A few weeks ago Kimberley Griffiths Little reviewed this book, and I was immediately intrigued by the premise. An eleven-year-old who loves romance novels? This was so me, except I’ve never read Danielle Steel. I’m totally with Emily on the happy endings, though. Anyway, here’s the description.
Eleven-year-old Emily Elizabeth Davis has been told for her entire life that her destiny is to become a poet, just like her famous namesake, Emily Dickinson. But Emily doesn’t even really like poetry, and she has a secret career ambition that she suspects her English-professor mother will frown on. Then, just after discovering that it contains an important family secret, she loses the special volume of Emily Dickinson’s poetry that was given to her at birth. As Emily and her friends search for the lost book in used bookstores and thrift shops all across town, Emily’s understanding of destiny begins to unravel and then rewrite itself in a marvelous new way.
Here are the five things I loved most.
1. The dialogue – I loved the conversations Emily has with her best friend, Wavey. For example the teacher asking two boys to carry a box out sparks a discussion of what girls can do. The conversation involves Star Wars and how a similar scene would play out with Han Solo and Princess Leia. I could just see having a conversation like this with one of my friends.
2. The poetry – I’ve always had a hard time getting into poetry. I took the required classes as an English major, but I never really got it. That being said, I enjoyed the way poetry was woven throughout this book. Even though Emily isn’t sure poetry is her destiny, it’s still a big part of her life, and she has a friend who writes some pretty decent poems. My favorite scene, though, is the conversation she has with her crush, all in haiku. I have to include a bit:
“Sure. Do you think a
Haiku makes everything sound
“Not really. I just
Want to get my assignment
Done so I can stop.”
“Me too; how about:
Sometimes the sunset can look
Like a tie-dyed shirt.”
“I don’t think that first
Line actually counts because
It’s not part of your poem.”
“It figures, and you
Had six syllables in that
Last line. Are we done?”
So creative and fun!
3. Mortie – I loved her cousin, Mortie. He just about steals the scenes he’s in with his army tactics and sneaky ways. What a great character!
4. Emily’s journey – Since the description doesn’t tell you much about the family secret, I won’t spoil it here, either. However, I won’t be spoiling things to say that she has to figure out what she thinks about destiny and how big of a part she plays in her own. I enjoyed her search as she asked different people what they thought about it. And I’ll just say I’m with Father Patrick.
5. The pieces of the puzzle – While this book wasn’t a mystery, there was a puzzle Emily was trying to solve throughout. I liked how often the pieces were right in front of her, and she just didn’t see them. I guess it fit into the bigger theme of things happening when the time is right. I often feel that way–like it would have been so much easier if I’d figured something out sooner. But it usually turns out that I wasn’t ready for it then.
Have you read DESTINY, REWRITTEN? What did you think?