Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Book Review - Emma Hearts LA

Emma Hearts LA
Author: Keris Stainton
Genres: Contemporary | Childrens, Young Adult
Release Date: 7th June 2012
Publishers: Orchard Books
No. Pages: 256
Source: Purchased
Buy From: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes and Noble | Waterstones
Emma's not sure that LA's for her, but when she accompanies her sister Bex 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..

Everybody comes to a time in their life when you've read enough vampires to make you protective of your neck, and where you've read enough sad stories to have you drinking gallons of water just to replenish your water levels, but we never ever get tired of chick-lit, and that's exactly what this book is. It may not be Shakespeare, and it's certainly not the best piece if work I've ever read, but as chick-lit goes, this light-hearted, quick read, escape away is exactly what I was looking for. This book delivered.

I had read a previous book by Stainton, Jessie Hearts NYC, and I was over the moon to find out that the Emma in that story is the exact same Emma in this one; we didn't really get to grips with Emma's character much in Jessie's story, so I knew that when I was the right mood, this book would be wonderful, and I was right. To start with, Emma's character is much funnier in this edition in comparison to the first; whether that's down to the fact that she has the spotlight here, or whether Stainton hadn't developed Emma's character much in the beginning, who knows; I loved her. I found her sense of humour and characteristics to be fantastic and I felt that she really brought a sarcastic flare to the world of 'Hollywood'. As the book continued, Emma constantly grew as a character and she became much more confident in herself, her feelings and what she's passionate at, drawing. I could really relate and connect with Emma through her art, because I used to draw and sketch a lot when I was 16 too; I understood how much the pressure can get to you, and I understood why she stopped.

The 'love triangle' implied in the synopsis though isn't much of a love triangle at all, and I actually preferred that; I would have hated a full out of brawl between the two guys involved because they were both honest, considerate and genuinely cared for Emma as a person, which really makes a change in young adult books, rather than having an obvious bad guy and an obvious good guy and I appreciated this. I also appreciated that Stainton was able to write a romance in a different direction to that of Jessie's story; where in Jessie's story, she met Finn in New York, Emma and Oscar met in England and found each other again in LA when circumstances brought them together. I found myself instantly comfortable with Oscar as a character, I found him full of humour, intelligence and charisma that is sometimes missing in other characters in young adult; he was a breath of fresh air. I did have a problem with the fact that Stainton appears to focus on divorce as her basis for divided parents rather than other subjects such as death or abandonment, however, she did make the parents aspect different in this story than with Jessie Hearts NYC, which I appreciated; a different parent was involved, different jobs and circumstances where also lovely, and it was lovely to find that Jessie joined the characters in this story within the last quarter because it really brought Emma out of herself, made her more confident and finally brought Emma and Oscar together.

In comparison to Jessie Hearts NYC, I was able to focus and pick up on the scenes and surroundings better which I found fantastic; it really made the whole experience much better for me as a reader because I was never lost or confused, I actually want to visit LA now, just because of this book. Stainton also puts a lot of effort into her books, you can tell just by reading the scenes of the states these books are set in, she really takes her time and makes sure that you can appreciate and enjoy the story just as much as the characters do, and it was a lovely reading experience. I did find the problems with Emma and her father to be a little repetitive, but once again, I could easily relate to those problems, and I could understand how her relationship with her father affected other areas of her life; I feel like I learnt a large number of lessons while reading this book.

I loved Staintons easy writing style once again, which again, isn't the strongest I've seen, and found myself speeding through this book, laughing out loud and generally smiling like a gorm, so I can't fault her on that. I loved how she developed her characters and gave me a romance I could really root for, much more realistic than in Jessie Hearts NYC and much more subtle and caring. I appreciated that Stainton also wanted to address a different message in this book; the message that we're all stars in our own right, that we all shine differently, that we shouldn't let someone try to put out our shine, and that we should follow our dreams. Yes, this book is cheesy, and yes, this book could be seriously be slated by some people because it's not 'strong or mind-blowing', but sometimes, just like everyone, I like myself a bit of predictable, happy and positive chick-lit, and that's exactly what this book is. I think I've found myself a turn to author in Keris Stainton.


  1. I am pretty sure that I read Jessie Hearts NYC, but I can't remember any of it lol. I guess that means I didn't enjoy it all that much or I am sure I could recall at least one part of it. But I am glad this wasn't that disappointing, although I won't be rushing out to get it any time soon ;) ... or ever.

    1. That's fair, it's definitely not a book for everyone, but I've fallen in love with how quick and easy Stainton's books are that I'll probably try to read them at some point. Always love some cheese :)

  2. Awww this sounds cute. I need some easy/relaxing books and this one sounds like just that :) I will probably sought out Jessie Hearts NYC too :D
    Angel @ Spare Reads

    1. Thank you Angel! Both of them are very quick, easy and very cheesy books.
      I love them for when I just need a break away from everything else :)

  3. I love a book where the underlying message really comes through!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

    1. Oh totally! It definitely did with this book, as messages go, Stainton does them well :)


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