Tuesday, June 16, 2015
Review: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Published: March 31st, 2015
Hardcover, 384 pages
5 Gold Stars
(summary from Goodreads)
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics, The 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 Chases, 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?
Emery Lord quickly became an auto buy author after I read her first novel, Open Road Summer, this follow up novel of hers lives up to everything I expected from her. Her characters are real and these girls go through real problems and have real friendships and everything about them falls off the pages and I could only wish to know them in real life. I'm a sucker for stories about a girl who's trying to figure out who she really is after something happens in her life. Paige's first boyfriend, a guy she only dated for a couple of months, died in a accident a year ago, but she feels like she is still known as his girlfriend and she's not sure how to get past that. Paige's journey is so fun to read. Her list is perfection and I love how she goes through it and how nothing ends up being the way she'd hoped it'd be. Paige's infatuation with Ryan Chase is exactly what you'd expect from a teenage girl, I mean I think I had crushes on ten boys at a time at that age. But Max Watson stole the show for me. He's Ryan's nerdy cousin who's into trivia and recruits Paige into the Quiz Bowl, a trivia competition that scares the crap out of her. But Quiz Bowl gives her time to spend with Max and I'll just say that I'd fall for him in a heartbeat.
Paige is your typical high school girl and that makes her totally relatable. She's a bit nerdy, loves her lists, and is a little shy. She doesn't like being known as the "girlfriend". As she pinned away from Ryan Chase, she was oblivious to the fact that Max was into her. She was clearly into Max too, but it took her awhile to see this. I loved the dynamic between them. Their conversations were adorable and even though there were fewer moments where they might have kissed, the moments were fantastic. Another great part of this book were the friendships. Paige had such a great group of girlfriends who have helped her through all the hard times. I had a great group of friends in high school, still do actually, and I love when books focus on the friends as much as the boyfriends. My friends are who got me through high school, not the silly boys I had endless crushes on. Friends are the most important thing for a young girl and I'm glad Paige had a great group of them and they were actually involved in the book.
This is the kind of book we need more of. There isn't any backstabbing, people support each other, and the boys are sweet and adorable. Every girl deserves a boy who will share his Girl Scout cookie stash with her. And every girl certainly deserves a group of friends who will always be there for her, and a chance to live a life after something awful has happened. This is a book about finding out who you are without someone beside you, and if you happen to meet the guy of your dreams along the way, well there's no problem with that at all, right?
"Ryan Chase was my eight-grade collage, aspirational and wide-eyed. But Max was the first bite of grilled cheese on a snowy day, the easy fit of my favorite jeans, that one old song that made it onto every playlist. Peanut-butter Girl Scout cookies instead of an ornate cake. Not glamorous or idealized or complicated. Just me."
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