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Dear Emmie Blue

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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 address, 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. 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?

Filled with heart and humor, Dear Emmie Blue “beautifully captures the heartache and frustrations of carrying our teenaged selves with us wherever we go” (Anstey Harris, author of Goodbye Paris) that is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Evvie Drake Starts Over.

311 pages, Hardcover

First published July 14, 2020

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Lia Louis

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,991 reviews
Profile Image for Nilufer Ozmekik.
2,194 reviews40.5k followers
May 22, 2023
I am emotional wreck! I felt like my throat not only filled with cotton balls, but it seemed like at least 3000 acres cotton land invaded my entire body! Eyes are red-rimmed, nose is like tomato juice ( bloody red and runny) and my cruel heart is broken into pieces!

Dear Lia Louis, what have you done to me? I loved this story so much and I wish it could be adapted into screen. I can already visualize the billboards at the streets chanting for “Team Lucas” or “Team Eliot”! This is one of the best second changes, facing with your past to reborn from your ashes and searching for happiness book!

There are so many great Brat Pack movies vibes (from “Say Anything” to “Sixteen Candles”), weird movie references mashes with brave #metoo movement representation.
This book is sweet, swoony and cute but it also moving, heart wrenching, soul-crushing, tear jerking. Normally I hate love triangles and characters’ indecisiveness about their own feelings, that’s why this book starts like a three stars –I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it, too- story for me but as I start moving back and forth between past and present, seeing those beautiful messages at the mixed tapes, slow burn romantic moments, past regrets, future’s stumbling, present’s struggles, the characters’ flaws, their heartfelt story start growing on me! I couldn’t put it down and I let myself get lost in their beautiful, complex relationship.

Emmie looks for a real family, neglected by her mother throughout her teenage years, abandoned by her father, outcast of her school, being judged by her friends for something she didn’t do. She really needs someone stand by her and hold her hand as a confidante, a real, honest friend. And she is only 16. It is not fair to be in some much pain in those ages, forced to face the shitty hand life had dealt you. So Emmie Blue releases a balloon with her email address and her big secret into the sky and Lucas finds her balloon. That’s the part their 14 years long friendship started.

Now Emmie thinks she’s head over heels in love with Lucas and he meets with her to ask one of his most important questions of his life. But no: he didn’t ask to be his wife, he asks her to be his best man and Emmie accepts it. Whattttt!!! Yes, this is big mistake and I want to kidnap Emmie to prevent her obvious heartbreak and suffer!

You may think this is angsty, edgy and irritatingly torturous story and you ask yourself why Emmie accepts his offer (that was the moment I thought I should have given three stars ) but don’t you dare to stop reading till meeting with Lucas’ half-brother Eliot, always protective, kind, but also witty, sarcastic with amazing taste in music.

Emmie has always complex feelings about Eliot and she still resents him what he’s done when she was 19! But nothing as it seems! Emmie should change the way to look at you’re her life because sometimes people may be blind enough to see things in front of them.
Emmie slowly understands she is not lonely. She is loved and she is cared deeply and now it’s time to get her head out of her ass (I think this book could be named like this, because most of the characters are acting like blind, especially at some parts I wanted to scream at Emmie to open her eyes because some clues were so obvious and she was so stubborn to believe in wrong things about herself and people who deeply cared for her.)

And I adored the supporting characters, especially Rosie Kalwar needs her own book, her witty comments, carefree, artistic, genuine attitude and her honest sense of humor made me laugh and love her more. And let’s not forget the sweetpie Louise.

There are two heroes and it is obvious who I’m rooting for! Especially chapter 41 made me cry out loud! I’m not giving you the spoilers but that character I rooted for passed the best book-boyfriend exam with flying colors!

And ending was also sweet, emotional, inspiring, promising.

Overall: I’m still cutting off half star because of the characters’ obnoxious actions but this book already stole my heart so let’s round up 4.5 stars to 5 and keep smiling for the heart melting story the author created for us!

Special thanks to NetGalley and double special thanks to Atria Books/Emily Bestler Books (because I got both digital and hardcover copies) for sharing this amazing ARC with me in exchange my honest review. It melt my heart and healed my soul!

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Profile Image for Kim ~ It’s All About the Thrill.
539 reviews619 followers
July 29, 2020
❤️❤️Happy pub day to one of my fav books of 2020❤️❤️

OMG I LOVE this book! Okay this book was nowhere to be found on my radar. I am so thankful that the publisher suggested I read this because it blew me away. No kidding, Emmie Blue stole my heart. What did I love? Every single word of this story. I loved the characters, the premise.......everything.

You know when you crack open a book hoping for the best...then you get that feeling from the very first chapter...that this is it...this is going to be a book that you are going to love? That was Emmie Blue for me. Right from the very first page. Then ...it just got better and better. The characters were so well developed that I felt Emmie was my BFF. I wanted to laugh, cry, hug her and drink lots of wine with her. This girl was so likeable. It felt like when I watch a Meg Ryan movie and you can't help but cheer her on the whole way...yep Emmie again.

My heart broke many times over with this book, yet it was such a feel good book. Does that make sense? I have been on the struggle bus lately with finding a book I can click with ( as much of us at this weird time). This book just blew me away...this is defiantly making it to my top 10 of the year and being adding to my shelf of favorites. Why you ask? It was a book that I spent all day looking forward to when I could get the chance to pick it up again. A book that I will not soon forget. A book that I connected with right from the start. If this is not on your radar, well it should be. I highly suggest you need to meet Emmie Blue if you get the chance. She is a pretty special girl!

Thank you so very much to Atria Books for my ARC via Netgalley
Profile Image for Kaceey.
1,065 reviews3,607 followers
April 5, 2020
This is one of those reads that sneaks up on you and when you least expect it…wraps itself around your heart.❤️

Emmie Blue just turned thirty. A birthday she gladly shares with her dearest friend Lucas. Tonight, she’s wishing on a star, with all her heart that Lucas opens his eyes and sees what she believes. That the two of them could have a wonderful future together, far beyond the “friend zone.” Well, all you hopeless romantics…let’s just say things don’t always turn out as we hope.

Emmie Blue is a tragically sad character simply searching for happiness. To be loved. Isn’t that what we all look for in life.💁🏻‍♀️ Poor Emmie has had more than her fair-share of misfortune in her thirty short years.
I absolutely felt for Emmie. Her pain and discomfort were palpable. The author did a masterful job bringing her to life.

For me the book was a slow starter. Until I hit the half way mark, when I found it quite impossible to put down. I wanted so much for Emmie to finally discover her peace and happiness and couldn’t, wouldn’t stop until I saw her journey through to the end! I laughed, I cheered and I cried!

A superbly written story of love and friendship.

Thank you to Milena Brown at Atria books via NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.
Profile Image for jessica.
2,533 reviews32.3k followers
November 15, 2021
a cute, quintessentially british romance. very beth o’leary, very mhairi mcfarlane.

its a bit predictable, but in the way that everything feels so realistic, you know exactly whats going to happen. the prose is nice, the pacing is pretty good, and the lessons learned along the way are good ones.

if i could change anything it would be the way the story is told. it starts exactly 14 years after the events in synopsis. i really wish it has been told in chronological order because the flashback scenes are pretty weak. i understand why they are used, but i think the story would have been more convincing had there been more showing and less telling.

but overall, this is a quick and sweet feel-good story.

3.5 stars
Profile Image for Jayme.
1,138 reviews1,873 followers
July 14, 2020

It had to be!

How else could you explain how an insecure, slightly awkward sixteen year old girl, can release a balloon 🎈 into the sky, with her big secret and her email address and have it be found by a boy, an ocean away who is the same age, with the same birthday, and the same obsession with Marmite and “Footballers Wives”?

So, Emmie just KNOWS what Lucas is about to propose, on their mutual 30th birthday...it has to be the day that their 14 year friendship, will be defined as something else...

So begins a charming, uplifting tale of “love redefined” that I am so glad that I was invited to read, by the publisher.

I had to set the book down at the end of Chapter 39, as my eyes blurred with happy tears, even though I guessed what was coming!

And, they blurred with happy tears again, when I read the epilogue, and the
story of Emmie Blue and Balloon Boy, revealed just ONE LAST SURPRISE! 🎈

Another fun buddy read with DeAnn!

Thank You to Atria/ Emily Bestler books, Netgalley and Lia Louis for the digital ARC I was provided in exchange for a candid review!

Available NOW!! 🎈
Profile Image for Susanne.
1,159 reviews36.8k followers
July 14, 2020
Happy PUB DAY!

Just Call it Kismet! Dear Emmie Blue Hits all the Right Notes and gives you “ALL THE FEELS!

At Sixteen, Emmie Blue feels lost and alone. When she releases a balloon into the sky with a note inside containing her name and email address, she never imagines that it will find its way to Lucas over 1,000 miles away. Lucas is the same age and has the same birthday as Emmie.
From that moment on a friendship is born and every birthday thereafter for the next 14 years is spent together. Emmie is sure that Lucas is the one for her and that he’s going to propose. Instead, he asks her to be his “Best Woman.”

Emmie has never had it easy and now, she must put on a brave face and be there for her bestie.

What’s in store for Ms. Emmie Blue? Awh, Schucks! Trials, tribulations and a whole lotta hope. Emma’s future is written in the stars. Always has been, she just has to Believe!

A beautifully, sweet, poignant novel that stole my heart and distracted me from everything going on in the world exactly when I needed it most. There is something inherently special about the writing in this book that made me feel hopeful and happy and made me shed a few tears. I adored the characters in “Dear Emmie Blue” and am so glad that I ended up grabbing this novel when I had the chance.

I am not normally one to compare one book to another, but in some way, this book reminded me of “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” - which is one of my favorite books of all time. The character development in both is absolutely brilliant, Emmie and Eleanor both struggle with difficult pasts, both books are extremely heartfelt and make you feel for the characters with every fiber of your being. In short, if you loved “Eleanor” and haven’t read “Dear Emmie Blue” - this is a must read. In addition, if you are looking for a sweet, heart-warming read that will sweep you away and give you the “ALL THE FEELS” - this is it!

A Huge Thank You to Imani Seymour and Ariele Friedman at Atria Books, NetGalley and Lia Louis for the arc.

Published on Goodreads on 7.5.20.
Profile Image for Farrah.
221 reviews569 followers
October 21, 2020
⭐4.5 𝙀𝙢𝙢𝙞𝙚 𝙞𝙨 𝙨𝙪𝙘𝙝 𝙖 𝙨𝙬𝙚𝙚𝙩𝙞𝙚! 𝙎𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙨⭐

All the words that I've heard used to describe this book are true!
It's 🎈lovely 🎈heartfelt 🎈uplifting 🎈emotional 🎈romantic 🎈cute 🎈charming 🎈painful 🎈beautiful....

It's also completely predictable, but that didn't bother me 𝙖𝙩 𝙖𝙡𝙡. The joy of this book isn't wondering what will happen next, the joy is the experience of watching Emmie discover what happens next 💙
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,813 reviews474 followers
June 12, 2020

" I tend to only fancy one person at a time."

Guys, This is my favorite book so far this year!

Oh, the feels! So many feels. It was everything I wanted it to be.

There were tears, sad moments, happy moments, don't-leave types of moments, and ecstatic moments.

As a lover of romance, Dear Emmie Blue melted my heart. My kindle is full of highlights. So many favorite one-liners <3.

So what's the book about?

I almost don't want to tell you. I want you to experience it yourself.

But in case you're wondering......

Emmie Blue is turning thirty. Her life is not where she envisioned it. Far from it. She is living in Louise's house. An older lady, who rents a room and is as quiet as Emmie. She's working at a hotel instead of working at a high school. She never met her father and her mother is as warm as a cactus (please forgive me cactuses for the comparison). Emmie's mother has been in and out of Emmie's life as far as she can remember.

Emmie's best friend is Lucas. The boy who found her balloon all those years back. The boy who knows her secret. The boy who is now a man and whom Emmie has fallen in love with without telling him. The man who shares her own birthday. The man she's waiting for him to notice he loves her back.

When Lucas asks Emmie to meet him in France (he lives there, she lives in the UK) for a special dinner, Emmie thinks this is it. He's finally going to pop the question. Yet, this is not what happens. Instead, her heart is broken. With the news he gives her, she knows things will change between them.

Dear Emmie Blue was a charming, endearing story with lovable characters. Ballon Boy stole my heart. At the 53% mark, I hit my forehead when I finally realized what my heart was telling me to be true.

The secondary characters were so well done. Rosie was the best girlfriend someone could have. Her sincerity, no-nonsense personality and her humor made her stellar. Fox's company complimented the trio well. Louise also found a place in my heart. She was a quiet presence until she wasn't anymore.

"I support you and accept you, even though you're a wreck."

Dear Emmie Blue is a road to self-discovery for our main character, Emmie... A time to grow and do some needed soul-searching. To stand up and become stronger. To learn that despite adversity and a lousy past, you can be better. You can be happy ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you, thank you, Atria for sending me this book!

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Dorie  - Cats&Books :).
991 reviews2,760 followers
August 22, 2020
These days are making a lot of us feel more than a little anxious including me. I needed something light and ultimately uplifting to read and I found just that in this novel.

At first I thought this was going to be a little too saccharine for my taste. However as the author further developed Emmie’s personality and we learn her backstory, I understood her better.

She has been, at least in her mind, in love with a boy she met when she was sixteen. The blurb will tell you that she released a balloon with her name and address and a boy, Lucas, found it on the beach 100 miles away in France. What followed was a lifetime of friendship and meetings every year on their birthdays.

They are meeting now on their 30th birthday, and Lucas is about to ask her something very important. What follows will challenge how she sees Lucas and how she really feels about him.

Lucas has a brother, Eliot, who was often part of their meetings and fun. She viewed Eliot as a side kick, but is that really who he is? To reveal any more would be a spoiler, you’ll just have to read this quickly paced book to find out.

Beneath the many funny, quirky layers of this book there is something that happened to Emmie in her past. Something that has continued to hold her back from being the strong, loving woman that she is.

I do think that this would have been more believable for me if Emmie had been maybe aged 20 or 25, age 30 is an awfully long time to hold a flame for a boy you met at 16, but this is fiction so I went with it!

I enjoyed the easy pace of the book and laughed many times which felt really, really good!

If you need a break from some heavy topics that you are reading and need to escape for a while I can recommend this book, enjoy.

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through Edelweiss.
Profile Image for Virginie Roy.
Author 1 book598 followers
August 11, 2020
So much more than a romance story!

Yes, for sure, the love story was cute and I got chills when Emmie finally kissed *the one I was rooting for*. But it was also a deeper story about friendship, about finding who we are, about family and even about abuse (nothing graphic). I fell for these characters and already miss them.

The writing flowed easily and I could see the story playing in my head like a movie. It was better than I expected! Thanks to my GR friends who gave it 5 stars, it's because I saw all your good reviews that I requested it on Netgalley!

4.5 rounded up

Thanks to Netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for the ARC.
Profile Image for Berit Talks Books.
2,019 reviews15.7k followers
September 1, 2020
Emmie Blue, you melted my heart! Lia Louis this book was beyond perfect, seriously adorable. At 16 lonely Emmy released a balloon with her email and a note written on a card tied to it. Lucas on a beach in France finds the balloon and emails Emmie. Remarkably the two are instantly connected, not only are they the same age, but they share a birthday. It is now 14 years later Emmie and Lucas have been each others person for over a decade, but Emmie wants more. It is the night of their combined 30th birthday and Emmie is convinced Lucas is finally going to profess his love. BUT things don’t always go to Plan... what follows is the sweetest story of unrequited love I have ever read.

Emmie Blue is one of the most lovable characters I have ever read about. She is one of those characters that will worm their way into your heart and stay with you long after you have turned the last page. There was even a kind of love triangle and loads of miscommunication in the story. Two things that usually drive me crazy, and still I loved every minute. Katy Sobey narrated the audiobook and did a stellar job. The voice she gave Emmie fit her sweet character perfectly. The story really had all the feels. I was smiling. I was swooning I was bawling like a baby. A heartwarming story packed with character, compassion, and love.

This book in emojis 🎈 🥑 💍 💫 🔨 💿

*** Big thank you to Atria and Hachette Audio for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
Profile Image for Katie B.
1,291 reviews2,962 followers
July 9, 2020
It didn't take me long to fall in love with the story and the main character. Emmie was a character who I felt protective over and couldn't help but root for her to find happiness. I caught myself smiling more than once while reading and that's always fun when you find your own happiness in a book. Such a refreshing read and very much needed in my life right now to kinda recharge my weary batteries.

When Emmie Blue was a teenager she wrote a note and attached it to a balloon. She let the balloon go and it went on a journey of over 100 miles before it was found by a boy her age. (Well, exactly her age as they share the same birthday.) Lucas wrote Emmie letting her know he found her balloon and thus started their friendship. The book opens up with Emmie and Lucas celebrating their 30th birthday. Emmie is in love with Lucas but has not shared her feelings with him.

The premise for this one with the balloon is just so beautiful and really made the book extra special. At first it was difficult to grasp why a woman couldn't just come clean to her best friend and express how she felt. However, once you get a little more backstory on Emmie it makes more sense why she might have been reluctant to make a move.

There's so many other things I want to write about in my review but I don't want to give away the plot. I will say though that Emmie is a pretty well developed character and while there is certainly some lighthearted moments and humor, there is also some serious subjects that are explored in the story. This isn't what I would call a fluffy read but I didn't find it to be emotionally draining either. The author just found a nice balance. I highly recommend checking this book out.

Thank you to Atria Books for sending me an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Chelsea (chelseadolling reads).
1,478 reviews19.2k followers
July 21, 2020
This is a weird one for me to review. I think that SO MANY people will find value in this book, but I think for me personally it just.. wasn't quite what I was expecting so I don't think it hit the notes for me that it may hit for others. I did enjoy this book, but I feel like it was a lot more melancholy and heavy than I personally like when reading books of a similar genre. I do think that this book is pretty universally enjoyable, but I particularly think that if you're someone who enjoys a book that is heavier in tone or that covers darker topics, this is one that I would recommend checking out. Overall, this book was good, but it wasn't a new favorite for me.

TW: sexual assault, slut shaming, victim blaming, gaslighting, emotional manipulation, toxic parent relationships, cheating
Profile Image for Bridgett.
Author 19 books420 followers
July 9, 2020
“It’s weird, but in moments like this…. our cheeks aching from laughing, with nothing to do but to make up silly games to pass the time, with cold lemonades at our feet, the sun in the sky, and nothing but lovely plans for the next few days, it feels almost risky to be this happy. It feels like I am goading all the things that could go wrong, to happen.”

I was not expecting to love Dear Emmie Blue as much as I did. In fact, I received a copy from the publisher months ago, but because it wasn't a suspense or thriller, I kept pushing it back on my To Be Read list. One day last week, I happened upon a review by a friend here on Goodreads, Susanne Strong, and quickly realized I needed this story in my life.

I can't remember reading a book with a more lovable cast of characters than Dear Emmie Blue...I found myself cheering for nearly the entire cast. They're all so real, flaws and all, but also evolving and empathetic. I especially loved the back and forth between Emmie's friend, Rosie, and their co-worker, Fox. Their crazy banter had me laughing out loud.

This is a romance story...but with heart, humor, and depth...and I enjoyed every second. Is it, perhaps, a bit predictable? In my experience, most romance novels are, yet it did nothing to detract from my enjoyment.

I do, however, bet every reader has the same gripe--we all want to know what songs are on Emmie's mixed CDs!

Trigger warnings: sexual assault, victim blaming

Get your copy of Dear Emmie Blue on July 14, 2020.

**My sincere appreciate to NetGalley and Atria Books for my review copy.
Profile Image for Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader.
2,121 reviews30.2k followers
August 22, 2021
I finally read this gem everyone was talking about last summer! 🎈

I was about to read Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis and decided I should read Dear Emmie Blue first. It was as charming and refreshing as everyone said, and oh, how I loved Emmie!

Emmie Blue is a lonely teenager who sends off a balloon with a letter containing her biggest secret inside, which is later found on a beach in France by a teen named Lucas in France. They strike up a friendship that lasts well into their adult years. Emmie always feels a strong pull to Lucas, and when he invites her to meet, she assumes it’s to propose. It’s not. Instead, he tells her he’s getting married, and better yet, he wants her to be his best woman.

Emmie is devastated, but she never lets Lucas see that. What happens next are the events leading up to the wedding and how Emmie handles the changing dynamic between she and Lucas, while she also explores her past relationships with her mother and father as well.

This is one of those cases where I completely forgot the synopsis after I read it, and I’m so grateful I did. The story goes in a different direction than I expected, and I loved that about it. Emmie Blue is a memorable character, and the rest of the cast are quite lovable, too. This is a treat of a read with a feel-good vibe. Lia Louis has an easy, breezy conversational writing style that keeps you engaged and feeling intimately close to the story. I cannot wait to pick up her next book and the next few after that as well. ♥️

I received a gifted copy.

Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader
Profile Image for Tina.
509 reviews782 followers
May 16, 2021
4.5 *

Did I pick this up because a lot of people were saying it reminds them a bit of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine? Well yes. I adored that book. Guess what? This one was superb as well all in it's own right!!

I listened to the audio. The premise is unique. The story is amazing. The narrator is fantastic! The writing is super! Emmie Blue is so likeable and sweet 💙 I would love to see this as a movie! What an ending! 🎈
Profile Image for Christine on hiatus, see “About me”.
589 reviews1,134 followers
May 18, 2020
4. 5 stars rounded to 4 stars

What a great debut novel this is. Being in the midst of two “once-in-a-lifetime” crises in our country, plus having a sick kitty, and also undergoing a complicated prosthetic hip revision all at once, I chose something a bit lighter to distract me from life. This one fit the bill perfectly.

Emmie is 30 years old and is basically lost in terms of where her life is going. She has a crappy mother, an unknown father, a low-level job, a rented room with a cold landlady, and some nasty baggage from the past. Not only that, her best of a very few friends, who she loves, is marrying another woman. Well, blah, right? Her best friend, Lucas, is a great guy. He has even asked her to be his “best woman” at his wedding. Emmie met him after she had launched a balloon with a sad message off the British coast, and Lucas found it an ocean away in France. They were both 16 years old at the time. Lucas emailed Emmie, they got together and became very close. Lucas is all Emmie believes she has. Could things be any worse now that he has asked someone else to marry him? This storyline may sound kind of chick-litty, but I thought this was actully a wonderful character study of Miss Emmie Blue.

Ms. Louis does a great job developing the story of Emmie and Lucas with the aid of flashbacks that nicely complement what is going on in present time. Emmie and Lucas are both extremely likeable, and it’s heartbreaking that they are not apparently headed to the alter together. But then there are other characters in this story who are out to help Emmie. I especially loved her only girlfriend, Rosie, her distant landlady, Lousie, and Lucas’ older brother Eliot.

The narrative starts off a bit slowly, which cost ½ star, but it gained momentum quickly thereafter. The book is telling us that no matter how lousy life gets, it can get better, much better, if you don’t give up. And don’t forget the good things that can be sitting there right in front of you, which can help you move forward. I think this is a really important takeaway, especially in the times we are living in today. It’s so easy to toss in the towel when things look hopeless, but hard as it is, you have to keep going. And sometimes you are richly rewarded for doing so.

I found Dear Emmie Blue a comforting and inspiring read. If that description interests you, please give this one a try. I am already on the lookout for whatever Ms. Louis comes up with next.

I would like to thank Atria Books, Net Galley, and Ms. Lia Louis for offering me an ARC of this book. Opinions are mine alone and are not biased in any way.
Profile Image for Christy.
3,808 reviews32.3k followers
March 29, 2021
4.5 stars
Maybe home isn’t a place. It’s a feeling. Of being cared for and understood. Of being loved.
Dear Emmie Blue was the first book I’ve read by Lia Louis, and it won’t be the last. This book was so good! It made me smile, made me feel, and even though the romance wasn’t as at the forefront of the story as I would have liked, it had the swooniest hero!

As much as I loved the hero, Emmie was the star of the show. I loved her journey. This was very much a story of her growth, a story of friendship and found families, and of love in all forms. This would have definitely been a five star for me if . Overall, I loved it lots and highly recommend!

Audio book source: Libby (library borrow)
Story Rating: 4.5 stars
Narrator: Kate Sobey
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Women's fiction
Length: 10 hours and 43 minutes
Profile Image for Corina.
756 reviews2,127 followers
July 28, 2020
This book has so much to offer. It was full of love, longing, and so many feelings, and some heartbreak too. All around it was one of these love stories that stick with you.

My most favorite thing about this story were the characters and their interactions. There was so much heart in everything they did and said to each other. Truly, the friendships were everything in this novel.

Rosie, Emmie’s best female friend was HILARIOUS!!!! OMG she made my day. And her and Fox (Emmie and Rosie’s colleague) are probably my favorites besides Lucas and Elliot. The dialogues between them all were so open, funny, and endearing. Also the narrator did a fantastic job by hitting all the different nuances, and delivered vibrant dialogues.

Honestly the entire novel was enchanting, especially the last half of the book.

But I’m not going to lie, it took me a good part of the first half just to get into the swing of things, that’s why it’s only a 4 star for me. I wasn’t sure how I felt about this story for a long time, but my feelings did change the further I got along. I had doubts, and wasn’t sure if it was the right book for me, but the more I listened the better it became.

And although it took me awhile to connect with the story, I ended up really enjoying it. And the more I read the more I appreciated the complexity of the book, and the direction the book took. Also the author did a great job hinting at things, and then throughout the book, all the little clues were resolved and revealed.

Overall the story was touching, and poignant. Adorable at times, frustrating at other times, but all in all it was a well rounded and well written romance with a BIG HEART and lot’s of feelings.


I received a copy of this book from the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review. My opinions have not been influenced by the publisher or the author.

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Profile Image for preoccupiedbybooks.
457 reviews1,022 followers
February 28, 2021
4.5 stars. This book was adorable, and made me cry, smile and laugh! 💕😭Emmie Blue must be protected at all costs!
Profile Image for Kendall.
638 reviews640 followers
June 14, 2020
AWWWWW Dear Emmie Blue was overload with sweetness and cuteness!!

I was seeing so many high stars for this one and was terrified that I would be another outlier. But, ladies and gents I also really enjoyed it yay!

When I was younger, in my early twenties funny story. I actually always on and off fooled around with sending a balloon in the sky with a letter attached to find the love of my life haha. I never ended up doing it but I fell in love with the premise.

What more could you ask for in a romance? Charming, uplifting and pure raw beautiful love.

And that ending?! Oh my goodness it was pure bliss. I loved this one!

4 stars!

So cute!!

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Atria for the arc in exchange for an honest review.

Pub date: 7/14/20
Published to GR: 6/14/20
Profile Image for Scott.
1,743 reviews123 followers
December 18, 2020
4.5 stars

" . . . and then there was me. Me. The girl in the old creased dress. The girl who loves someone she shouldn't. A third wheel. A fifth wheel." -- the title character, on page 122

An absolutely charming and involving British romantic dramedy, Dear Emmie Blue works because of the personable protagonist and her first-person narration. Emmie ("nobody really calls me Emmeline") Blue is a thirty year-old waitress at a hotel restaurant, where she usually gabs with the friendly co-worker duo of Rosie and Fox - sassily amusing supporting characters - while her life sort of creaks forward without really any surprises. Emmie's uneven childhood and adolescence were marked by an absent father, an uninvolved mother, and - when she was sixteen - a trusted school teacher who was inappropriate with her, which slammed the door firmly closed on her youthful innocence. Although a traumatic moment, Emmie has luckily grown up to be a pleasant woman, but lacks in optimism.

The one person who has been a dependable (but always platonic) best pal since her teenage years is Lucas, as they met and became devoted friends after Emmie sent aloft a balloon with an attached note that he found. (In a bit of serendipity, they both happened to be lonely sixteen year-olds at the time.) Now the suave Lucas is getting married, and he wants Emmie to be his 'best woman' at the ceremony. While she is honored, Emmie has been pining away for Lucas and wishes that she could be the one standing at the altar as his bride-to-be. However, just when she thinks that seemingly all avenues of her life appear to be hitting dead-ends, another potential suitor realistically arrives on the scene. Then, of course, come all the expected complications. Was this story fluffy or sappy? That is a matter of opinion. The humorous moments worked, the big dramatic scenes were effective, and I realized early on that I truly wanted (needed?) Emmie Blue to find happiness by the conclusion.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,895 reviews634 followers
November 12, 2020

Sad day! I shelved 2 books under DNF. So frustrating. Here I go...

Dear Emmie Blue has a full moral messages and interesting plot. Based on the reviews in goodreads, the story touches many aspect including sexual assault. I tried to connect with the story, characters and the plot but I give up on 3rd hour mark on the audio book.

I am not quite sure what does not work for me. I guess the writing style is off. I can not feel the emotion of Emmie nor the plot. Its just so dragging that I lose my concentration listening to it.

This is very frustrating. I have to learn that positive reviews do not guarantee a good book.

2 stars
Profile Image for Lori Elliott (catching up).
733 reviews1,778 followers
July 21, 2020
Charming and heartwarming! What a wonderful surprise this turned out to be. I loved the characters and the story kept me engaged. Reminded me a lot of Bridget Jones's Diary. This may go down as one of my favorites of 2020. Worth every one of the 5-star reviews it’s received.
Profile Image for Lacey.
209 reviews342 followers
July 6, 2020
Dear Emmie Blue is far and away one of the best books I've read this year. I doubt it'll be winning a Pulitzer anytime soon, but it does what all great fiction is supposed to do: it captures the human experience at its highs, lows, and in-betweens. It makes you feel everything all at once, and other times it makes you feel void of any feeling at all. It leaves you wanting more. It's funny and it's poignant and it's unbelievably sad. Hopeful, and also painful. There's joy, longing, jealousy, wistfulness, bitterness, regret, laughter, anger, heartbreak, and everything in between. It shatters the heart into a million tiny pieces and then glues it back together again.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because I don't wanna give too much away, and I think it's probably best to go into the story knowing as little as possible. In essence, the story is about Emmie Blue, who is about 30 years old when the story begins. At age 16, she is sexually assaulted by her best friend's dad while trying to learn more about her birth father, who abandoned her and her mother before she was born. She reports the assault anonymously, but her identity gets revealed and no one, not even her own mom (who's neglectful and mostly absent from her life), believes her. Devastated and completely friendless, she sends up a balloon that has a message inside telling her story and giving her email address. The balloon is found in France by Lucas who reaches out to Emmie, and they quickly strike up a friendship that has lasted ever since.

This is a story about friendship, family, love, loss, hope, and dealing with change. Emmie has seen and experienced some of the worst of what the world has to offer, but she doesn't let that change her. She never gives up; she perseveres and continues to hope and to believe and to see the positive. I think that we could all benefit from being a little more like Emmie, just as I think that Dear Emmie Blue is a testament to resilience in the face of adversity and the tenacity of the human spirit, reminding us that when we're going through hell to keep going.
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,444 reviews7,532 followers
September 11, 2020
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

When 16-year old Emmie Blue released a balloon with a note tied to its string, she never knew that a boy her own age would discover it on a beach in France, or that the two would become besties and have a friendship that would last well over a decade. But that’s just what happened. Now on the cusp of Lucas’ upcoming nuptials, Emmie has to decide if she’s ready to tell her true feelings or simply be his “Best Woman.”

The blurb doesn’t lie that this book certainly followed on the heels (and popularity) of others that have come before it in starring quirky leading ladies. From Eleanor Oliphant to The Cactus to The Grown Up to The Helpline and on and on and on, these gals are the new thing. This one adds a bit of fun with the addition of a My Best Friend’s Wedding vibe.

First things first – I want it to be made clear that I am super squicked out by sexual assault becoming a tired trope and I wish it would stop happening like YESTERDAY. I literally made a note on page ONE of my Kindle version that said “please don’t let this be another rape book.” Second things second – magic penises don’t “fix” broken women. That’s why doctors were invented and we no longer go to the local barber for our brains to be looked at. That being said, despite those aforementioned thorns in my side that make me really want to Hulksmash some shit, I couldn’t help but kind of like this damn book. It’s a shame Emmie couldn’t have just been a bit eccentric (even though that’s getting pretty tiredly tropey itself) or that the daddy issues weren't also thrown in to the mix or that more of the focus wasn’t on her growing as a person in general rather than so much being on getting her freaky deaky on with the leading male.

I’m going with 3.5 and rounding up for the pure readability of this story and the fact that I think I am just the resident . . . .

Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,074 reviews490 followers
February 28, 2020
My thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley for a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed all the characters in this delightful novel. Emmie has had a rough "teen-hood" and her absentee, atrocious parents were only a small part of her issues (no spoilers here!) After Lucas finds the message attached to her balloon, Lucas and Eliot become her surrogate family. As most readers will guess, Emmie falls in love with Lucas, but Fate has a different plan in store for Emmie Blue.

Things are not as they seem, and everyone seems afraid to come out and declare themselves. There is a lot of longing and yearning in this story. I agree with another Goodreads reviewer that the story was slow going at times, but the writing was really top notch. I loved Eliot, but I'm a big fan of plain speaking. (It hasn't always worked out in my favour, but it has saved me a lot of time and heartache over the years.) Lucas, Emmie and Eliot all needed a good dose of plain speaking, but, alas, everyone was tiptoeing around Emmie's feelings and past hurts, and their own agendas.. And, of course, if all these misunderstandings and noble little sacrifices hadn't been there to begin with, we would have had a very short and bland novel!

I had a hard time putting this book down. The writing was witty and engaging, and the characters were all people I enjoyed spending time with. This is the author's second published novel. I suspect she will get better with each new publication. Her voice is so distinctive and charming. I'm going to rate this a 4.8 out of 5!
Profile Image for DeAnn.
1,317 reviews
March 27, 2020
4 sentimental stars

Emmie has just turned 30 and she’s so disappointed – her best friend (and whom she secretly loves) since age 16 has just told her that he’s marrying someone else. Can she tell him the truth and then they live happily ever after?

Emmie Blue is a sweet woman who has worked hard to overcome a traumatic high school event. She’s working at a dead-end job, she lives in a small over-heated room, her mom is distant, and she doesn’t know her Dad. Now that Lucas is engaged, she’s really down on life. She and Lucas met by sheer luck, a balloon and note (detailing that traumatic event) that she released in England was found by Lucas on a beach in France. They share a birthday and have become fast friends over the years along with Lucas’ older brother Eliot.

As the wedding plans commence, Emmie realizes the depths of her loneliness. She finally starts talking to her landlord, reaches out to her mother, and begins to look for her father again. Eliot (Lucas’ brother) has even stepped in to be a strong source of support. I found Emmie to be an endearing character and I rooted for her to find happiness and love. She’s got a few good friends and once she opens her heart, more people learn to love her as well.

Though a bit predictable, I really enjoyed this one and shed a few tears at the end. This is my first read from this author and I would definitely read other books by her.

This was a fun buddy read with Jayme and we both agreed that it finished strong!

Thank you to Atria for the invitation to read this one. It's out 7.14.2020 - a perfect summer read.
Profile Image for Darla.
3,338 reviews523 followers
December 1, 2022
Thank you to Lia Louis for giving us back the joy that a red balloon can bring. Sixteen-year-old Emmie Blue releases a balloon from England with a note and gets and email from a boy named Lucas who lives in France. They establish a bond over the balloon and a shared birthday. As the book begins they are celebrating their 30th birthdays and Lucas has a big request for Emmie. He wants her to be the "best woman" for his wedding. Emmie had been hoping for a marriage proposal. Using past flashbacks along with the wedding plans, the narrative tells the story of Emmie Blue. You will root for her and weep with her as it seems like she struggles to hang onto at least one special someone in her life. Hand this to fans of Josie Silver and Beth O'Leary.

This was my first title from Lia Louis and has a special place in my heart. Two more titles are available now: Eight Perfect Hours and The Key to My Heart.
Profile Image for Lucy.
429 reviews74 followers
January 27, 2021
Ever read a book and feel like you've become friends with the main character? That was exactly me with this book 😄.

I loved this book from beginning to end! I didn't always agree with Emmie Blue's decisions, but I was rooting for her the entire way. Sometimes I wanted to give her a hug, other times I wanted to say "Seriously?!" to her 😆. In the end, I liked the way everything turned out and was happy for Emmie.

I highly recommend this book! It's a fun, feel-good, and cleverly crafted story 🎈.
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