Em and Em by Linda Budzinski
Publication Date: Sept 15, 2015
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Genre: YA, Contemporary
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.
Official Music Playlist
Thank you for asking me to share my playlist for EM & EM! I am so psyched to share a few of my favorite songs and artists with your readers. I’m sure they will have heard of some of these, but there may be one or two they will discover for the first time. I hope they love them as much as I do.
EM & EM ultimately is a story about a girl figuring out who she really is. It’s about a girl who has been bullied into believing she’s not good enough and who has begun to internalize those lies to the point that even when Witness Protection offers her the opportunity for a total “do over,” she can’t escape them.
Em needs to hear these three amazing songs and take to them heart:
- “Try” by Colbie Caillat. Especially this verse: “Get your sexy on. Don't be shy, girl, take it off. This is what you want—to belong, so they like you. Do you like you?”
- “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World. If you know this song, you know exactly where I’m going with this: “Hey, you know they're all the same. You know you're doing better on your own, so don't buy in. Live right now. Just be yourself. It doesn't matter if that's good enough for someone else.”
- “You Are More,” by Tenth Avenue North. This is a Christian pop song, and it is such an inspiration to me, especially: “You are more than the choices that you've made, you are more than the sum of your past mistakes, you are more than the problems you create. You've been remade.”
Not only would I love Em to make those songs her own, I’d love for all of us, especially teens and ESPECIALLY teen girls, to live by those words.
Finally, because Em is set partly in cowboy country and partly on the Jersey shore, and because it is one of my favorite songs of all time, I have to throw in “Cowboy Boots and Bathing Suits” by Jerry Jeff Walker. This is the last song on an album all about a tiny island called Ambergris Caye off the coast of Belize. My husband and I honeymooned there, and it has to be one of the prettiest, most romantic spots on earth. The entire album is amazing, and especially this song. I always choke up at the chorus: “We've been here a week or so. Now it's finally time to go. Can't believe how quickly time has flown. Packing up the bathing suits, getting out the cowboy boots. That's a sign we must be going home.”
ABOUT LINDA BUDZKINSKI:
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.
- One (1) winner will receive a digital copy of Em and Em by Linda Budzkinski and a $10 Amazon GC (INT)