Reviewed by Katie Hayes for TeensReadToo.com
Emily Bennet has all kinds of goals for her junior year of high school. She wants to beat out obnoxious Daniel Cummings for editor-in-chief of the school newspaper. She wants Brian Harrington, the gorgeous boy next door (literally), to notice her. She wants revenge on the Mean Girls who ditched her in eighth grade. And, after reading a newspaper headline about a hurricane that shares her name, she wants "Emily Rocks South Florida" to describe her own life.
Of course, nothing is that simple, and on the way to achieving her goals, she ends up in handcuffs while chasing down a headline. She facilitates a secret romance between a boat captain and a dancing grandmother. She starts to realize that there's more to Daniel, the rival she's been so intent on beating, than she knew. And she ends up becoming passionate about a good deed she never intended to do.
Despite some overly cutesy elements (her snobby ex-friends are twins named Brandy and Randy), this is a light, fun read that keeps getting better as it continues. Ms. Cirrone keeps the book from getting weighted down with high school stereotypes and adds some interest with a subplot about Brian's grandmother and the captain of the junior class cruise.
In the end, Emily figures out how to rock not by beating someone at something or by getting revenge, but by doing something good and loving it. In a world driven by competition, that's a message we could all use.