March 4, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Publication date: Mar. 31, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received ARC from publisher (Thanks!)
Summary: It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live? (Adapted goodreads.com)

The good
For those of you who don't know, Emery Lord wrote The Start of Me and You first. I could see it as I read, finding small glimpses in her words of what made me fall so in love with Open Road Summer. It's about Paige Hancock who is determined to make some changes in her life. After her first boyfriend died in an accident over a year ago, almost everyone has defined her by this singular moment. She's ready to start moving on and makes a list of goals for her junior year. Go out, start dating, join a club and more. What begins as just a list becomes a catalyst for letting new people into her life and overcoming old fears.

Paige is going through an impossible situation at a very young age. To be in a relationship for the first time and then to lose him in a tragic accident. I can't even imagine. And then to be dating that person for only a few months and having everyone define you by it more than a year later? It takes a lot of courage to decide to change and move on. But she does it, even when it doesn't exactly work out as she planned. She befriends an old crush of hers, Ryan Chase, and thinks she should start dating him. He's actually a sweet guy and while she's got it in her head that he's perfect, she also befriends his cousin Max Watson when she joins the Quiz Bowl team (he's the captain). Max is even sweeter, kinder and a little bit nerdier. Max and Paige hit it off right away and I enjoyed watching their friendship blossom, even when Paige is blind to the obvious (that HE is perfect!). But honestly, my favorite part of the book wasn't the romance. It's the friendship between Paige and her three best friends. Seriously, Emery Lord knows how to write BFFs. I loved how different all the girls were, the way they understood each other, how they dropped everything to be there when one of them needed it. Whether it was a little moment or a more serious one, the four of them as a unit truly shined in this book.

(Minor) Reservations
Like I mentioned before, I could tell this was the first book. The writing and the story is good but for me personally, it wasn't as impactful as Open Road Summer. I did like it a lot though. It has positive female friendships, a romance that felt genuine and it's balanced out with family (Paige is close to her grandmother which I loved and there are moments with her sister that I loved too) but it didn't resonate or stay with me the way ORS did.

Do I recommend?
It's Emery Lord, so the answer is obviously yes! It's a good book and if you haven't read anything by this author yet, I recommend (*cough* demand *cough*) you do ASAP.

2 comments:

  1. I loved this one (and actually posted my review today too!) especially for the friendships. It reminded me a lot of Saving Francesca in that way. I hadn't realized that Lord wrote this book first--interestingly I enjoyed this one quite a bit more than ORS although both are still delightful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I love The Start of Me and You! I'm not sure whether it's because I identified so deeply with Paige, but I definitely fell head over heels in love with this one ;) (Plus, Max Watson is yet another Emery Lord boy that we can crush on!)

    ReplyDelete