Book review: Editing Emma by Chloe Seager

Emma’s boyfriend, Leon, suddenly and inexplicably cuts her out of his life completely, untagging photos of them online and pretending that she doesn’t exist. When he goes Facebook official with another girl, Emma decides it’s time to stop stalking Leon and instead, find a better way to use the internet. Her new blog, titled EDITING EMMA chronicles her attempts at internet dating, baking, and discoveries about her Mum’s weirdly dysfunctional relationships. Trouble is, the new improved Emma might not actually be all that improved.

I suspect I’m going to show my age here (or just that I’m an introverted prude), when I say that I just didn’t get the constant blogging. While reading I just found myself asking rather Mumsy questions like:

  • Why would you put this much private information on the interweb?
  • Where is she finding the time to blog this much?
  • How does she write such long posts on her phone? I can’t see anything on that tiny screen.

I ended up pretending that Emma was keeping an old-fashioned pen and paper diary just so that I could manage to read a few pages of the book without blurting out how things have changed since my day (I’m nearly 32 by the way, I didn’t grow up in the dark ages or anything but Facebook didn’t exist until I was at university and it was another five years before it even got close to today’s epic level of over-sharing),  but even so this made it pretty hard for me to get into the book.

That said, I found Emma as a character pretty lovable. I love the way that Chloe Seager portrays her as a totally flawed individual that we can all relate to. We’ve all spent way too long after a break up checking out an ex’s social media pages, or told a little white lie on a first date, or accidentally shared a post/text/email with people that weren’t supposed to see it. And I suspect, most of us have dealt with the sure sense that the world is over following these indiscretions with the same dignity and aplomb that Emma musters!

These ‘we’ve all been there’ situations are mixed in with some less common occurrences; telling people about the time you staked out your Mum’s boyfriend whilst in disguise is probably less likely to be met with a chorus of “oh my god, me too”, but it does make for pretty good comedy. I actually wish that there had been some more completely ridiculous situations à la Bridget Jones, I think this would have made the book laugh-out-loud-funny rather than just tiny-smirk-to-self-when-reading-funny.

The difficulty that I had with getting my head around the premise coupled with the too predictable happy ending (no spoilers so I won’t go into this) makes this book the Bradley Cooper of the funny young adult genre for me: personally, I don’t get it but I’d totally understand if someone else said they love it.

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