Name of Book: So Totally Emily Ebers
Author: Lisa Yee
Publisher: Arthur A Levine
Part of a Series: Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Stanford Wong flunks big-time
Type of book: 2000s, first love, divorce, friendship, coming of age, interracial AM/WF young adult relationship.
Year it was published: 2008
In a series of letters to her absent father, twelve-year-old Emily Ebers deals with moving cross-country, her parents' divorce, a new friendship, and her first serious crush.
The characters are all likable and tend to be somewhat on the eccentric side; you have Emily's mom Alice who tries to be a hippie, Millicent's family, her parents and grandmother and even Stanford. The characters are seen through Emily's eyes, thus nothing outside her knowledge is revealed about them. (All of a sudden I'm curious about reading Millicent Min and Stanford Wong books.) It's also curious at the way Emily resented her mother and wouldn't give her the time of day. I kind of wish that that would have been explored in the book. And that the author would also mention more of Emily and her father, besides how she was so dedicated to him.
Things are not what they seem.
As the author mentioned, you can read this book and feel as if you haven't missed anything, unless you are curious about Millicent and Stanford and want to read their sides. This is random but what I liked is that Emily didn't fall in love with Shakespeare play. (Personally I read it for school and boy was it a nightmare to remember. Just like any modern teenager she turns to a movie, most likely one with Leonardo Dicaprio.) The book was easy to read and for three-fourths of the novel was an epistolary novel because Emily wrote to her father. The other time she switched to "Dear Diary."
Lisa Yee won the 2004-Sid Fleischman Humor Award fro Millicent Min, Girl Genius, which was also selected for the TRA/CBC Children's Choice List and nominated for multiple state prizes. Her second novel, Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time, was named an ALA Notable Book. So Totally Emily Ebers completes the trilogy, which, as Lisa likes to point out, "can be read in any order, any day of the week, and at any time, except when you're sleeping."
Lisa writes her novels, stories and grocery lists at her home in South Pasadena, California.
Vist her Web site at www.lisayee.com
I liked the interactions between the characters of Millicent, Emily and Stanford. When Emily had her crush on Stanford, I could easily identify with her emotions and although I hadn't read Millicent Min and Stanford Wong, I doubt that the characters or the events from their points of views were spoiled. We see only what Emily sees and we don't jump from character to character. The reader also witnesses Emily's buoyant spirit in trying to keep floating in this world, and that she has the markings of becoming a sweet and popular girl. For a book that deals with divorce and various other issues, Emily very rarely dwells on the negative aspects and instead tries to be upbeat. The book also causes me to want to know Millicent's and Stanford's sides of the summer. There is an open ending and I do wish to know whether or not Millicent was correct. I don't know if in Millicent's book its mentioned, but in Emily's, I don't recall ever seeing the promise so to speak. I also liked how the Chinese American characters are portrayed, that they're people so to speak just like others.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)