[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.

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