How is it possible that just because Steph’s busy and Faith’s away, I have no one left?! Literally no one. How pathetic is that?! How do I only have two friends in the entire globe?! The entire globe of nearly eight billion people? TWO? Out of EIGHT BILLION?
Is that normal??!!
I’m Robinson Crusoe, sitting out on a tiny island all by myself. And no one’s coming to rescue me.
(From The Friendship Fails Of Emma Nash by Chloe Seager.)
Emma’s given up on love but all her friends are in relationships. Suddenly Emma isn’t sure what to do with herself and she misses the old dynamic of her friendships. This puts her on a mission to make new best friends.
The school fashion show seems like the perfect opportunity to meet new people.
The result is a series of hilarious situations and mishaps. Emma is back online and she is unafraid to share all.
Editing Emma was one of my surprise hits of 2017. By surprise, I don’t mean there was any reason the book shouldn’t have been fab. I mean I wasn’t certain it would be for me. I was late the party with contemporary YA and had just discovered what it fabulous genre it is when I read Editing Emma. The book had a distinctive, chatty voice and the characters stayed with me long after I opened the book. It reminded me what it was really like to be the teenager and its themes about online identity were totally up to date.
Guess what? The sequel is fab too.
Lots of seventeen and eighteen-year-olds have to confront shifts in their friendship groups. Partners come and go, groups expand and reshape as young people move into sixth-form and there is the great big end-of-school looming over everything. That’s what is happening to Emma Nash. She may have sorted out her own love life but with her friends in relationships, she’s feeling pretty lonely.
So Emma logs back online.
I love how these stories explore the role of the internet in modern friendship groups. This is something which – until the past couple of years – wasn’t acknowledged in YA. It was like the unspoken taboo. Teens had a whole world online but people were afraid to encourage it. It is great to see books which honestly reflect how teenagers use the internet. Friendship Fails Of Emma Nash covers everything from trawling through profiles of people we vaguely know to awkward emails to how it can feel when the internet turns nasty.
This book is also upfront about the things teenagers really talk about. Periods. Sex. This book is unafraid to visit the supposedly-taboo topics. Emma is unafraid to share everything – and I mean everything. She’s like that real girl you knew as a teenager who would give you regular updates on bra-size and period flow. The reader is reminded that these subjects are totally normal and hopefully this will give them confidence to have open conversations and challenge stereotypes.
Another hit. Laugh, cry and nod your head in recognition. Emma is every-girl and she is your new fictional BFF.
Thanks to Nina Douglas PR and HQ Stories for my copy of The Friendship Fails Of Emma Nash. Opinions my own.