What Would Emma Do?

What Would Emma Do?

by Eileen Cook


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What Would Emma Do? by Eileen Cook

Thou Shalt Not Kiss Thy Best Friend’s Boyfriend...again...

There is no greater sin than kissing your best friend’s boyfriend. So when Emma breaks that golden rule, she knows she’s messed up big-time...especially since she lives in the smallest town ever, where everyone knows everything about everyone else...and especially since she maybe kinda wants to do it again. Now her best friend isn’t speaking to her, her best guy friend is making things totally weird, and Emma is running full speed toward certain social disaster. This is so not the way senior year was supposed to go.
Time to pray for a minor miracle. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s time for Emma to stop trying to please everyone around her, and figure out what she wants for herself.

“Sassy and sly and sweet all at the same time, this book made me laugh out loud.” —Meg Cabot, author of The Princess Diaries and Airhead

“Not since Judy Blume’s Margaret introduced herself to God has there been such a funny, genuine, conflicted, wanna-be-sorta-good-maybe-later girl as Emma. Cook’s tone as she takes on the big ones—life, love, faith, and friendship—is pitch perfect.” —Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of The Midnight Twins and The Deep End of the Ocean

"Smart and fun and full of heart." —Sarah Mlynowski, author of Bras & Broomsticks and How to Be Bad

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416974321
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 12/30/2008
Edition description: Original
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 1,305,534
Product dimensions: 5.02(w) x 6.94(h) x 0.81(d)
Lexile: HL790L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Eileen Cook spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. She is the author of The Almost Truth, Unraveling Isobel, The Education of Hailey Kendrick, Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood, and What Would Emma Do? as well as the Fourth Grade Fairy series. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and dogs. Visit her at EileenCook.com.

Read an Excerpt

God, I've been thinking about our relationship. The way I see it, most people look at you as either (a) a Santa Claus figure they pray to only when they want something, their wishes granted depending on if they are on the naughty or nice list, or (b) a bearded vengeance seeker who gets his immortal jollies from smiting those who annoy him. It occurs to me I've been talking to you my whole life and I don't really know who you are. In fairness, I've always relied on formal prayers, which really haven't given you a chance to get to know me, either. I'm thinking we need a bit more honesty in our relationship — you strike me as the kind to support honesty — so from here on I'm just going to tell you what's on my mind.

We spend a lot of time at Trinity Evangelical Sec- ondary discussing "What would Jesus do?" You have to wonder how the Son of God finds himself in so many ethically questionable situations. I'm guessing he hangs out with a bad crowd.

We've covered how Jesus feels about:

• low-rise jeans (negative)

• underage drinking (although this is the same man who brought us wine transformed from water, we've decided he would just say no)

• gossip (to be avoided — which goes to show he would never make it in Wheaton, where gossip has been perfected to near Olympic levels)

All in all, the Son of God is coming across as a very no-fun kind of guy. I prefer to see him as not so uptight. This puts me in the minority here, where the motto for our church could be "Trinity Evangelical: Sitting in judgment on others since 1849."

At the moment we were supposed to be discussing in great detail, as if this is an issue the president of the United States might need to consult us on, what Jesus would do if he accidentally came across the answers to the math test before the exam. Everyone stared off into space, pondering how our savior might handle this tricky situation. I left the issue of exam ethics to my capable classmates and went back to trying to get my best friend Joann's attention. I risked a look over my shoulder at her. Mr. Reilly, our religion teacher, has been known to hurl erasers at the heads of students he feels aren't paying attention, so being subtle was key. Joann was either ignoring me or in a catatonic state. I gave a fake cough to draw her attention. Nothing. I coughed again, this time drawing it out as if I might be in the final stages of TB, but not even a glance.

Darci Evers raised one perfectly manicured hand in the air. Darci looks like she jumped out of a spread in Seventeen and the teachers always talk about how she makes a great role model, but don't be fooled. She's the kind of person who laughs if you trip in the cafeteria. If your mom forces you to wear the sweater your nearly blind grandmother knit for you, she gives a brittle, thin smile and says, "Nice sweater." Then her posse of friends giggle. In elementary school she dotted the i in her name with bubbles and hearts.

"If Jesus saw the test before the exam, he would tell the teacher and ask for a new test, one where he didn't know the answers," Darci said. She paused, her head cocked to the side as if she was getting direct communication from heaven. "Our Lord doesn't like cheaters."

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. The rest of the class all nodded, seemingly relieved to have this conundrum solved and Christ no longer at risk for blowing the hell out of the bell curve. Mr. Reilly smiled. He adores Darci Evers.

"Excellent answer."

I raised my hand. Mr. Reilly's smile withered.

"God is all-knowing, right?" I asked.

"Yes, Emma. He knows everything, what you've done and even what you will do." Mr. Reilly took this moment to look out over the classroom in case anyone had evil or impure thoughts in their hearts.

I looked to see if Joann was following my line of intellectual debate. Joann has never been a huge Darci fan, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to remind her that we had this in common.

"So if God knows everything, won't he know what questions the teacher is going have on the new test too?"

Mr. Reilly's head started to turn red, and I could see the vein in his forehead bulge. For a guy so close to Jesus, he has a lot of repressed rage issues.

"Are you trying to be smart?" Mr. Reilly said.

I hate questions like this. There is no right answer. If you say you are trying to be smart, you get in trouble for being a wiseass, and if you say you're not, you're admitting to being stupid. It's what they call a lose-lose situation. What would Jesus do if faced with this question? I'm guessing he would go for honesty, but Jesus didn't have to worry about getting lower than a C in class and losing his track eligibility as a result.

"No, sir," I answered.

Mr. Reilly gave a snort and turned back to the board. Darci shot me a look of annoyance and raised her hand again. Joann still wasn't paying any attention to me.

"Mr. Reilly, do you mind if I make an announcement? It's related to student council business," Darci said.

Darci never misses an opportunity to make an announcement. She finds excuses in nearly every class to take center stage. I suspect that if it were up to her as senior class president, she would get to wear a small crown or sash to denote her overall superiority. I'm shocked she doesn't demand that the rest of us scatter palm fronds on the floor in front of her as she walks through the halls.

"As everyone knows, the big spring dance is coming up in just a few weeks, and we still need volunteers to help with the decorations. This year we've selected the theme 'Undersea Adventure.' Please show your school spirit by helping to make this a great event. Even if you haven't been asked to the dance, you could still decorate. We'll be accepting nominations for king and queen for the next two weeks, and the three couples that get the most votes will be announced as the court. The queen and king will be announced at the dance."

"I nominate you," Kimberly said so quickly she must have bumped her nose on the way to kissing Darci's ass.

Darci placed a hand on her heart as if she were overcome by the honor.

"Why, Kimberly, thank you so much! I feel a bit funny about putting myself down on the list, but if you insist." She pulled out her pink gel pen to inscribe her name before she forgot it.

"Why do we even have a king and queen?" I asked.

"We've always had a king and queen of the spring dance. It's tradition," Darci shot back.

"Maybe it's time for a new tradition." As the challenge shot out of my mouth, I couldn't tell who was more surprised, Darci or me. It felt like the air was sucked out of the room for a second as people held their breath, waiting for Darci to whack me back down to size. At least I had Joann's attention now.

"You can't have a new tradition. Then it's not tradition, it's the opposite; it's new," Darci said, giving me a look, as if shocked that someone of my low intelligence was even allowed in school.

I slunk down in my seat.

"What would Jesus do?" asked Todd.

The entire class turned around to face him. Todd Seaver is the guy in our class who never says anything. There have been rumors that he's an elective mute. Todd has the dubious honor of being from "away," a non-Wheaton native.

"What are you talking about?" Darci asked.

"Would Jesus approve of people setting themselves above others? Sounds like false gods."

"It's not like that at all. Besides, you're Jewish, how would you even know what Jesus would do?"

There was a gasp. It's an unwritten rule that we don't bring up Todd's Jewishness. In a town that is all born-again, his religion is like a deformity, one of those things everyone is painfully aware of and tries to act like they don't notice.

"He was one of the tribe when he started out, you know," Todd said. "I'm thinking he would see the whole king and queen thing as a bunch of false idols, golden calves." He gave Darci a lazy half smile and then looked over at me.

I slunk farther down in my seat, not meeting his eyes. If I went any lower I would slide completely out of the chair and onto the floor. Part of me was glad someone else was standing up to Darci. I just wished the person I was aligned with wasn't the class pariah.

"Interesting point," Mr. Reilly said, tapping his thin fingers on his Bible. He adored Darci, but stamping out fun was his favorite thing in the world.

"It's tradition," said Darci, her voice cracking.

"I think we need to discuss the dance at the next advisory board meeting," Mr. Reilly said as the bell rang.

Darci's mouth opened and shut silently like a fish flopping on a dock. A fish with pink-bubble-gum-scented lip gloss. Everyone got up and moved toward the door. I stood up and grabbed my bag.

Darci bumped into my back. "Way to go, Emma," she hissed, shoving past me.

"Yeah, way to go," Kimberly parroted, following two steps behind her.

Joann walked up next to me, and I gave her a smile.

"My mom already bought me a dress for the dance," she said, crossing her arms. "Why can't you leave some things alone?" She walked away without another word.

Recent events, combined with years of religious study, have clarified for me that at the ripe age of seventeen, I am pretty much already damned to hell. Let's recap:

The Seven Deadly Sins

• Gluttony: I have, on more than one occasion, eaten the entire gut-buster ice-cream sundae at the Dairy Hut that you get for free if you can finish it. What can I say? I run a lot; I get hungry.

• Greed: I have a passion for my running shoe collection that others might reserve for the members of a boy band. It's not just fashion; it's also about function.

• Sloth: Every time my mom sees the state of my room, she is compelled to say, "If you're waiting for the maid to come along, you've got a long wait ahead of you." Then she sighs deeply, like being my mother is her burden in life.

• Wrath: I detest Darci Evers, and if I had the opportunity it is quite likely I would replace her shampoo with Nair.

• Envy: I would give just about anything, including possibly my soul, to run like Sherone Simpson (ranked number one in the world for the hundred meters).

• Pride: I won the state championship last year for hurdles and plan to repeat this year. I've been accepted to Northwestern, and if I can nail down a track scholarship, I've even got a way to pay for it and a way out of town.

• Lust: I kissed my best friend's boyfriend over Christmas break.

Yep, it's pretty much the last one that's going to do me in.

Copyright © 2009 by Eileen Cook

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What Would Emma Do? 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 47 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Emma was raised by her single mom in a small town in the middle of Illinois. She goes to a private Christian high school which is socially ruled by the local minister's daughter, Darci. She has a damaged relationship with her best friend, Joann, and her boyfriend, Colin.

Everything was going fine until at Christmas Emma and Colin kissed. Even though the kiss was in a mall in a different town, it happened right in front of Joann's mother.

Now Emma runs track and wants to get a full ride scholarship to Northwestern University. She wants out. Then Darci and her BFF, Kimberly, do something outrageous and Emma is the witness.

Should she tell what she knows even if it means that she might lose her scholarship? She keeps trying to figure out what it means to do the right thing.

I enjoyed this book very much. It has a great lesson about what is important, that being a person with a lot of integrity is more important than many other things in life. Emma has to do what is right and it is a scary thought.

Read WHAT WOULD EMMA DO? It is one story that is going to stay with me for a long time.
MIZAMAZINXD More than 1 year ago
when i picked up this book i thought it was interesting from the moment i saw it i mean who hasn't gone through this problem before and if you haven't it helps you prevent from this type of situation ever happening i loved the way she made this character open up to us i would def recommend this book to other and it most def a reread type of book
Team_Jacob4ever More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was amazing! It was very funny and sweet. I also kinda like that the main characters name is Emma it's a name that isn't used alot. It is also my name! :) I wish it were longer maybe a seond installment????
Laura_Clark More than 1 year ago
Emma Proctor is a high school senior in "Nowhere, Middle America", as she calls it, and she hates it. Her goal in life is to get a track scholarship to an out of town college and a one way ticket out of Wheaton. Things seem to be going according to plan until something starts happening to the popular girls at TES, the private school she attends. Now, Emma doesn¿t know exactly what is going on but she does know how it started - and she knows people are lying. The only thing is, if she comes forward and tells what she knows, she could be kicked out of school and her dreams for the scholarship and life outside of Wheaton go down the tubes. How long will she be able to stand by and watch as one-by-one the "losers" of the school are plucked out and blamed for things she know they didn¿t do? Will she do the right thing or will she take the safe route to ensure her plans aren¿t jeopardized?

Eileen Cook has created characters that are relatable and believable - she totally nailed teenage angst. What Would Emma Do? is a smart and funny book that had me laughing out loud. I couldn¿t put it down. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, easy read - regardless of one¿s age.
Rebecca Jaeger More than 1 year ago
this book is the perfect romance mystery book.
Gabriela_Iris More than 1 year ago
This book was interesting enough to keep my attention and rile my emotions at the allotted points. It's an easy read and true to real life. It also helps that it is laugh-out-loud funny! I'd recommend it.
liyahlovesu More than 1 year ago
This book is one of those fun books you just need to read every once in a while. Take a break from those serious love, thriller, mystery books and sit back and enjoy What Would Emma Do?.
aaauuubbbrrreeeyyy More than 1 year ago
This book was the best book i have ever read!?. it is AMAZING! the ending is awesome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was really good. It pissed me off at times with the characters not fessing up right away, but when everything unfolded it was great.
sparkyanddenver More than 1 year ago
This book is laugh-out-loud funny, read-straight-through-in-one-sitting, un-put-down-able. Eileen Cook nails the workings of a small-town high school and writes characters that are so believable you want to yank them into your living room and tell them it will be okay. Emma is smart, witty and sincere and finds herself in quite the pickle. A small misstep is overblown by this small town and can only be resolved during an over-the-top, but completely realistic, televised revival. You've got to pick this up so you can find out what Emma did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Through out this book i could totally relate to it. I even found myself crying at the end of the book because as a reader you feel so sorry for the main chactor. This book will change the way you view your friends, family, and the town you live in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Books4Tomorrow More than 1 year ago
I’m probably going to say it more than once, but I loved absolutely everything about this book! If it comes down to it, I’ll even admit to wanting to spend a day inside Eileen Cook’s mind, because it seems that it could be a fun place to be for anyone who has ever read any of her books. Admittedly, apart from this book, I’ve only read one of her books so far, but I have another two waiting on my kindle to be read, and because I had such an awesome time reading this book – and finishing it in less than a day – I’m moving those two books up on my to-read list. What Would Emma Do is exactly the sort of book I would like to read more of. It has the exact mix of all the elements that makes it that perfect read. First of all, it takes place in a little town called Wheaton. It’s not just any small town; it’s one of those small towns that locals describe as “the heartland of America”, and where religion is taken so seriously, it almost reaches cult-like proportions. Nothing much ever happens in Wheaton, but high morals and the church’s rule are the order of the day. Anything or anyone that is considered different, or falls outside of the belief system of the citizens of Wheaton, is rejected and revolted against with a burn-at-the-stakes passion. So imagine the widespread panic incited by the popular crowd when the unpopular kids at school are suspected of being terrorists because apparently they’re trying to poison students one popular girl at a time and...oh yeah, they’re “different”.  That was actually the second thing that attracted my interest in this story. The first would be Emma’s voice. Every chapter opens with Emma having a little monologue with God. Nothing offensive. Just a regular teen sharing her thoughts with the Lord. That right there instantly connected me with Emma, because I’ve had a few similar monologues with God, and I couldn’t help smiling as some of the things she said to Him were like an echo of my own words. Anyhow, I also really liked Emma because she made me laugh. I don’t mean smiling or giggling, I’m talking belly-clutching, tears-rolling-down-my-face laughs. Laughs that made others stare at me as I was trying to get control over my dignity, laughs. Yep, this author nailed it with the humor. Anyone who doesn’t laugh at least once while reading this book would, in my opinion, rank right up there next to sauerkraut. Especially with the locker incident. I read it like three times, and every time it made me laugh. OK, so you get my point about the humor, right? Darci – the Reverend’s daughter – she’s the antagonist in this story. And trust me, she’s pretty scary. Nothing freaks me out more than a two-faced, scheming, lying, pastor’s daughter with the face of an angel who is the most popular girl in school and who is loved by ninety percent of the townsfolk. In their eyes she can do no wrong. That means, anyone who has the misfortune of landing on Darci’s wrong side, don’t stand a chance. Darci and her posse rule the school, rule the town, and have all the important decision-making adults wrapped around her pinkie. So where does that leave pariahs like Todd and Emma? Emma just wants to do the right thing, but she has so much to lose if she tells the truth. While she makes up her mind about whether she should do the right thing or let a few innocent students take the fall for Darci’s elaborate scheme, she suffers one embarrassment after the other, and have her own issues to deal with such as her relationship with her mom, falling in love with her best friend’s boyfriend and the school’s Jewish outcast. This girl has to make more than one tough decision and lots of times I was happy not to be in her shoes because I had no idea what I would’ve done faced with the same dilemmas. There’s a tiny smidgen of romance in this book, and I especially love how the author dealt with it at the conclusion. The characters – main and secondary – are all three-dimensional and each of them has a unique voice. The small-town atmosphere, and specifically the entire Faith Forward scene at the end, was done terrifically! I felt the crowd’s anticipation and got caught up in their exuberance. The conclusion was just right, and if I had written this book I wouldn’t have done it any differently. What Would Emma Do subtly presses the reader to contemplate what decisions they would make if they were in Emma’s shoes and how it would affect their faith.  I’m fast becoming a fan of Eileen Cook’s writing and I can’t wait to read more of her books. The two I’ve read thus far has proved to have substance and were refreshing in its approach to the subject matter. I’d recommend What Would Emma Do to fans of Miranda Kenneally’s books. If you have a sense of humor, appreciate sarcasm and irony, and have an open-minded view towards God, I’m positive you’ll love this clean read as much as I have!  
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well...i got my copy of this book in my school library....i didnt know what to expect....( well my name is emma and look at the cover....do the math...) i ended up loving this book!!! All my friends thaught i was crazy for getting this book unuill they did to!!! So not only am i obsessed....but now my friends are to! Im so happy i judged this book by the cover!!!!
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Awesome book. Read it!
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