Fresh out of a foster home, an aspiring 16-year old girl is a "fish out of water," struggling to survive and combating the differences that alienate her from society. Emma doesn't really consider herself "normal," but she doesn't let that stop her from achieving her goal: early graduation, then early college admission, and, finally, legal independence (emancipation.) Right away you admire this girl and want to root for her.
"There is a specific type of loneliness that comes from being surrounded by indifferent people and then there’s the loneliness that comes from being alone. I prefer the latter." (31) Work and study are about the only things centered on the mind of this bright and dedicated girl, one that often preferred to spend her school recess reading a book (like me!) Then Reagan comes along. Even though Reagan seemed nice, I couldn't help but feel that he was distracting Emma, messing with her focused head. Suddenly the pressure's on. She must find a way to meet her goal while also contending with her wretched past and sheltered cynicism.
A quick and simple story, Choices opens up barriers. Readers will find Emma to be a true role model--one that falls but gets back up, one that's made mistakes but learns from them, one that is not "normal" but is "exceptional."
My rating: 4 stars