Ann Redisch Stampler. Simon Pulse, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2324-4
After moving to Los Angeles with an overprotective father, 16-year-old Emma Lazar is eager to shed her “Emma the Good” reputation. When she is instantly befriended by beautiful but volatile Siobhan, Emma begins drinking, sneaking out to parties, and lying to her father (and nearly everyone else). While Siobhan spices up Emma’s bland life, Emma isn’t sure Siobhan is on her side—especially after Dylan, whom Emma describes as “the most attractive person I have even seen,” gets between them. Stampler’s (Where It Began) plot is steeped in ever-increasing drama and debauchery, including drug use, sex, and attempted murder; even so, the story drags at times as readers meander through familiar territory of expensive backdrops, boyfriend stealing, and beautiful but desperate friends. Stampler’s writing is confident, and Emma can be both funny and poetic (she describes an intimate moment with Dylan as “imprinted on my heart, like the afterimage of a burst of light, under your eyelids when you close your eyes”), but her story often lacks the momentum to keep this party going. Ages 14–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/28/2013
Release date: 12/31/2013
Paperback - 432 pages - 978-1-4424-2325-1
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-1-4424-2326-8
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