Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

Sometimes I take a chance on a newer book without reading the reviews and just go off the description. Dear Emmie Blue was one of those books. It was an Audible deal of the day a while back, so I decided to take a chance.

From the publisher: “At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address…and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens.

Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she’s desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she’s the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship—she’s given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she’s convinced this is the moment he’ll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?

Emmie Blue is about to learn everything she thinks she knows about life (and love) is just that: what she thinks she knows. Is there such thing as meant to be? Or is it true when they say that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans?”

First off, some trigger warnings: There’s sexual assault, victim blaming, dysfunctional parents, cheating on someone, gaslighting, slut shaming, the manipulations of another’s emotions

Dear Emmie Blue (Amazon) is a very emotional book. The pain and suffering as well as the longing just oozes off the page. Despite having a satisfactory conclusion, you’ve really got to be in the right head space to read or listen to this book. Emmie Blue is so sad for most of the book, and the emotions are so strong and heavy. She’s hanging on to the past, a painful past, and it is affecting her decisions in the present.

Despite the heavy nature of the book, there’s moments of light, too. At it’s heart, the book is a romantic comedy wrapped around all the darkness. She’s desperately in love with Lucas, the boy who found her balloon all those years ago. Despite how close the two have become over the past fourteen years, he doesn’t see her that way. He wants her to be “best woman” at his wedding, and that just crushes Emmie.

Emmie doesn’t want to lose her friendship with Lucas and tries to be supportive. She realizes she has to forge her own path and finds an unexpected ally in Lucas’ brother, Elliott. There are many setbacks along the way, but ultimately, Emmie Blue learns to rely on her resilience and abilities to become a stronger person.

This is the 45th Audiobook I’ve listened to as part of my 2021 Audiobook Challenge.

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