Em and Em/span>

Linda Budzinski

Published September 15th 2015 by Swoon Romance

YA > Realistic Fiction | Contemporary




3 ★★★ 1/2



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The last thing sixteen-year-old Emily Slovkowski wants is to move away from her home at the Jersey shore, gorgeous surfer boyfriend Zach, and her entire identity. But that’s kind of how Witness Protection works, and Em must prepare herself for an epic do-over as she starts a new life in the Midwest.

Even as she pines for sandy beaches and the night life of the shore, the newly-named Ember O’Malley finds herself making new friends, taking photos for the high school newspaper, and thinking an awful lot about the paper’s editor, an oddly cute cowboy named Charles.

When Em stumbles upon a shady beneath-the-bleachers exchange between one of the school’s football coaches and a student, she refuses to get involved. The last thing she needs is to be witness to another crime or call attention to herself. Besides, she finally has some real friends – well, real except for the fact that they don’t know a single thing about her – and she prefers to keep it that way until the trial.

But as her day in court approaches, Em begins piecing together what she saw that day beneath the bleachers. And, as her own past secrets start to catch up with her, Em needs to figure out who she really is – Em or Em.



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“Be the change you seek.”

What I like most about SwoonRomance novels are that they’re usually love stories that also deals with important and serious issues. Em and Em is not an exception to that. It was amazing how Budzinski managed to insert all those important messages in one novel. But she did it. And she did it incredibly!

Em and Em is about one girl who have to change her whole identity for a very important reason. Emily and her family is under a witness protection program. Thank God I watch enough cop shows to know what it is. The officer that are assigned for their safety decided that they have to stay away for awhile because their situation is delicate and they have to think through the steps that they’re about to make. And here was where Ember was made and met different kind of people that will help her along the way. Even though making friends is not on her original plan.

The writing was so neat that’s why it was not that hard to get lost in the story. I was instantly interested to what will happen with our main lead. It was easy being in Emily’s mind, even though she did some mistakes and bad decisions throughout the story, it just made her more real. I was also impressed by how the family relationship was written because it was realistic.

The romance was cute and adorable and very much appropriate. Linda Budzinski took her time when it comes to the main leads getting together and that’s just superb. With all the insta love going around, I really needed that.

Em and Em may be short but it’s jam packed. Its about standing up for yourself, accepting the fact that you can’t do it alone and having the courage to move forward.




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Linda Acorn Budzinski decided in the second grade that she wanted to be a “Paperback Writer,” just like in the Beatles song. She majored in journalism in college and now works in marketing and communications. She spent 18 years at a trade association in the funeral service industry, where she discovered that funeral directors are some of the bravest and most compassionate people on earth. Linda lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, Joe, and their chihuahua, Demitria. She has two step-daughters, Eris and Sarah. THE FUNERAL SINGER is her debut novel. She is represented by Andrea Somberg of Harvey Klinger Inc.

THE FUNERAL SINGER is Linda Budzinski’s first novel.






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