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.
Published by Bloomsbury on March 31, 2015
Source: the publisher
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 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 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 absolutely loved Emery Lord’s debut, Open Road Summer. So as soon as I heard she had another book coming out, I added it to my TBR – And I’m so glad I did!!! The Start of Me and You was beautiful and epic and perfect. Like, as much as I loved Open Road Summer, I loved The Start of Me and You even more – and that’s saying a lot, because I don’t think I had even a single negative thing to say about ORS! Same goes for The Start of Me and You. It had an amazing plot, adorable, realistic, lovable characters and an ending that has me begging for a sequel. I also lost count of how many times it made me cry!
I adored Paige. She was so real, raw and honest. She wasn’t without her flaws, but I liked her so much that her flaws were barely a thought in my mind. And her flaws made her feel that much more real. I felt everything she felt – her sadness over Aaron, her guilt over enjoying life, her determination to start fresh and enjoy life, her anger and confusion towards her parents, her relationship with her friends, her feelings toward Ryan and then Max – I could go on and on.
Max Watson is the love of my life. Kidding.. Maybe.. But seriously, I adored him beyond words. He was nerdy and bookish, cute, funny and flawed. I know this seems silly, but… He wore glasses! Like, in most YA novels, everyone basically has 20/20 vision, right? Or everyone can magically wear contact lenses with no problems at all. Or, if nothing else, it’s the nerdy girl who wears glasses. It was so adorably refreshing to see the guy wearing glasses. I know, I know. It’s a stupid thing to be excited about, but I loved it. Plus, I adored and shipped him and Paige like crazy!
Ryan was super sweet and I actually really shipped him and Paige in the beginning. It was very stereotypical YA to have her crushing on the cute jock, but Ryan was also really smart and funny and I loved his relationship with Max. He didn’t abandon him for fear of what his popular friends might think.
I really loved the friendships in this book. And the idea that girls and boys can be friends. It wasn’t all jealousy and love triangles. I loved the strong bond between Paige, Tessa, Morgan and Kayleigh. They were always there for each other and they were never catty or mean. They fought sometimes, but they always made up and, even when fighting, they always put their problems aside when one of them needed the others. I also liked how Max and Ryan hung out with the girls – sometimes even one on one – and it was just because they had common interests, or had classes together so they studied together. And when Tessa, Morgan and/or Kayleigh hung out with Ryan and/or Max without Paige, it wasn’t because they secretly liked the guys and they were sneaking around behind Paige’s back – They were honestly just friends hanging out. I can’t emphasize that enough. I loved it! It was so refreshing!!
I also loved Paige’s relationship with her grandmother. It was so wonderful and sweet. I loved that she could confide in her grandmother. But I also have to admit, those scenes were also the hardest to read and 98% of my crying happened because of things with her grandmother.
Another thing I loved (besides the entire book, period)? The pop culture references! I saw several Gilmore Girls references, some Bewitched references, I’m pretty sure there was a Harry Potter reference… And so many more! There was also an Open Road Summer reference, which was epic.
Overall, The Start of Me and You was epic. Seriously, I don’t have anything negative to say about it. Even parts that should have been cheesy were epically adorable and hilarious. Every time Paige and Max interacted, I either grinned like a fool or cried like a baby. If you loved Open Road Summer, then The Start of Me and You is a MUST read. And if you haven’t read Open Road Summer OR The Start of Me and You… Well, we can’t be friends anymore… *Turns around, stalks off*
I kid, I kid! But.. No, really. Go read them both. Like, now. Please? I promise, you won’t regret it! Oh, and one last thing and then I promise I’ll stop gushing over this book (Not really, though. I’ll never stop gushing over this book)… I REALLY want a sequel! And I can’t wait to read Emery’s next book. Or her next next book. Or her next next next book. Basically, I want ALL the Emery Lord books NOW. Please :)
Favorite Quote: “With true friends, no one is keeping score. But it still feels good to repay them – even in the tiniest increments.”