Emma Beware | Book Review

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Hey Epic Geeks,

Today, I am sharing with you a book review of Emma Beware by Michelle Iden.

Emma Beware is a suspense novel. Emma Davenport is a fourteen year old track star who finds herself receiving texts from an unknown number. The texts quickly escalated into stalker territory, not just a wrong number. Joey, her best friend, quickly decided to put her tech-saavy skills to a test. What is to become of Emma’s life?

Michelle messaged me and asked me to review her book. She was informed a few times that this would be a completely honest review. I absolutely love supporting indie authors but unfortunately, this book is the first one in years that I just could not finish. I really wanted to like this novel, but I had to force myself to finish 25%. After hitting 25%, I even went back and read another 5% of the book because I wanted to be as fair as possible in this review. I kept hoping it got better, but I just didn’t like it, which lead to a one-star review.

I didn’t like Emma Beware for a various reasons

The cover

When I saw the cover, I hope that the contents of the book would be better. I thought maybe I was being biased. Not everyone can afford an artist nor is everyone a designer. Oddly enough, though, if you go to fiverr, there are some amazing cheap options.
I showed Zach the cover, since he’s not an author or a designer, and he thought Emma Beware was a self-help book. He would’ve never guessed it was a young adult or suspense novel.

Lazy names

Emma Davenport is the main character. I chuckled a little at her last name because I have lived Davenport, IA. It’s always fun when you see your town’s name as a characters last name. However, what made me not like this aspect is the name creation seemed lazy. Emma lives in Eden, IA. Davenport is a decent sized city in Iowa. Though this may have just been coincidence, it felt more like the “grab two objects for a name” game.

Unneeded acronyms

When Emma was coming up to the Divisional Track Meet, the characters started calling this meet “the big D”. I don’t know if somehow this was looked over or if it was intentional. There were a million other ways to reference an important event. This just sounded like an immature joke.

Is this the first draft?

By now, you’re probably thinking that my reasons are ridiculous and I need to loosen up. If those were the only issues, I would have easily given the book more of a shot. The main reason for giving my first one-star review since my time reviewing books is actually due to the actual content of the book itself. I felt like I was reading a novel written by someone in middle school. I actually questioned whether or not the book had been through an editor. There were many mistakes, even brand names, that an editor would have caught. Again, I understand that editors can be expensive, but they’re also worth every dime. If you can’t afford an editor, make sure you draft multiple times and have at least one other person to look at your book. Fresh eyes see more.

Beta readers, not just friends and family, can also catch major issues, plot holes, and character weaknesses. Not all beta readers are paid. I enjoy beta reading because I enjoy reading.

The style of writing could be described as unique or sloppy. The book skipped from one location and set of characters to a different location with different characters. Sometimes you couldn’t tell the difference or when it happened because the dialogue ran into each other. This could have been executed in different ways such as chapters or page breaks. The prologue wasn’t even inserted. It was just the first paragraph of chapter one and was the only distinguishable page break.

Overall, Emma Beware felt like a first draft. I think it would become a much better novel after a few more drafts/revisions, but until then, my review remains a one-star. If you’d like to know more about the book or even give it your own review, Emma Beware is only $2.99 on Amazon.

In the mean time, keep calm and stay epic,


  • JwSierra Winfield

    I kinda wanna read just to see how things turn out

    • It’s only $2.99, so it’s not like you’ll lose any money. It’s … really bad. However, it shouldn’t take too long to read.

      • JwSierra Winfield

        Is it an ebook or paper copy

        • Sorry for the late reply. It’s an eBook. I don’t know if there’s a print copy available. I just use my phone with the kindle app.

  • K-Dizzle

    Oh, this sounds like a hard pass for me then. I have issues with poorly edited books.

    • Agreed. The ironic part was that she was in a group with me run by an editor. =/

  • DJ Sakata

    Oh man – I would have given up and DNF – sometimes that is the kindest thing I can do

    • I did DNF it. I wanted to at the first page … I contacted her. She still wanted a review and said it was a great book. I forced myself to 25%. I started my review. Then I went back and gave it another 5%. =/

  • Shockingly it is not the worst cover that I have ever seen, but it is pretty up there. That is one bad cover. This book also just sounds like “Please! Do not make me read this!!” and back away slowly from it.

    • I accepted reviewing it before I had actually seen the book. She said it was a five-star (15 reviews???) YA suspense. So why not?

      As you can read, I still gave it a shot even after the huge red flags.

  • I actually think the cover does look like a YA novel, but an older YA novel. It reminds me of the old Hardy Boys or Babysitters Club novels.

    I love the opportunities self-publishing gives authors, but I agree that it’s crucial to get a professional cover and have your manuscript vetted by several beta readers (at the very least) before publishing. Otherwise, most readers will never get past the stigma and embrace indie books.

    • I recommend indie authors and books on here when I can. However, I just … couldn’t recommend this. Aside from the cover, there were a lot of issues with the inside of the book. I still feel bad for not being able to, even though I shouldn’t. I tried to give as many recommendations and tips throughout this as possible for anyone who reads.

  • Hmmmm sometimes I give a try to some books too, and then I don’t like them. But it also happens to me with “mainstream” ones 😮

    • That’s definitely happened to me before … or years later, I’ll realize how horrible they were because I’ve found better ones.

  • Emma

    Yikes! It sounds a little superficial of me, but I generally go for books with covers that stand out, and this just wouldn’t catch my eye at all.

    • I definitely understand the feeling. I judge by covers way too much … but it’s my first impression. Cover draws me in, description on the back hooks me.

  • It breaks my heart when I see people not as committed to the craft of writing as I am. It takes a lot of work and dedication and, from what I’ve read in this, she hasn’t given it that kind of love.

    • I definitely agree. I understand people are impatient, but if you need to switch projects before continuing, DO THAT. Work on your second book then go back and edit. Or hire an editor. I don’t care … just don’t through the title “author” around like it’s nothing.

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