Published by Bloomsbury on 31 March 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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Also by this author: Open Road Summer
Place(s) Traveled to: Oakhurst, Indiana // Anderson, Indiana
First Line(s): Of all the places to have something memorable happen to you, Oakhurst, Indiana, had to be one of the worst.
I first became aware of the amazingness of Emery Lord’s writing last year when I read her debut novel, Open Road Summer, and the moment that I turned the last page I was desperate for more words by her. So you may have heard my squeals of delight when an early copy of The Start of Me and You showed up on my doorstep. This was a book that I received in August of 2014 and even though its release was so far away I knew that I wouldn’t be able to wait to read it. I knew that I would love it and had known of that fear that I normally do when reading the sophomore book of an author whose debut I loved. When I sat down to read The Start of Me and You I didn’t come up for air until I’d hit the last page and let me tell you, dear reader, I think that I loved this one more than Open Road Summer. Emery Lord is an absolute master at the written word she writes some of the most amazing friendship stories that I’ve ever read. All too often in YA contemporary stories the main characters BFF isn’t a real friend and at the slightest bit of trouble she’s turned on the MC and it is just so very frustrating to me as a reader.
But Lord’s friendships aren’t like that. They are the friendships that stand the test of time and are the ones the often echo friendships that the reader has in real life. Paige’s BFF Tessa is always there for her when she needs her. Tessa is there to give words of advice, a shoulder to cry on, and a good swift kick in the pants when one is needed. Prior to the start of The Start of Me and You Paige was in a relationship with her first real boyfriend and due to an unspeakable tragedy he died not long after. Paige was then left to deal with the loss of someone she liked but barely knew and Tessa was there to help guide her through all of her mixed emotions. Tessa was also there when a year later when Paige decided to make a list to help her reform her image from The Girl Whose Boyfriend Died to a new and happier Paige. One step in her plan is to date her long time crush Ryan and along the way she meets and becomes friends with Max. Sweet, wonderful, nerdy Max. Oh how I love Max. And Ryan. And Paige. And Tessa. And Kayleigh. And Morgan. And just everyone in this book!
The Start of Me and You is filled with so many wonderful feels. This story makes my heart ache in that good way that I love and its one that I’ve re-read several times already. Its a book that I pre-ordered and can’t recommend highly enough. Its a book that shows us that sometimes the thing you think you want may not be the thing that you really need. Its about looking at what is right in front of you as you think about your future goals. Its a story about love and friendship and its so very hard to put all that I want to say into words that are coherent. I loved Paige’s friends and all that they brought into each other’s lives. Its also a great story about loving parents who are maybe a bit too over protective at times but who will do anything they can to ease the troubles of their children.
With The Start of Me and You, Emery Lord has sealed her fate as an author that I will always auto-buy the moment that her next book is available for purchase. She has such a gift with bringing these very real characters to life and as I read her stories I am transported into the worlds she creates. She writes characters that you want to be friends with and boys that you want to fall in love with. She can break your heart into a dozen pieces but then just a quickly find a way to put it back together again. This is a book that I can’t recommend strongly enough and 5 stars aren’t enough to show how much love I have for this story. Each page is filled with magic and wonder and I am so sad that I’ll never be able to read it again for the first time. My only complaint is that the story had to end and I would gladly have read another 300 pages of Paige and her friends. I long for more of this story and hope that Lord will write one involving Tessa, Paige’s best friend. For I would love to see the world through her eyes and through her heart. As I can’t put into words what I want to say about this story all you really need to know is this. If you haven’t read an Emery Lord book yet then you need to drop everything and do so now. You will thank me for it later.