Amanda's Reviews > Me & Emma

Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2110482
's review
Jan 09, 15

it was ok
Read in January, 2010

** spoiler alert ** SPOILER ALERT. DO NOT READ THIS REVIEW IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW HOW THE BOOK ENDS!!!

I'll be honest, the twist at the end really got me. I was guessing at all kinds of things. I was thinking that the mom did it and that we would find out that she killed her first husband too. But when it came out that Emma was imaginary it really took me by surprise. I flipped back through several of the scenes in the book and re-read them to find all the clues hidden along the way. Well done on the twist.

The problem is that the twist had nothing to do with the rest of the story. If you go back to high school literature and think about plot with the inciting incident, building story until the climax that answers the dramatic question. In this case the dramatic question was "how will they resolve the situation with Richard." In the end the question is solved when Richard dies, but that has nothing to do with the fact that Emma is imaginary. The twist ending is totally gratuitous. The story works with or without Emma. Without Emma (or with Emma being real) it is a story about abuse. With Emma, it is a story with a crazy, Hollywood-esque ending.

An example of a well-done twist is in the movie Sixth Sense. The Bruce Willis character is trying to make peace with himself on two levels: first, because he could not help the patient who shot him, he needs to help the new little boy who sees dead people. Second, he needs to heal his marriage. Both story lines are wrapped completely around the fact that he is dead himself.

Also, the tone of the book was too serious and realistic to end with a literary device. To use the Sixth Sense as an example again, throughout the movie it feels like a story, not real life. The book Emma and Me reads almost like a memoir. The voice of this eight-year-old girl and her descriptions of everything from her abuse to her school humiliations are very real. It reminded me a lot of Glass Castle, which is in fact a memoir. And the topic of abuse is a pretty serious thing to base your story around. We had to wade through a lot of miserable stuff just to get to this crazy twist. I thought the book was going to be about the affects of abuse or overcoming abuse or something. But it turned out the book was really about nothing. The only thing the abuse accomplished is that I really hated Richard by the end. But, you know what, I hated Richard within the first ten pages. This book could have been a short story instead of a novel. In fact, there were several times when I would stop and think, where is this book going? Nowhere! It just wallowed in muck. If I have to wade through that much misery, I want there to be something at the end that makes it worthwhile. She didn’t have to be in an abusive family to have an imaginary sister. She was schizo before Richard even showed up! The twist could have come out some other way.

So that’s why I only gave it two stars. I really didn’t enjoy reading it because there was too much mucky abuse stuff that turned out to be all for nothing (although, kudos to the author for not unnecessarily detailing the sexual abuse! She earned points for that for sure). It’s like there are two different stories, the abuse story, that had no redeeming point at the end, and the schizo story that didn’t have anything to do with the rest of the book. But the twist did get me big time at the end. Overall, it’s not a book I would recommend.
10 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Me & Emma.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-8 of 8) (8 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Linda C I actually read "The Glass Castle" either immediately before or immediately after this book. Both were purchases at a bookstore on Martha's Vineyard during vacation and were recommended by the bookstore staff. What a double dose of abused child syndrome--both very good books, but back to back was a little hard to take. And I agree with you, they felt like very similar books, even though one was a memoir and the other fiction.


Linda C Donna wrote: "The sad thing is that this is a true story being played out all over the world today. Emma was very much a part of the story because she was the alter ego that protected the abused child's mind. Be..."

Did you know there is a sequel out now? I haven't read it yet but it's on my list. It's called "What Happened to my Sister." Cam out last summer or fall, I think.


message 3: by Authorjen (new) - added it

Authorjen You should really indicate a spoiler alert BEFORE you give away a major plot line. People read reviews when deciding to choose a book to read. Thanks for ruining the story for me. Too bad you can't block specific reviewers in Goodreads.


message 4: by Fran (new)

Fran Shaw I eas going to say the same thong. People read reviews before they read the book not after so please dont give away the ending or too much information!


Deena I agree with AuthorJen and Fran-where was the spoiler alert? Who blurts out the ending in a review? Ill be sure to NOT read any more by this reviewer unless I want to know how the story ends in advance.


Amanda Authorjen wrote: "You should really indicate a spoiler alert BEFORE you give away a major plot line. People read reviews when deciding to choose a book to read. Thanks for ruining the story for me. Too bad you can't..."

The first two words of the review are **spoiler alert** with stars for emphasis. I am sorry you didn't see that. I edited the review to make it more obvious.


Amanda Fran wrote: "I eas going to say the same thong. People read reviews before they read the book not after so please dont give away the ending or too much information!"

The first two words of the review are **spoiler alert** with stars for emphasis. I am sorry you didn't see that. I edited the review to make it more obvious.


Amanda Fran wrote: "I eas going to say the same thong. People read reviews before they read the book not after so please dont give away the ending or too much information!"

The first two words of the review are **spoiler alert** with stars for emphasis. I am sorry you didn't see that. I edited the review to make it more obvious.


back to top