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The good girl, the bad boy, the diva, the hustler, the rock star, and the nerd. Six teens legally liberated from parental control for six different reasons, all with one thing in common: something to hide.

Now they’re sharing a house in Venice Beach, acting like a family, and living their lies. No parents. No limits. No alibis. One witnessed a crime, another might be a murderer—and one’s been spying on them all.

As they cling to a fantasy of freedom and slowly let down their guards, the past creeps up on them. And when one of them gets arrested, everyone’s carefully constructed facade comes crumbling down.

In this steamy, drama-filled series, relationships are tested and secrets revealed as lies threaten to destroy their perfect setup.

400 pages, Hardcover

First published May 26, 2015

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About the author

M.G. Reyes

14 books56 followers
M.G. (Maria Guadalupe, aka Lupita) Reyes was born in Mexico City but moved to England as a young child. Before becoming a writer, she worked as a scientist and ran an Internet business.

EMANCIPATED is her first foray into contemporary realist fiction for young adult readers. The idea for the series arose from late-night email discussions with fellow YA author Michael Grant, a fascination with beach life and Californian road trips, and with twisty, crimey stories where Bad Things Happen to Nice People, like FARGO. If you've only read the first book, tighten your seatbelt because the ride is only just getting started.

She also writes adventure novels as M.G. Harris and is the author of the best-selling series about an ancient prophecy of apocalypse, THE JOSHUA FILES, and GEMINI FORCE ONE, a trilogy created with Thunderbirds creator Gerry Anderson and funded initially via a hugely popular Kickstarter campaign.

Her latest book 'SONATA - a paranormal gothic romance' was published in April 2021.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 235 reviews
Profile Image for Sarah Elizabeth.
4,742 reviews1,307 followers
April 13, 2015
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“You just won the jackpot, little brother. They’re gonna emancipate your ass.”

This was a YA contemporary story, about 6 legally emancipated teens living together in a house on Venice Beach.

The first thing I’d like to say is why are there only 5 people on the cover? This book has 6 main characters!

Anyway, I did have problems at first keeping track of each of these kids, but I did get it straight eventually.

Grace and Candace are step-sisters, who have moved to LA because of Candace’s acting career. The house they’re staying in is owned by Candace’s biological mother, and Grace’s mother is having to pay rent for Grace to live there as well! Grace is quite a quiet girl, and the only thing we really know about her is that she has a pen-pal who is on death row. Candace was emancipated so that she could go to LA without her step-mother tagging along, and I think Grace was just along for the adventure.

“You and me, emancipated minors?”
Grace nodded. “Heck yeah.”

John-Michael is legally emancipated because his father has just died. There are some questions over the way his father died though. Did John-Michael have anything to do with it?

“You don’t have to worry about me anymore.”

Paolo is the 24th best tennis player in the US, and has been emancipated because his family are moving to somewhere remote for 2 years for this father’s job. He wanted to stay and carry on with his tennis, so they emancipated him.

Lucy is in a rock band, and likes to smoke weed. Her parent’s have had enough after catching her and her friends misbehaving one too many times, and she is now also emancipated.

“My sister blotted her copybook somethin’ awful and Mr and Mrs Long did not take it well.”

Maya has been emancipated because her father had a problem with his green-card, and he and her mother have had to leave the country whilst it is sorted out. What is Maya hiding though?

“Maya’s dad ran into trouble with his papers. Her mom left with him while the problem gets cleared up.”

The storyline in this switched between the six kids – Paolo getting into trouble by making bets when he can’t pay up, John-Michael having to deal with the speculation that he might have murdered his father, Candace getting some acting opportunities, Grace mainly writing letters to some guy on death row, Lucy trying to join a new band, and Maya hiding a secret from everyone. Each of these storylines was okay, but there was nothing really exciting going on, other than the storyline that someone was spying on the kids, and there was a question over whether one of them had witnessed a murder – not that we got very far with this storyline at all.

“I think I wish I’d never been Charlie. ‘Charlie’ saw a man drowned.”

There was a little bit of romance, but not a lot, and what there was wasn’t really anything to sink your teeth into.

The ending to this left us with a bit of a cliff-hanger which I wasn’t expecting. I had assumed that this was a stand-alone, but the ending left me thinking that there would be at least one more book to tie things up.

free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

Overall; this was an interesting story, but the pace was a little slow, and I didn’t feel that all that much happened. This to me felt like it was just the start of something, and that his whole book was just setting the scene for whatever comes next. I think it will hinge on what actually happens in the next book as to whether this story is really worth reading or not. There wasn’t anything horribly wrong with this story, but there just didn’t seem to be much going on. That being said, I am interested to find out what happens next, because I’ve invested 400 pages in getting to know these kids now.
6.5 out of 10
Profile Image for Neil (or bleed).
982 reviews749 followers
May 27, 2015
Tell me this isn't a stand-alone. Tell me there is a fucking sequel because oh my god I can't accept that cliffhanger. That was cruel. That wasn't I signed-up for.

So, this is a series. Oh god, yes. (See comments below)

Emancipated is about.... wait for it.... emancipation. Surprise! Hahaha. Seriously, Emancipated tells a story of 6 teens who considered or declared emancipation because of personal reasons-- family issues, career, hidden agenda, dirty secrets and whatnot. Six teens who has their point of views in this book, describing and experiencing the life of being free from their parents' grip.

Emancipated seems like a mess because there are 6 POVs of different persons (I wasn't a fan of multiple POVs to be honest) with different personalities but I wasn't confused rather I was compelled to read and read. There is something intriguing about the life of these teens that I found captivating even I didn't have the idea (at first) that this book is murder mystery also.

Yup. Murder mystery. I really thought this one is just a realistic fiction novel dealing with teen angst and other issues teens are experiencing in their age. I was wrong. (I didn't read the blurb. Ha!)

Anyway, I hope there is really a sequel since there are some holes to be filled about some characters for the connection with other characters. Or if not, at least, for character development and relevance.

Murder mystery aside, I thought I like this book. Reading their views is interesting already, especially seeing how they manage themselves as teens who are free and dealing with life problems and issues.
Profile Image for Irene ➰.
584 reviews80 followers
March 2, 2017

Let's start with saying that I totally agree with everyone 1) saying that the story goes nowhere and 2) asking why on the cover the are only five people when there are supposed to be six...

There are some aspects of this book that I liked and others that I really didn't.
Story and plot speaking: It has potential and I liked the idea BUT there's no ending at all. I know that it's a trilogy but usually all the books in a series end in some way, or at least they leave you with a "WTF is gonna happen now", you know?

Because there are so many POVs here and every "chapter" is very different and has dates (the book starts in November and it ends in May) I didn't realize that I reached the end of the book because it was a regular "chapter/day" ending.

It jumps too much as well. It skips too many days sometimes when the story it's still connected.
I don't know why they wrote so much in the back of the book because SPOILER ALERT: All that's gonna happen is wrote there. Basically what's written as an introduction of the book is basically the whole story summarized.
It was enough saying that is a book of six emancipated teens that live together in a house in Venice Beach.

I didn't get attached to anybody, all the characters were pretty flat.

If you like books with detailed descriptions and explanations and stuff like that this is definitely not for you in my opinion. The majority of the book it's just dialogue between theese people, which I don't mind because it goes very fast BUT I would have enjoyed some cool description as well.

I'll keep reading the series because as I said I liked the idea and I hope for an improvement!
Profile Image for Kelly Gunderman.
Author 2 books77 followers
November 11, 2017
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I was really looking forward to this book. I mean...it's a book about a group of teenagers who are emancipated from their parents and living by themselves in a beach house. How could this book possibly NOT be entertaining? I expected parties, romances, and some serious teenager screw ups. Well, I got these things, but in an incredibly boring, watered down fashion. To me, this book was the equivalent of sitting down to hopes of a fantastic slice of pizza...and realizing they forgot to add any cheese to it. Who the fuck wants pizza without cheese? I sure don't. So obviously, why write a book about teenagers being emancipated and living together, in a beach house, for crying out loud, and not give us some actual...well...teenagerness?

Okay. I get that this is a Young Adult novel and they probably have to be careful about the stuff they write about. But come on. I felt like I was watching a Disney movie here. Except those are far more interesting. And that ending? Wow. That was so...bland. Was it supposed to be a cliffhanger? I'm not sure. I was so bored while reading the book I had already jumped off the damn cliff.

Yeah, I really don't know what else to say. It wasn't TERRIBLE, but I found myself with a desire to throw confetti and have champagne when I finished it.
Profile Image for Mel (Daily Prophecy).
1,093 reviews461 followers
December 27, 2015
1 star if this is not a series, because that ending is not okay for a stand-alone.
2 stars if there will be a sequel.

I want to give my short thoughts about this incredibly frustrated book. When I requested it I was hoping for an interesting mystery. There is certainly something going on, but it's hidden behind the endless switches between characters that all sound the same - and of course they have to be a cliché.

Paolo, the popular guy who knows he looks good, uses his charm for money. Lucy, the punk-rock girl with a talent for playing guitar catches his eyes and suddenly he is in love. We have the stepsisters Candace and Grace and for some reason I couldn't keep them apart. Those names blend together after a while, but perhaps it's also because I didn't care for either of them. I believe Candace is the wannabe TV star and Grace writes letters to people on death row. There is Maya with a hidden agenda, John-something who is the typical gay boy and I believe that is it.. They are emancipated, which means their parents let go of them for some reason, and they all live together in a house in Venice Beach.

It was hard to keep track of everyone and every chapter is sort-of-written from a different POV with a narrative perspective. I don't really get the idea behind this; it is only confusing. They could all die for all I care. I only finished this, because I wanted to find out what was going on with all of these characters - who all happen to have a secret. We couldn't put a normal character there, imagine how boring that would be! And what a surprise they end up in the same house. Not to forget the fact that one of the girls has been looking for someone who SUDDENLY lives in the room next door. What a coincidence!

And at the end you don't know shit, because the book just stops in the middle of nowhere without promise of a sequel. Some stories provided some more information, but there are too many lose threads and ugh. I don't even want to read the sequel, but at the same time it forces you to read it.
Just stay away from this one.
Profile Image for Lindsey Lynn (thepagemistress).
373 reviews94 followers
May 28, 2016
2/5 Stars!

This book follows a group of emancipated teens ranging from 15-18, popular to recluse and straight and lgbt. They are all living in a house on Venice Beach with no parents. But some people are hiding secrets.

I had some problems with this book because I felt like a lot of the character personalities were based of stereotypes and not very original. The story didn't grasp me, jumping POVs so much almost made me dizzy because sometimes I didn't get why some had chapters to begin with.

John-Michael was sweet and fun to a degree. The writing was smooth and easy to get through.

No major plot twits that shocked me, the characters were a tad dry. Probably will not continue on with this series.
Profile Image for Hari ~Brekker-Maresh~.
296 reviews262 followers
August 6, 2017


This book. Was. Soo disappointing!! I've been waiting to get my hands on it for practically a year and once I did.. Well... Ugh.

It's so DUMB. There's 6 people, roughly the same age, 4 girls and 2 guys. Two are step-sisters, one's a spy, and one girl's past clashes with the previous life of another. Mix in a gay guy and a tennis player-lawyer wannabe (who's kinda full of himself) and you get your half dozen. Except... There's only 5 people on the cover....? I think...?

I get that it's supposed to be done well thought out plan with careful and precise action, but, honey, if you're gonna try writing suspense, please hold on to the predictability! It was horribly easy to guess the secrets and details. A CHILD could have done that.

I also had a huge problem with the voice. You have 6 (plus one) POV that repeat the same bullshit over and over and over again. Jock pines after diva. Step-sister pines after jock. TV star thinks about herself. Gay guy cooks food. Then shit that nothing to do with anything happens and that's it.

The climax fell flat. It really did. Or was it just lacking one? WHY would you continue this book as a series? The author tried (TRIED) to use foreshadowing but it just killed the story. That's where it went wrong. All the twists were actually predictions from other characters and restated in logical order at the end. Bo-RING.

Also, do teenagers talk like that? Cause I don't know ANYONE that talks like that and I know some pretty sketchy people. The language and conversation was all over the place and just statements. Observations. Words. You know when your English teacher begs you to show and not tell in your essays? Yeah, I get that now. Much more effective. But whatever, that's the author's style. Just not my type...

Redeeming quality (not even plural): I like the idea of different people coming together with no (actually not totally true. You'll see what I mean if you read the book) notion of each other, and all for their own reasons. It creates a pretty damn strong bond. I liked that a lot.

So, I guess the book deserves no more than two stars. And that's being generous.

Yeah, that bad.
Profile Image for Meg.
209 reviews349 followers
November 20, 2015
There are so many things wrong with this book I don't even know where to start. The characters are all super flat and also kind of dipshits. The writing came across, idk, weirdly clunky and mechanical. The pacing is a hot mess, super slow for like 75% of the book and then things start happening and get really dramatic in literally the last 10 pages where the timeline starts skipping around and then it abruptly ended, like what? I think it's supposed to be some slow burning suspenseful mystery thing but a) the so-called mystery was the easiest thing in the world to figure out and b) it never actually felt tense and/or suspenseful. There was other stuff but I don't care enough to remember what it was.

Basically, garbage.
Profile Image for Lauren  (TheBookishTwins) .
467 reviews202 followers
May 21, 2016
I received a free copy via edelweiss.

DNF at 21%

Emancipated is only the second review copy ever that I haven't been able to finish. When I requested Emancipated I was super excited. The cover is gorgeous, the blurb sounds super intriguing with a murder mystery vibe (to be honest I was expecting something like Dangerous Girls) but I couldn't make it past 1/4 of the book. For a 400 page book, I don't think I could have read the rest with such a mind numbingly slow pace. Overall, not a book I would personally recommend.
Profile Image for Read InAGarden.
943 reviews12 followers
January 24, 2015
Really hard to be a believable book. I stopped reading about 28% of the way through. It's not just that the characters are all living on their own at 14, 15, 16 - their dialogue is stilted and does not ring true to what teenagers would say. I guess in the land of make believe a parent would say I'm moving across the country so I'm going to let you live in a house with 5 other teens with no supervision - but not in any land that I've ever seen. The book seems like a teenagers version of what they want reality to be - not realistic fiction.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,248 reviews393 followers
February 12, 2021
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from the publisher via Edelweiss.
*Maya is Mexican, Lucy is Black
*exactly one gay white guy: John-Michael
*Maya has dyslexia

I really should have known better, but the premise was so tempting. Six emancipated teens living in one house? One witnessed a murder, one might be a murderer, and one is a spy on all of them? It’s all a little Big Brother or Real World and I don’t like either of those shows, but it still sounded like a dramarific book perfect for my trip to the beach two weeks ago. NOPE. NOT A FUN BEACH READ. JUST FRUSTRATING.

The legal emancipation of these six kids is just something done in name; most of them still get monetary support from their parents like they were never emancipated in the first place. How else would all six of them be able to pay the rent when only three of them have money coming to them? (Candace acts, Paolo does tennis lessons/matches, and John-Michael inherited money from his dead father.) That was just the start of my irritation because I like a wee bit of realism in my contemporary novels and seeing them have to struggle with being adults (legally, that is) instead of partying all the time would have been nice. It’s like they actually are the cast of some edition of The Real World and they get paid solely to mess around for the cameras. Except no cameras.

Six POVs sounds like a lot to balance, right? It is, and two of the POVs in the novel are entirely superfluous. Candace adds nothing to the story and Paolo’s subplot, in which he gets hustled and tricked into helping hustle someone else, happens in its entirety early in the novel and has no relevance to the four major subplots that come from Maya, John-Michael, Grace, and Lucy. The mysteries of those subplots are frustrating on their own.

See, every 50-75 pages, we’d get a tidbit of the secrets each character held. It’s usually a pretty tantalizing bit like Maya admitting to her aunt (who is actually her mother posing as her aunt) that she’s spying on everyone for someone. Once we get that, we return to the program of boring shenanigans, talk about nothing, and generally uninteresting stuff for another 50-75 pages until someone else’s tidbit comes to light. Rinse and repeat for 400 pages, the last 40 or so during which we get all the big reveals. This approach to building up mysteries and scandals leads to horrible pacing and frustration on the reader’s part.

That might work if the characters were more interesting, but they’re more like character sketches. The steam and drama promised by the jacket copy is nonexistent. Mostly, we get Paolo mooning over Lucy and not getting anywhere with her because she doesn’t like him very much. Sure, he gets sex later with another woman, but it’s a remarkably sexless, non-steamy novel for something described as steamy. Maybe the steam comes from the reader getting angry?


So what good do I have to say about Emancipated after all this rating? Well, it kept me turning pages. It was out of frustration, true, but it never frustrated me enough that I flat-out refused to keep reading. Because I’m determined to solve mysteries, I stayed around to guess their ~dark secrets~ too and had them figured out rather easily. Remember, I learned the art of solving fictional mysteries from a stupid little animated kid who hid evidence from the viewers. I’m a bit good at it now. Anyway, Emancipated is worth skipping. There are better beach reads out there by a long shot.
Profile Image for Liz Barnsley.
3,471 reviews1,008 followers
January 2, 2015
Interesting and intriguing tale this one - a mix of teen drama and mystery it was very readable and often compelling.

An eclectic mix of kids share a house, all emancipated from their parents and responsible for themselves for varying reasons, on the surface they are pretty normal teenagers. Underneath though they all hide secrets and not everything will go to plan.

There is a lovely flowing style to the narrative and I was engaged with every one of the characters - the underlying mystery is well drawn, I loved the ebb and flow of the relationships within the house and the underlying sense of dread that something bad is coming for at least one and maybe all of them.

It is sort of "glossy" I can easily imagine this as one of those extremely popular teen television shows, the story lends itself well to adaptation, but is still written as a darn good yarn that will keep you turning the pages.

Overall a great read - and it seems there is more to come for this bunch of teens and I for one will look forward to catching up with them.

Happy Reading Folks!
Profile Image for AH.
2,005 reviews373 followers
June 2, 2015
This is a DNF (did not finish) review.

I read only a few chapters but could not relate to any of the characters. I found that the book had way too many points of view and it was difficult to keep track of the characters.

Thank you to Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen books for a review copy of this book.
Profile Image for Joany Vries.
Author 4 books89 followers
January 10, 2018
Hoewel ik dit een vermakelijk boek vond, wist de auteur mijn niet echt te verrassen met haar plotwendingen. Ik vond dat de auteur regelmatig té snel uitlegde hoe een situatie in elkaar stak. Daardoor werd het boek - voor mij - veel minder spannend dan het had kunnen zijn. Desondanks vind ik het een geweldig opzet voor een vervolg, waar ik dan ook behoorlijk hoge verwachtingen van heb.
Profile Image for Ellis.
153 reviews13 followers
July 19, 2018
Holy shit, dit boek had me echt in z’n greep. Gelukkig zijn deel 2 en 3 gisteren binnen gekomen. Ga nu gelijk verder in deel 2!
Profile Image for Dark Faerie Tales.
2,274 reviews547 followers
June 28, 2015
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: Six teenagers discover that freedom comes with a huge price.

Opening Sentence: It happened like this: Candace needed to leave home and Grace found the solution.

The Review:

If you’ve watched Pretty Little Liars (yes, I’m guilty), then you’ll have an inkling of the kind of feeling I got when I read this book. There’s lots of drama, teenagers with dangerous secrets and suspense. In Emancipated, six teenagers move to LA to live under the same roof, most are emancipated of their own free will but others aren’t as lucky. At first it feels like a massive holiday, all the freedom they could want without the nagging parents, but soon enough they realise that emancipation / moving out isn’t all it was cut out to be.

Underneath their teenage lives are secrets, lies, hidden identities and a lot of twists! None of the characters of the house are who they seem. Lovely, innocent Grace is scheming to get her father out of prison, sweet, smart Maya turns out to be a spy (!) And John-Michael is anything but a cliche gay guy.

Maya said, “If he bought him H and gave it to his dad, knowing that he was gonna kill himself, that’s a crime. I don’t know what level of crime it is, but I’m pretty sure that’s illegal.”
Grace could barely conceal her scorn. “Of course that’s illegal! It’s assisted suicide. Second-degree murder. You do prison time for that.”
“That’s insane,” Candace said. “No way should you do time for assisted suicide.”
“Are you kidding?” Grace countered angrily. “What if I come round and ‘assist’ you to death, huh? Or your little ol’ grammy? That okay by you?”

The story is deliberately confusing, with the intermittent conversations between Ariana and Charlie separating the actual events taking place at the house, which starts to have a ‘big-brother’ type feel to it. The reader knows that Charlie isn’t a real name but is left guessing who it is and why Ariana is so involved in ‘Charlie’s’ life.

I felt like Paolo was a bit of a waste; he was a pretty boy who falls in love with a girl that won’t look at him twice and is left pinning for her. The author tried to make his character more interesting with the Darius-related events but I still felt that his entire character lacked spark.

“No, but really.” He managed to bring his chuckles under control. “Look, you guys must have an opinion: Does Lucy like me?”
A little too quickly, Grace answered, “No.”
He sighed. “I was afraid of that.”
Candace said, “Did she ever act like she likes you?”
“No. Kind of the opposite.”
Grace rolled her eyes. “There’s your clue.”
“I guess.”
She continued. “I hope you don’t want to be a detective when you graduate.”
“It wouldn’t be my first choice.”

John-Michael on the other hand was such an awesome guy to read about. I could feel the pain, guilt and relief his father’s death had on him, and it was clear from his past that he has seen some dreadful things. I loved his dependable character, and the struggle he’s gone through for being gay made him even more loveable.

She placed a hand on his. “I’m sorry.”
Candace chimed in, “Yeah, John-Michael, me too. Not everyone gets along with their parents, but it’s got to be hard to lose one.”
“Then I must be pretty careless,” he replied with a bitter chuckle. “Because I’ve lost two.”

Lucy was kind of frustrating, I mean if you know that a man is on death row for murder, and you have insider knowledge that the murder was committed by a woman, surely you would speak up about it? I can imagine it’s difficult for her trudging up memories of a past she’s tried to forget but seriously, someone’s going to die because of her silence! She acts like she’s so tough, but it’s clear that it’s just a facade and underneath it all she’s scared.

The ending has a cliffhanger but I think emancipated is a series I would like to continue reading, just to find out what/who actually killed Tyson (I have a hunch) and what happens about John-Michael’s court issue. I do hope that Paolo gets a more interesting role though because right now, he doesn’t seem to be adding much.

Notable Scene:

So far, life kept handing him the fuzzy end of the lollipop. Tonight had been John-Michael’s chance to change that. His father’s exact words had been, “You’re a screwup, son. For once, I want to see something different. Prove to me that you inherited some balls.”

Now John-Michael would finally have the opportunity, maybe even the upper hand. Freedom had come at last. The price had been high.

But then, wasn’t it always.

FTC Advisory: Katherine Tegen/HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Emancipated. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

Profile Image for Evie.
714 reviews930 followers
January 14, 2015
Emancipated was a very pleasant read. Basically, it's a great new teen drama with elements of mystery, romance and comedy. The story focuses on a group of 6 teenage kids who, for many different reasons, become emancipated and end up living together in a Venice Beach house. Each one of these kids comes with unique baggage and from unique background, and they all have secrets to hide. They're quite an eclectic bunch, too. There's a local tennis star dreaming of becoming a lawyer, an actress-wannabe, a wallflower girl, a recently orphaned gay boy, a young app-creating tech-whiz of Mexican heritage and a rising punk music star.

As these kids move in together and slowly get to know each other, their problems, secrets, hopes, dreams, fears and the masks they hide their true selves under are placed under a magnifying glass and closely examined. Some of them need help, some can't stop lying, some have ulterior motives, and some are downright dangerous.

While the characters were pretty stereotypical (jock, drama queen, artsy girl, troubled kid, etc), I still found myself pretty much wrapped up in their stories, enjoying the alternating points of view and the way their lives intertwined with one another in fascinating, often times completely unexpected ways. The plot was well thought out and the jigsaw puzzle construction worked really great here. Some parts were pretty predictable, yes, but overall the story was evenly paced and quite suspenseful, with short, dynamic chapters and entertaining dialogues.

This is, basically, a story about growing up too early and living the adult life entirely on your own, dealing with family problems, facing your fears and confronting your past, pursuing your dreams and finding yourself. It's a contemporary drama spiced up, with a possible murder mystery. A story of love, friendship, strained family relationships, betrayal, deception, manipulation and lies. And as far as teen dramas and mysteries go, it's a pretty solid one. I had a great time reading Emancipated and I think fans of Gossip Girls and Pretty Little Liars will probably like it, too. This book would make a great TV Show for teens.
Profile Image for Hannah (jellicoereads).
792 reviews150 followers
May 29, 2015
The only reason this has two stars instead of one is that I found myself mildly entertained once I stopped eyerolling and finished it it one go.

But yeah. I don't have the energy to write an in-depth review, but suffice to say the concept is completely implausible and cheesy - really, 6 teens all get emancipated and live in a fabulous house on the beach? And are all comfortably well-off, and drive nice cars and go to school or work as an actress or code apps or used to be child tv stars or screw middle aged cougars at a fancy tennis club? I know a lot of YA novels make use of over the top concepts/scenarios e.g. teen says, but I expect a SMIDGEON of plausibility - at least show me how this could work flawlessly. It's too easy to say 'connections and rich relatives'.

The characters were cardbout cutouts of each other in a way - they all had some kind of special talent, a special secret, and some strange family situation. And frankly, even though some supposedly deep-and-meaningful things happened, I found the whole thing rather silly and shallow.

Urgh, I can't quite pin it down, but a glimpse at the other low rated reviews, of which there seem to be many, will give you a better idea. Basically, this novel is like reality tv. Trashy, but you can't quite take your eyes away.

ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elle (ellexamines).
1,096 reviews17.7k followers
March 27, 2017
2 stars. Another forgettable YA suspense novel for the books.

The largest problem is the lack of driving plot; it’s too long and watered-down. The entire book is mind-numbingly slow and packed with odd plot holes. The ending comes out of nowhere, without even a decent cliffhanger; it’s just flat-out not resolved.

The characters have no personality traits beyond a lack of logical sense. They're boring and extremely flat. It practically doesn’t matter that the publisher forgot a person on the cover, because Candace and Grace are basically the same person. Paolo is practically irrelevant to the plot, and is essentially only there to be Lucy’s slightly creepy love interest. John has two traits: 1) gay 2) evil. Also, the fact that he was gay seemed to be tied to the fact that he was evil in a slightly odd way.

I don’t even remember the rest of the characters. Or plot points. This book was just that forgettable.
Profile Image for Julia.
153 reviews17 followers
August 13, 2020
I overall liked this book. It was interesting though there were some boring parts. The main problem I had with this book is that I didn't feel any connection to the characters whatsoever which was upsetting because the best part of a book is feeling the characters feelings and that didn't happen for me in this book.
Profile Image for Kristen Cansler.
282 reviews249 followers
Shelved as 'did-not-finish'
April 10, 2015
DNF @ 15%

This book was so strange. I felt like I had started halfway through without any idea of what was happening.

Full review in May.
Profile Image for Sjule.
459 reviews7 followers
November 19, 2016
Kurz : Schreibstil zu flach und abgehackt. Die Charaktere bleiben blass und durch die kurzen Kapitel und dauernden Sichtwechsel kam ich nicht wirklich rein. die letzten 30 Seiten wurden dann langsam spannend und man entdeckte einen eventuellen roten Faden.

Lange Rezi :
Klappentext :
Es klingt wie die Erfüllung eines Traums: Vier Mädchen und zwei Jungs ziehen in ein Haus am Venice Beach. Die Vormundschaft ihrer Eltern sind sie los. Jetzt liegt die große Freiheit vor ihnen. Und so wird die WG zu ihrer neuen Familie. Aber alle sechs haben ein dunkles Geheimnis – das Starlet, die Hackerin und der Sportstar genauso wie die Musikerin, das brave Mädchen und der Außenseiter. Als eine brisante Lüge auffliegt, beginnt ein gefährliches Spiel, bei dem bald jeder nur seine eigene Haut retten will.Wenn der Traum vom Erwachsenwerden zum Albtraum wird …

Was ich erwartet habe, war ein spannender Jugendthriller im Hause von 6 Freunden, die sich eventuell sogar schon kennen.

Doch nein, nur Grace und Candance , die Stiefgeschwister sind, kennen sich schon , der Rest kommt so dazu, mal mehr mal weniger untereinander bekannt. Und eigenartiger Weise verstehen sie sich auch am Anfang sofort alle gut.
Man steigt ins Buch ein in dem man alle kennen lernt, kurz bevor sie mündig gesprochen werden.
Dann ziehen sie zusammen und langsam entdeckt man einige Geheimnisse. Nebenbei gibt es noch ein Telefongespräch, bei dem man die beiden Gesprächspartner erst nicht zu ordnen kann. Auch das wird später geklärt.

Hierbei bekommt aber jeder Charakter weiterhin seine eigenen Kapitel, die aus der jeweiligen Sicht erzählt wird.
Und hier liegt eine große Schwachstelle bei dem Buch:
die kurzen Kapitel und andauernden Sichtwechsel.
Ich konnte dadurch erstens keine Verbindung zu einzelnen Charakteren aufbauen und zweitens ist diese Sprunghaftigkeit einfach nur anstrengend.
Der Spannungsaufbau kommt dadurch gar nicht zu Stande, nur die letzten 30 Seiten waren etwas spannender.
Das Buch endet mit einem Cliffhanger.

Dazu kommt der doch recht flache und abgehackte Schreibstil der Autorin, der nicht wirklich dazu führt, dass man eine Verbindung zu der Geschichte aufbaut.

Der erwartete Jugendthriller war ein laues Jugendbuch über Jugendliche mit aktuellen Problemen oder auch Geheimnissen aus der Vergangenheit, die teilweise miteinander zusammenhängen. Und auch wenn das Buch mit einem Cliffhanger endet, werde ich höchstwahrscheinlich nicht den 2. Band lesen.

2,5 von 5 Sternen
Profile Image for Lauren.
347 reviews25 followers
December 11, 2017
Yet another book that I have had on my TBR for a while. I was so excited when my copy of this book came through because the blurb had me hooked straight away. Whilst I mostly enjoyed this book, there were a couple of issues that I had with it.

I think my favourite aspect of this book was the multiple POV. We got a look into each and every one of the characters’ heads and each of them added something to the story. Each voice was unique and they didn’t mesh together. Each POV showed off every character and their personalities.

What I also really enjoyed about this book was the way in which things started to come together and the way in which the characters were all connected was revealed. There isn’t one huge info dump, but rather secrets started to come out gradually and when they were needed. Having said that, I would have liked to have known more about the situation with Maya etc. because I don’t feel like enough was revealed in that aspect of the story.

I think maybe something extra shocking maybe needed to happen some point in this book to give it that little bit of a wow factor. The book plodded along at a mostly comfortable pace, so when certain things were revealed, I wasn’t overly surprised. It did need something to maybe pick up the pace toward the end of the book – to hook the reader onto the series.

I do feel like the blurb was maybe a little misleading. Things didn’t happen the way I was expecting them to and it wasn’t as explosive as is described in the blurb.

All in all, I enjoyed this book. I do feel like something needed to happen toward the end to give the book that wow factor, but I enjoyed the secrets that were revealed and I like the fact that it was done over a period of time rather than one huge information dump. I gave this book 4/5 stars.
Profile Image for Tiffany (About to Read).
422 reviews412 followers
June 11, 2015
This review first appeared on About to Read. Visit abouttoread.com for fairytale fashions, reads, and reviews.


I got the feeling early on that I may have misjudged Emancipated. It sounded like a great book from the synopsis and the cover screamed “read me!” but it ended up being middle of the road. Not that I’m really complaining about that. At least I didn’t dislike it!

One of the problems I had in the beginning of Emancipated is that the teens seemed to want to be emancipated for pretty silly reasons like being able to keep their own money. Every teen I grew up with kept their money from their jobs. Their parents didn’t take it or dictate what they had to do with it . . .

That was easy enough to brush aside though once we got more into the novel. There are quite a few layers to Emancipated and lots of secrets being held by pretty much all of the house mates. It was interesting learning about what each teenager was keeping to themselves and what they were hiding from the world, but not so interesting that the story will stay with me. I actually had to go back and read the last page of the novel before writing this because I couldn’t even remember how it ended.

Emancipated is a bit awkward in the sense that it’s not a bad book, but it’s not a particularly good one either. If you want something mind-blowingly awesome or really adorable or even really thrilling, you’ll have to look elsewhere. I think it’s best to read this one if you’re looking for something to simply pass the time.
Profile Image for Marianna Rainolter.
1,569 reviews17 followers
July 23, 2016
Mi è molto piaciuto, e cacchio finisce proprio sul più bello! La tensione cresce capitolo per capitolo, mischiando le voci e le storie dei vari protagonisti e rivelando man mano il loro passato e ciò che cercano in tutti i modi di nascondere agli altri. Sono tanti i temi che vengono affrontati e non sono alquanto banali; credo che il più importante sia quello che dà inizio al romanzo, l'emancipazione: essere considerati già maggiorenni legalmente non vuol dire che siamo già pronti ad affrontare le difficoltà della vita contando solo sulle nostre forze. I nostri protagonisti infatti diventano facilmente amici e vivono bene insieme ma i segreti che costudiscono attentamente mineranno alla fiducia reciproca e ai loro rapporti creando delle tensioni all'interno del loro gruppo. Amici potrebbero diventare dei nemici, ma non ci è dato sapere, non in questo volume quantomeno: il finale, come ho detto, lascia molti punti irrisolti e ci fa presagire che nei prossimi volumi ne vedremo delle belle...
La recensione completa sul blog --> http://bookmarksarereadersbestfriends...
Profile Image for Bekah Ward.
177 reviews34 followers
May 21, 2016
Well, I don't know about this book. Yes, but also no??

The plot of this book is great - 6 teens, who for various reason, have been emancipated. Fascinating idea, for certain. But it wasn't really explored?? We follow the teens through their actions and what they do together. However, even the dramatic parts were't very dramatic. I wasn't on the edge of my seat, so to speak. The whole book felt slightly anticlimactic.

It was pretty easy to keep track of the characters, as they're all quite different, expect for the two step sisters who were a bit confusing. They all have some sort of secret that they're hiding, but again, they were't explored enough to make me care.

The cliffhanger at the end was a big yes (even if the cliffhanger didn't seem huge). As an easy, one sitting sort of read, Emancipated ticks all the boxes. However, as someone who was hoping for a more complicated, mystery sort of read, Emancipated was a pretty average book that fell a bit flat.
Profile Image for EmilyViolet.
349 reviews4 followers
October 5, 2016
I'm a bit disappointed.
I wasn't expecting this to be a fantastic book- the blurb was merely intriguing and sounded like something different.
But I was still hoping for something better than what this novel offered.

How the situation was established seemed lazy.
The mystery angle of the story just wasn't done very well. It was predictable, but also didn't seem important.
The characters were okay. I didn't fall in love with any of them though, which is what I've come to expect from good contemporary books.

The worst part of this story was the ending. I know it's a series... but nothing happened. Like, nothing. This wasn't really book; it was a foundation. By the end, I'd decided the whole thing seemed quite unnecessary by the end.

Some of the interactions between the characters and the reality of a few scenes were the only redeeming qualities of the novel. Overall, it was just 'meh.'
33 reviews1 follower
July 25, 2015
A bit of a slow read at first, but by the time I was 2/3 through the book, some secrets were unravelled, more suspicions were made, and turned into a truly exciting read. Absolutely love the way M.G Reyes slowly let more details out and kept me wanting to find out more. All of the characters with their own secrets to hide. There's been talk about a sequel, so I can't wait. Just warning you though, the ending is quite a cliffhanger.
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