Thursday, February 19, 2009

Review: What Would Emma Do?

What Would Emma Do?
Eileen Cook
2009; Simon Pulse; 978-1-4169-7432-1 (softcover)

Summary: If Jesus was a girl in the early twenty-first century, how would he feel about kissing your best friend's boyfriend? That's the question that Emma is struggling with, and it has her talking to God a lot. Because the boyfriend in question is also her long-standing friend, too. There's also Emma's desire to get out of Wheaton, Indiana and go to Northwestern, something that can only happen if she gets a track scholarship. Add in a strange illness that's affecting the popular girls--a illness that Emma could reveal isn't an illness at all--and you've got a lot to ask God for. Will God come through, or will Emma find another way?

In a fun, fast read that provides a modern-day commentary on the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials, What Would Emma Do? provides us with a glimpse of evangelical life in a small town. Even though small-town living is so lauded in politics and culture, this novel reveals that such a life isn't for everyone. It's certainly not for Emma, who's becoming a questioning, doubting young adult. Yet how does she juggle her dislike for this life with her friends and her mother, who are perfectly happy in Wheaton? It's a tough line to walk, and Emma has a few stumbles. Yet by the end of the novel, she's able to answer the question poised by the book's title. Recommend this title to the teens who aren't about to take what they've been told at face value.

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