Sunday, February 22, 2015

Review: THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord

Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Publication date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: an ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review

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?

I gobbled this up in November last year when I was home for the weekend and to semi-binge on this was a very smart decision for me. There are a lot of things going for this book (besides the fact that Emery Lord, one of the great contemporary queens in my mind, wrote it and that Bloomsbury has a stamp of approval on it), making it be on your spring break (or just spring, if you're out of school) to-do list. 

1. It deals with the tough subject of death and grief, but in a different way. As a contemporary lover, I've read my fair share of "issue" or tragedy books. But this one felt different and I think it's mostly because of who died and what Paige is actually dealing with in the book. Her short-term boyfriend died in an accident. Note: I said short-term. They hadn't been dating for four years, they weren't engaged, they didn't have this enormous history together. They had been dating for a few months. I'm not lessening their affection because I certainly know people can get close during that time (heck, I know people who married after two months or less). While she was struggling with the fact that he died and the grief that comes with it, this book isn't necessarily about his death and her grief. It's about her regaining her life after two years and pushing away the title that her community gave her. She's the Girl Who's Boyfriend Died. She didn't have much of a life after he died and now two years later, she wants to "start living again" and be open for new love and new experiences (hopefully with her old crush). To me, this was refreshing.

2. It's not really a love triangle. I was afraid that we would go into love triangle territory after seeing that her old crush is Ryan, but the end of the synopsis makes Max out to be the future boyfriend. While I won't give anything away, you don't have anything to worry about.

I couldn't resist.
3. It involved a Quiz Bowl! Fun fact, if you didn't read the interview I had with Emery Lord, is that I was actually a part of a quiz team. Ours wasn't the stereotypical quiz bowl where it deals with different categories, but Paige's experience very closely represented mine. The nervousness, the anticipating of answering a question after buzzing in, everything; it all mirrored my past experience, which I enjoyed.

4. All the fun cuteness and great things I love in contemporaries. She makes a list (I love lists), her family is whole and supportive, her friends are also very supportive, Max is adorable, and the narrative is entertaining. Emery Lord brings the charm and engaging narrative to this story, but that's no surprise after reading Open Road Summer

5. Paige was on a journey and at the risk of sounding cheesy, I was on it with her. I have never had to deal with what Paige had to deal with. I've had loved ones die, but never a significant other. I've never been labeled because of someone's death. I've never had to essentially rebuild myself after two years. But I experienced that through Paige (and Lord's writing). And it was fun. It was entertaining and made me forget about everything else that was going on around me. For me, that's a major goal in reading. 

So do I recommend this? 

To read my interview with Emery Lord, click here.


  1. Great review, and this sounds really good! I just added it to my Goodreads TBR shelf! I haven't read Open Road Summer yet, but I've heard a lot of good things about it.

  2. You are so winning with the Loki gif Summer, *high five* I have heard beautiful things about this book already, so I'm thrilled to see that it was a winner in your eyes too. I do like my realistic reads, so have a feeling that this will definitely be my sort of read! Gorgeous review!

  3. Great review, Summer! I still need to read this one. I really want to meet Max, but admittedly I'm not too excited about her having a crush on someone else. :/ Hopefully it won't bother me TOO much. Love that there's a quiz bowl! How fun. :D