This is a tough one for me to review. First, it took me a ridiculous amount of time to finish it. Partly, because I was busy with life things but, mostly, because about halfway through the book it began to suffer from Sagging Middle Syndrome. I hate SMS; too many things going on that do nothing to forward the story flow!
Emma is a smart girl in an awful situation. I wish the author had given more insight into her reasons for staying in an abusive home. What we're given (she wants a chance to go to college and she doesn't want to disrupt her little cousins lives) isn't enough. There's no real driving force. I also didn't like how she wanted nothing to do with Evan because she doesn't want her aunt to figure it out, yet she gets with a different guy without the same worries? Uh, okay.
For once, I want to see a teenage heroine (or any heroine really) being smart about taking care of herself. THAT is the type of story I really want to read. Show us a girl who recognizes her worth and that she deserves better than an abusive home life/relationship/etc. I want to see a heroine being a survivor, not just a victim trying to survive. There's a huge difference and one I think is lacking in these books.