Thursday, September 20, 2012

Emily for Real- Sylvia Gunnery

Title: Emily for Real
Author: Sylvia Gunnery
Source: Won
Series: No
Rating: 3/5

Seventeen-year-old Emily’s world crumbles when her boy friend dumps her, and when she thinks her life can’t possibly get any worse, a series of secrets are revealed that threaten to tear her beloved family apart. Emily’s heart has been broken into a hundred pieces and she feels like there is no one to turn to, until an unexpected friendship blossoms with a troubled classmate named Leo. Sometimes moody but always supportive, Leo is Emily’s rock in an ocean of confusion and disbelief.

But Leo doesn’t have an easy life either. He struggles to be both mother and father to his little sister while his mom battles her alcohol addiction. His deadbeat dad darts in and out of the picture, and Leo would rather he stay away, permanently. The two friends lean on each other, and in the end discover the inner strength to face whatever life throws at them.

With incredible insight into the teenage psyche and speckled with pitch-perfect humor, author Sylvia Gunnery has created a heart-warming coming-of-age story that explores the intricacies of family and friendship.

I won this book from Ashley at Book Labyrinth. She has an awesome blog so you should check out her blog.

I have not actually heard much about this book before entering the contest so I decided to check it out. Emily's boyfriend breaks up with her when he leaves for university. She feels lost without him until she is partnered up with Leo. They soon become close friends and Emily feel like she is able to talk to him openly. After Emily's grandfather dies, family secrets that were buried long ago emerge and the secrets start to tear her family apart.

Emily handled the breakup surprisingly well. She was upset but she kept it together better than I first thought she would. I enjoyed hearing from her point of view and she seemed to have a pretty good backbone, except when it came to her family. I felt like she allowed them to walk all over her. I understood she was processing a lot of information in a short amount of time but I did not like how she allowed them to treat her. Leo was a pretty typical bad boy with a kind heart. He loved his sister but had a lot of resentment towards his alcoholic mother and his absent father. 

There was a lot that went down in this short book. Emily's family has a lot of secrets that affect everyone in the family in different ways.

The part I did not like about the book was I felt that the story was a little underdeveloped. Emily is very close to her grandmother who is in a nursing home but not much information is given as to why she is so close to her which I found a little odd. Also I did not like how Emily's aunt seemed to control Emily's father. I understand that she is his sister but when things start to come out, he allows her to make the decisions for Emily and his wife. I was hoping he would have done more for Emily's mother who I felt got put on the back burner by her family.

There were parts that I liked and there were parts I did not like. I am still a little undecided on how exactly to explain this book or what I think of it. There is too much that can be given away if I go to far into detail. Overall I enjoyed the story but I hoped the characters would have been more developed. 

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