June 7th 2012
Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better... But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who's turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?
Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.
Maybe LA's not that bad after all.
I love Keris Stainton's books. They're just really good, British (despite the fact that they're sometimes set in America) contemp YA, that don't deal with particularly heavy issues, but are just adorable. They're light and quick to read, and always leave me feeling satisfied.
Emma isn't a completely new character to us, as we saw quite a lot of her in Jessie Hearts NYC, and I really liked getting to see things from her perspective. She's just moved to LA with her mother after her parents have undergone a divorce, and she's still trying to come to terms with her dad at the same time as adjusting to a whole new country, and I have to say I certainly didn't envy her. But at the same time, she didn't always complain about it and moan about it, and she didn't try and drag down the mood of her mum and sister who were both pretty excited about the move as it meant better job prospects for both of them. I really admired her maturity in the situation, because she could've just been really bitchy and annoying about it like a lot of teens would be if they were about to get uprooted from their lives. Of course, there was a bit of sarcasm and stuff about it, but who could blame her! I know I would be way worse.
And Oscar! I love you! Honestly, if you ever think you can't find a nerdy boy attractive in fiction just read this and you will change your mind. He's basically the most adorable thing ever and I don't think anyone could not like him. He used to be friends with Emma, because he used to live near her and their parents used to be friends, and I liked the fact that all the fuss wasn't all over Shiny New Boy, and that Old Geeky Friend got a lot of the limelight. He was just so lovely. I want to cuddle him. Also, I love the fact that he owned his nerdiness! I don't like it when people come across as being ashamed of, y'know, liking things, so whenever I see geeky people in books and they revel in their geekiness, I just kind of love it.
Alex was cool too, and I like the fact that even though he was a pretty big star and stuff, he wasn't totally arrogant and all about how 'hot' he is. He genuinely seemed like a nice person, and he seemed to genuinely like Emma a lot, which I thought was sweet. I was glad that anything that happened between them wasn't just some publicity ploy for him or anything, which was good because a lot of times in books like this I kind of just expect the famous guy to just be a complete douche. He was nothing compared to Oscar, though, and there was one scene involving the both of them that kind of made my opinion of him go down a little, but I don't think he was a bad guy.
I kind of fell in love with LA while reading this book, too. Now, I've never been further overseas than Tenerife (and I kind of hated it), but the way that LA was described, even all of the places that I've heard of and are famous and have never really wanted to go seemed amazing. I guess it just goes to show that when you really love a place, it just translates. It's just how Keris's passion for New York in Jessie Hearts NYC made me desperately want to go. I don't think I'll get to go to America any time soon (like, ever) but if I ever do, I'll make sure that NYC and LA are some of the places I go. (Even though I know that they're already, like, big tourist destinations, these books made me want to go there EVEN MORE.)
I also really liked Emma's mum, and especially her sister Bex. I was kind of fully prepared to not like her because she really wanted to be a teen star and stuff, but she was actually really cool, and though she did get a bit carried away with the whole 'LA lifestyle' thing, she also worked really hard to get what she wanted, and was really enthusiastic about it too. I was also really glad that the whole dad thing was important to the book too, and that it wasn't just about the boys, that it was about coming to terms with a new life and with her parents divorce, and that she shouldn't just blame her dad. So that was cool.
Emma Hearts LA is a fun, adorable, quick read that'll be the perfect book for the beach, or, y'know, just summer in general. It's not beach specific (I should know, I hate beaches). It's the perfect book for any time, any where! ;)