Dear Emmie Blue is satisfying, heartwarming escapism without inspiring any irritation at too-convenient or outlandish events.
This is a lovely light summer read I recently mentioned in my Greedy Reading List Three Wackily Different Books I'm Reading Right Now. I'm happy to tell you that this one lived up to its strong start.
Sometimes in order to delve into a light fiction book I find that I have to suspend my disbelief about human behavior. But letting go of expectations about realistic cause and effect in order to buy into a romantic setup (see my review of What You Wish For) is far more difficult for me than suspending my disbelief to buy into the outlandish or supernatural aspects of a romantic but otherwise truly oddball book (see my review of My Lady Jane).
Lia Louis's Dear Emmie Blue doesn't require the reader to do much, if any, LA-LA-LA-ing and taking deep breaths while outrageous events are taking place. Characters are appealingly faulted, and sometimes selfish and foolish. Unlikely bonds are forged and reforged. There's a love triangle that I adored.
The setup of how the best friends met (Emmie released a balloon with a message when she was young, and Lucas, who shares the same birthday, just happened to find it across the ocean) is cute as a framework and didn't irritate with its almost cinematic convenience, although its significance pales compared to the real meat of the story.
Emmie takes some time figuring out whether she deserves happiness. A couple of cutie-pies, a long-lost family member, and some friends who are like family help her find clarity in what she wants and how to get it. This is satisfying escapism without causing any snappishness at too-easy or outlandish events. Everything that goes smoothly, I wanted to happen.
Also, the characters of Fox and Rosie are gloooooorious. You can see something brewing there from a mile away, but that didn't diminish my joy in the least at their banter and how their relationship grows and changes.
What did you think?
Lia Louis has written another book, Somewhere Close to Happy, described as "a laugh-out-loud funny yet heart-breaking novel about first love and second chances, with a satisfying mystery at its heart." It sounds like more excellent lighthearted escapism, and I definitely plan to give it a try.