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How I May Upward Climb, The Alpine Path

A review of Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery, sequel to the classic Emily of New Moon.

How I May Upward Climb, The Alpine Path

BOOK REPORT for Emily Climbs (Emily of New Moon Book 2) by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Cover Story: Still Awkward
BFF Charm: OF COURSE
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talky: Classic LMM
Bonus Factors: Rivalries, Literary Ambitions
Relationship Status: Friend For Life

Cover Story: Still Awkward

Well, these book covers sure aren't doing the stories inside any favors. The first Emily book cover was awkward, but a little cute. This one is awkward with a dash of - wait, no, STILL JUST AWKWARD. Emily is just standing there, on a hill, overlooking a bay, with bouquet of picked flowers. The sort of sweeping, romantic quality of these covers just don't give you a good grasp at how funny and snarky these books can be.

The Deal:

In the first book of this series, Emily Starr was orphaned and learning to manage her new life with her Aunts Elizabeth and Laura at New Moon farm, in Blair Water, PEI. When our second book takes place, Emily is already quite settled into her life at New Moon but age fourteen finds Emily enrolled in Shrewsbury High School with old friends Teddy, Perry and Ilse. Unfortunately, she must board with her awful and overbearing Aunt Ruth. We follow Emily as she attempts to navigate through high school, start her literary career, and attempt to avoid obstacles like enemies, beaus, gossip and the scorn of Aunt Ruth.

BFF Charm: OF COURSE

Was there any doubt I would still love Emily? I'm starting to think I need to institute a rusted BFF charm for those who manage to maintain my love and affection over a long period of time. Emily is feistier, smarter and more sarcastic than ever. I often found myself in awe of the things Emily said and thought, fascinated that a fictional young Canadian girl from 100 years ago could speak to my soul so well. I think part of the reason I adore Emily so much is that she reminds me of myself (ha!), but so much better. When she stands up for herself, it works. When she struggles to achieve a goal, she succeeds. When she fights, she says all those sharp and biting things you wish you could think of in the heat of the moment. When Emily accidentally overhears two old gossips talking trash about her, they describe her as "very sarcastic and touchy, and of course as proud as Lucifer." And they act like that's a bad thing??

Swoonworthy Scale: 5

Emily is growing up, so there is definitely more male interest in this book than the last. Teddy is obviously still my NUMERO UNO and I'm glad to report that Emily feels the same way. Emily is pretty hesitant about her feelings (and perhaps, so is Teddy), so mostly nothing happens on that front. Except this one time something almost sort of maybe happened, in a graveyard (yes), though it ended terribly/ridiculously. LMM is a total tease.

Perry still has a crush on Emily and his affections are hilarious. The obvious downer is, of course, the return of creepy Dean "Jarback" Priest, who continues to want to make Emily his child bride. He is so gross and self-deprecating and OLD and I just can't stand him. He even gets bizarrely jealous of Teddy, which is insane, because a 36 year old man should not be jealous of a 14 year old boy. Or, you know, hitting on/trying to groom a 14 year old girl. BLARG indeed.

Talky Talky: Classic LMM

I'm not sure what more to say about LMM's writing that hasn't already been said. On the one hand, there are flowery, lush nature descriptions. On the other, so much of her character writing shows how well she understands the human condition. Her grasp of people's different motives and behaviors is impressive.

Bonus Factor: Rivalries

Emily gets her first real enemy when she arrives at Shrewsbury. Her name is Evelyn Blake and she has plenty worth hating -- she's jealous, vindictive and condescending. Having a good rival or nemesis often brings out the best in characters.

Bonus Factor: Literary Ambitions

Emily was already a writer, but this book shows her early struggles to become a published writer. Her defeats and successes will ring true to anyone who has struggled to achieve their dream.

Casting Call:

Gary Sinise is one of those actors who I either adore or am creeped out by, depending on the character. I think that fits the bill here.

Gary Sinise as Dean Priest

This lady does the best job at playing random, heinous characters. I think she'd make a delightful Aunt Ruth.

Beth Grant as Aunt Ruth

Relationship Status: Friend For Life

Two out of three and I am still in love with this series. There are books that you love reading and then there are books, like The Emily series, where you not only love reading them but Feel Important while you are doing so. It's not as though these books concern world-changing people or events. It's just that you will always remember the way they made you feel, long after you may have forgotten certain events or characters. These are the type of books you can feel creeping their way into your soul. I cannot wait to spend more time with Emily. Onward, to the next book!

For those of you interested, e-versions of Emily Climbs and the rest of the Emily series can be found for free on Gutenberg AU.

Megan Crane's photo About the Author: Megan is an unabashed fangirl who is often in a state of panic about her inability to watch, read and play all the things.