  • Boys are stupid. Hahaha! Men are hard to find, some are boys trapped in old people bodies, so disappointing! #singleladydiaries

  • shootingstarsmag

    Thanks for sharing! I am really curious about this one. I feel like I would enjoy it overall; seems like a nice summer book.


  • Natalie

    Being surrounding by talking teens is seriously my life. As exhausting as this sounds, it also sound pretty fun. Buzzfeed is my go-to site. I’ll have to check this one out.

  • I’d have to be in the mood to pick this up with the high energy dialogue. Keith sounds like a real peach *not*. I can’t think of anything more awkward than working with the current girlfriend of my ex who dumped me. Bummer.

  • Melliane

    sometimes it’s nice to have a book like that! I love love to have a fun time with a story

  • RO

    I always love funny, but I’m not sure about feeling tired throughout a book! (lol) I do like the idea of tackling Social Media, however, and of course your phenomenal review! Hugs…Ro

  • This sounds way too chaotic for me! I do like the cover, though. Great review!

  • HA. I have a guy friend who consistently tells me, “not all straight guys are bad!!” in response to my rants or asides. To which my reply is usually silence…

  • Melissa (Books and Things)

    I don’t think this one is for me especially if you want the characters to STFU. I have read books like that and it is so distracting to me. I’m glad you still found your way through to enjoy the humor and all the other positive dynamics. I just have a feeling it would get on my last nerve. LOL

  • Jenny @ Supernatural Snark

    The dialogue sounds like it takes some getting used to (and some serious patience), but otherwise this seems like a cute read! And there are definitely shows I can only take in small doses as well, otherwise my eye starts twitching 😉 Hope you have a lovely weekend Joy!

  • Ahhh. Awesome review Joy 😀 Yay for liking this book so much. Four stars is pretty great, lol 🙂 But ugh. Boys are stupid. Don’t sound like a book for me, to be honest. You make it sound exhausting, lol 🙂 You are awesome for reading it. <3 Thank you for sharing sweetie 🙂

  • kindlemom1

    I’m not sure if this would be for me either but I’m glad you gave it a chance. I loved the Gilmore Girls but they did talk a lot. 😉

  • I loved The Gilmore Girls myself, but gosh I couldn’t watch more than two episodes at a time. They just talk *so* much!

    This one doesn’t sound like it’s for me, but the topic is certainly an interesting one. Social media has had such a huge impact on our lives, and I’m never certain if it’s a good or bad one :/

  • BAHHHHHH GUYS ARE TOTAL IDIOTS. I’m in a 102% agreement. The book sounds…not my type? The entire concept of love affected by social media sounds really interesting, but if this is a book with more shouty caps than anything, then I’m better off not reading it. I’ve never really been a Gilmore Girls person ever so huh. We’ll see 🙂

  • I assumed this was a teen read, as the storyline and characters sound a bit juvenile actually. I love light and fluffy reads, but the exclamation posts and all that yelling, I’m not sure I could tollerate that for long either Joy. I’m glad you could still enjoy it somewhat, but definately sounds as though it’s geared towards the younger audience. Wonderful review hun <3

  • I’m not sure about this one. I feel like the showing of social media in relation to relationships would be super interesting – especially someone who is constantly on social media *I admit I’m addicted, I just use book blogging as my excuse ahaha* but then again the whole showing of boys constantly being dumb might bother me a bit. I think I could survive the authentic dialogue though? Never know until I try, really 😀

  • Boys are so stupid 😉

  • Okay I am confused, it was exhausting and it made you say boys are stupid but in the end you liked it? Well, I am glad you liked it-I think.