Monday, December 8, 2014

The Evolution of Emily by Kate Scott

by Kate Scott
Elliot Books
YA Contemporary
240 pages
Emily Charles knows how to run away. Away from her overprotective, agoraphobic mother. Away from her biology-obsessed, autistic sister. Away from her quiet sheltered claustrophobic homeschooled life. When Emily's escape plan involves starting her junior year at Kennedy High School, she realizes she's no longer running away. Now she's running towards. Towards her quiet thoughtful cross-country teammate, August. Towards her zany enthusiastic lab partner, Miles. Towards friendship, love, independence, and life. Thanks to her sister's special interest in biology, Emily knows all about the birds and the bees. Boys are a lot more confusing.
Readers who enjoyed Counting to D won't want to miss Scott's second novel, also set at Kennedy High School.


Sixteen-year-old Emily starts the story with a monumental step; she jogs right into the nearest high school and asks for an application form behind her mother's back. It's clear from beginning on that her family is not exactly ordinary--her mother has major social-phobia issues (really, she's certifiable) and Emily's younger sister, Olivia, is autistic. But this isn't the story of how Emily gains courage to break free of her isolated, home schooled life. This story covers the next step: what ripples her actions create and how she deals with them.

This is a heart warming, enjoyable story. Emily's act of bravery immediately demands sympathy, and her loving personality doesn't let the reader go. She forces herself to embrace a new life, but at the same time, is unsure how to really pull it through. When things seem too much, she runs. Literally. This sudden, somewhat insane reaction gave a great twist to her otherwise pretty level-headed personality. It makes her realistic. After all, who could lead such an insanely isolated life and come out completely 'normal'?

The school scenes are well-done, making it easy to get lost in Emily's world. The dialogue is realistic and the other characters are likable. There's a sweet romance and a lot of confusion, perfect for this age group.

Probably one of the most driving things about this story is the weaving in of people with different outlooks on life and/or challenges. Not only are Emily's mother and sister portrayed with different challenges, but the people Emily meets at school don't fit in the normal, perfect high school image. Although I found this array of characters almost too colorful , the author manages to weave them together so that it never really feels like it goes over-board.  Obviously, there's a lot of issues with acceptance, fitting in and learning to embrace ones self. In other words, great themes for teens.

Summed up, this is an enjoyable read. I can especially recommend it to teenage girls who like real life stories about high school with a nice dab of boys and first-love thrown in.

You can find this on AMAZON and GOODREADS!

And here she is. . .
                                 KATE SCOTT!!!

Kate Scott lives in the suburbs outside Portland, Oregon with her husband Warren. Kate was diagnosed with dyslexia as a young child but somehow managed to fall in love with stories anyway. Counting to D is her first novel. When Kate isn't writing, she enjoys listening to audiobooks, camping, and spending time with her friends and family. Kate also spends a lot of time doing math and sciency things and is a licensed professional engineer.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for your thoughtful review!