Title: Me & Emma
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to me by a friend)
8-year-old Carrie, the raven-haired narrator, is timid and introverted, while her little sister Emma is a tow-headed powerhouse with no sense of fear. The girls live in a terrible situation: they depend on an unstable mother that has never recovered from her husband's murder, their stepfather beats them regularly, and they must forage on their own for food.
This was a random pick up. At first, I thought my friend was just loaning it to me, but she had an extra copy and she figured I'd want to try this. Why not!
The story follows Carrie who is 8 years old. She is timid and shy and just trying to make it through her life. Her father was killed and her mother never really recovered and is taken advantage of a lunatic and marries him. The man is a monster...abuses them and more. The only way Carrie is making is because of her sister, Emma.
Poor Carrie and Emma. Poor mom. Yes, I want to be mad at the mom for bringing a monster into the house, but she is blinded by love and she is unstable herself. The man is a true monster and has taken advantage of her. Such a sad story all around.
Even amongst the sadness, we get to see some happy times. Emma and Carrie being kids and trying to make the best out of it. It was nice to see happy times too. Doesn't erase the bad things happening to them. How can no one else see this?????
Kids suck though. Grrr. So mean. Kids are bullies and I just wanted them to move away to give Carrie another chance. A fresh start.
Now, there is a big twist near the end that didn't shock me...but shocked me at the same time. I guessed at it, but I didn't want to believe it. Alas...I was right and I cried. Yes, yes, I cried at the reveal. I am going to spoil it. SO BE WARNED!
*SPOILER START* I am so upset, but it all makes sense. Emma was not real. Carrie's mind created this imaginary sister to cope after seeing her father be murdered. The whole town was in on it. They were told that they had to pretend Emma was real to keep Carrie from going insane. The mom was pissed because it wasn't working. But listen here, WOMAN. The reason why Emma got more and more real was because Carrie was being abused by the man YOU brought in. Yes, you were taken advantage of, but get it through your thick skull...it is partially your fault Emma took on a life of her own. Carrie needed her to survive the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that MONSTER inflicted upon her. *END OF SPOILER*
There are subtle clues and hints, but your mind doesn't want to believe it. So shocking but not in a normal sense for me. But it really made the story at the end there.
Overall, I really liked this story. It was quick but very profound at the same time. It is very, very dark, but there is some light there too. I highly recommend it for sure. I'll give this 5 stars.