Review: Emma Hearts LA by Keris Stainton


Emma’s not sure that LA’s for her, but when she accompanies her sister Jane to an audition, a chance meeting with a teen TV star starts to change her new sunshine lifestyle for the better… But what about Oscar, so far her only friend in LA, who’s turning out NOT to be the idiot she thought he was?

Soon Emma begins to find herself torn between two boys and reconsidering her entire future.

Maybe LA’s not that bad after all.


Emma has a problem.  For most girls (like her sister Bex who dreams of stardom and her own TV show on the Disney Channel) it wouldn’t be a problem but a dream come true.  Emma’s mum is moving her and her sister to LA where she’s been given a new job.  It’ll be a fresh start for the 3 of them after Emma’s dad left the family home for a new woman and Emma’s BBF Jessie moving to NYC she’s pretty lonely in the UK.  The ray of sunshine is that LA is meant to be pretty cool and she won’t be totally alone when she gets to LA because her childhood friend Oscar lives near by and has been volunteered to show the two girls around the town.  This could be another nightmare seeing as Emma and Oscar haven’t seen each other since they were kids and now his dad and her mum will be working together at the UCLA’s Physic department.  LA is going to be a journey of misadventures and good food.

I have to say mega thanks and hugs to Keris because she knows how much I just adore her and her books and she sent me and Raimy at Readaraptor a copy to get our thoughts.  I think we were the first non editors to even read it and I got it on a Sunday evening if I remember righty and read it straight away till 2am and then finished it before work on Monday.  It was worth the tired day!  Emma Hearts LA is a follow up of sorts from Keris Stainton’s Jessie Hearts NYC and as with the last book I just adore how Keris has that magically ability to make me fall in love with a city as well as a character.  I’ve never been to LA but I felt like I was right there with Emma as she explored this new place and finds herself as well as some really good noodle dishes.  Emma’s a bit lost and broken at the start of the story with the break up of her family and now the shift halfway across the world to live she doesn’t know where she fits in.  In steps Oscar who is the most adorable geek  with bright red hair who knows exactly what he’s aiming for in life and it takes his influence to make Emma see that she might be missing out but just sailing along aimlessly.  I LOVE YOU OSCAR!!! *huggles Oscar even though he’s a fictional character*

I picture Oscar like this because red hair cutie-pie and I immediately think Gerard Way. lol

If I’m being honest (I was with Keris so I will be with everyone else) I think I like Emma Hearts LA more than Jessie Hearts NYC.  There were small differences that just appealed to me more.  For starters I love me a geek boy; when you have the any lad against the geek boy in the love triangle the geek gets my vote.  EVERY DARN TIME! Keris made me believe in her characters like they were friends she had literally quoted on the page.  Emma seemed a more complex character too and this made me feel a stronger affinity to her.  She is bold and funny but at the same time she has so many issues with her dad that are holding her back.  You bond with Emma and want her to get past her troubles.

The book is sprinkled with glittery gems of popular culture references and opens your eyes to the world of LA from the tourist hot spots and hidden hide-aways that make it beautiful.  As in Jessie Hearts NYC Keris has made LA a character in her story and it’s not just the backdrop for the story but part of it.  Emma Hearts LA is smart and cute that I read in less than a day just because I couldn’t wait to read the whole book!

Rating: 9/10

Published by Orchard Books and is available here and in bookshops from June 2012


  1. eeeee great review Laura!! πŸ˜€ I know what you mean, obviously and I couldnt put it down ever. I've also been honest and told Keris that this is her best book in my opinion, its better than Della and jessie… They are great too but this one is just amazing! πŸ˜€

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