Book Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Publish Date: March 31st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Kids
Genre: YA Contemporary
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & 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 a year, 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?
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.
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Bloomsbury in exchange for an honest review.
Sweet mother of God, Emery Lord is a WIZARD!
I fell in love with her debut, Open Road Summer last year and never in a million years thought that she could do better. It was a beautiful debut that had everything I could want in it: friendships, cute boys and music. When I got book number 2 in the mail I had just started hearing whispers that The Start of Me and You was actually better than Open Road Summer. It wasn’t until I finished reading it that I had to concede that those whispers were correct.
The Start of Me and You is about friendship, family and of course, love. In this book we meet Paige, whose boyfriend died a year ago and who she’s still grieving for. She is still greeted with “That Look” very often and then sometimes complete strangers send her pitying looks. She wants this year to be the best year ever. She even has a plan.
1. Parties/Social events
2. New group
She has wonderful friends who have been there for her in this past year. Gosh, I just love the way Lord writes about friendships. Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh each have their own distinctive personalities and problems but they are very loyal friends.
And Paige is going to need them as she navigates the waters with her parents. Paige’s parents have been divorced 5 years, but times are changing and they are beginning to date. So now Paige must deal with her own feelings about that. Her mom has become very strict and overprotective since Aaron drowned the year before. But what she doesn’t know is that Paige has not gone swimming since that day. She refuses to go into the water. Despite that refusal, Paige continues to have nightmares where she’s drowning and no one can get to her in time.
And then there’s Ryan Chase, the boy Paige has been crushing on for as long as she can remember. She is hopeful that this year will be different. He’s recently single and Paige is ready to make a move on him. But Paige didn’t expect Ryan’s cousin Max to look so different than he looked the last time she saw him.
She didn’t expect to fall for geeky, nerdy Max who stockpiled Do Si Do Girl Scout cookies and whose favorite TV show was the one season wonder, Firefly. It turns out that the guy she thought she wanted made a much better friend, than boyfriend. And the guy she never thought she’d fall for was the guy she needed in her corner. He was the guy willing to call her out on her skepticism and her realism.
“I mean, you’re always preparing yourself for the thing that’s most likely to happen, instead of hoping for the thing that you most want to happen.” –Max-
It’s been a very long time since a quote has stopped me cold to that extent. I mean, wow, Max could have been describing ME at that very moment. It wasn’t until this quote that I realized Paige and I were similar in some ways, yet Max’s backstory with his deadbeat dad was also so similar to my own backstory with my biological dad. All the way down to him wanting to meet me when I was about a year older than Max.
I cried a lot in the last 40 pages. I had spent a lot of time laughing while reading this book, but the ending broke me into tiny pieces. Lord is so good at weaving in happy, funny moments with heartbreaking poignant moments. Like I said earlier, this woman is a WIZARD. This book is definitely getting 5 stars. I absolutely loved this book and I cannot wait to get a finished copy of it. Emery Lord has secured her place on my growing list of auto-buy authors. Everyone go read this book, pre-order it, tell your library about it.