by: Linda Budzinski
Published by:Swoon Romance
Genres:Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Mobi (Kindle file)
Source: Author (via YA Central)
The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.
Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper's editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.
When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends - well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her - and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.
But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is - Em or Em.
Emily is witness to a terrible crime. When Emily is threatened, her and her family must enter the witness protection program. Her ideal life is than turned upside down.
What I Loved
‘Em & Em’ was a sweet contemporary romance with a twist. There are back and forth POV’s with Emily aka Ember. The first POV leads up to her witnessing a crime. The second POV is her life as ‘Ember’ after she enters into the witness protection program. I enjoyed reading both the past POV and the current POV.
The character of Emily aka Ember was very fleshed out. She was strong, smart, and talented (she is an amateur photographer). Her friend Clare was also interesting. She could have easily been the typical cheerleader but instead became a good friend to Ember. I did also love Charles but he did come across as a little too sweet too and perfect.
What Left Me Wanting More
I didn’t really buy that Emily and her whole family had to go into hiding because she was testifying against highschool football players. It kind of felt forced that she was that terrified of them. Emily’s boyfriend from home, Zach, seemed to be a not very nice guy. I kept wondering why Emily would put up with his behavior. Another issue I had with the present storyline was the character of Tommy. His involvement in the storyline just because confusing and he could have easily been left out of the story altogether. I know that he was kind of catalyst with the second crime Ember witnesses but all his behavior just left me confused.
Also, just one other thing that bothered me was when the Marshall in charge of Ember’s family said Ember could last a few days without her smart phone because he couldn’t afford a smart phone in college. So how old is this Marshall because smart phones haven’t been out very long ?
My Final Verdict
‘Em & Em’ was a quick and interesting twist on a YA romance. It’s past and present POV moved the story forward and kept me guessing what would happen next.