I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on 2015-03-31
Genres: General, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher
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Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamicsThe Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
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?
You know that feeling you get when you read an amazing book from a debut author and then you get the chance to pick up their sophomore novel and you’re dying from excitement and then the moment comes for you to read it but you hesitate just a tiny moment out of sheer fear that you won’t like this one and maybe the first book was just a fluke? Maybe it’s just me that feels that way but that happened with this book. I got so panicky right before I started it. I loved Open Road Summer so much I can barely even express how much with proper words. And then to find out she had another book coming out and to have it in my hands?! It was incredible. I was so excited. But I didn’t start it the moment I got it. I waited, just a little. But when I did, as soon as I read the first words in this book, my nerves calmed, I sank right in, and loved every moment like the first time.
The biggest difference, I think, between ORS and TSoMaY is the main characters. There are plenty of similarities if you’re looking for them, MCs trying to make a new start, supportive friends, and cute boys, there are also plenty of differences. For me, I related more to Reagan from ORS. She wasn’t perfect but I understood her and the way she pushed people away. But I also think that for people who didn’t love the book, it had a lot to do with her. I think those people will like Paige much more. She was also a great main character and I think she’ll be the one people who didn’t relate to Reagan will really love. She’s also trying to remake herself, to no longer be the person who’s boyfriend died but to be someone who is seen for who she really is. And she’s working on figuring that out. She has a plan and is slowly working through it. She has amazing friends who provide a great support system for her. She has a loving family, including a grandmother that she is especially close to. And she’s willing to try things that scare her and put herself out there. She’s definitely less harsh than Reagan. And she’s determined to win over her long-time crush, Ryan Chase. A lot happens along the way, some that’s really good and some that cause some setbacks in her plan, but the journey Paige takes to the end of this book will stick with you and make you love her.
While the main characters in Emery Lord’s books may be different, their romances are both amazing. Paige has made a list and has a plan to reinvent herself and one of the things on that list is to date Ryan Chase, the boy she’s had a crush on for years. It doesn’t quite turn out the way she originally plans, but the end result is so much better than she could have imagined. Partway through, it becomes pretty clear what’s going to happen. Not to Paige, of course. She doesn’t see it but as a reader it was very easy to guess what was going to happen. If predictability is something you don’t like in books, this one might not be the best choice for you. It wasn’t terrible and the characters and the focus on friendships and family helped from the predictability of the romance story line but it is definitely there.
The romance in this one is definitely sweet. I wasn’t as into the love interest in this one as much as I was in ORS but he was so sweet and the romance developed nice and slowly. I also really appreciated the family and friendships in this one. The moments between Paige and her grandmother are so sweet and moving and heartbreaking. And the times she spends with her friends and the connection they have with each other and how important they are to each other is something I hope everyone has. Emery Lord writes not only great romances but just great relationships and that is one of the things that sets her books apart from the masses of YA contemporary romances out there.
I definitely recommend The Start of Me and You as well as Open Road Summer. They have different overall feels but the themes are pretty much the same. Everyone deserves a second chance and life isn’t perfect but it’s the people in it that make it great. I always hate author comparisons but I definitely think that if you’re a fan of Kasie West or Sarah Dessen, you should definitely give Emery Lord’s books a try.