Monday, October 12, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord 
Series: Standalone
Published: March 31st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
384 pages (hardcover)
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Acquired this book: From the library
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}



 {Read my review of Open Road Summer}

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?

 
Sometimes you pick up a book at the exact right time and it consumes all your thoughts and emotions for the time it takes you to read it, and then even for awhile after that. The Start of Me and You was one of those books for me. Lord’s debut, Open Road Summer, was one of my favourite books of last year. I couldn’t imagine loving The Start of Me and You more (especially since I’ve dealt with some disappointing ‘second book syndrome’ lately), but I did. The Start of Me and You is not only one of my favourite books of 2015 so far, it’s made it onto my list of all-time favourites.

The Start of Me and You had everything I love: a fantastic main character who’s easy to relate to, friendships that are strong and healthy, real emotion, nerdy references, tons of character growth, humour, an adorable boy to swoon over, and realistic situations. I laughed and cried in equal measure through the course of this book. It’s been awhile since a book made me giggle the way this one did, and it’s also been awhile since I cried so much while reading - happy tears, sad tears, and tears of understanding.

I adored Paige. She had such an authentic voice, and there were so many ways I connected with her. Having experienced grief myself, her emotions regarding loss and recovery rang true for me. The pain of losing someone sticks with you forever and affects so much of your life, and it’s hard not to feel guilt at times for simply trying to move on with your life, heal, and really live. It was particularly difficult for her because she didn’t know or date Aaron long before he died, and yet she’s stuck with the label of 'the girl whose boyfriend died' and always wondering what might have happened if they’d really had a chance. That would be devastating at any time of life, but especially when you’re young and still trying to figure out so many things about life and love.

I loved Paige’s friends. They had the ideal friendship - not perfect by any means, but they loved each other unconditionally and were always there for each other. I wish there were more friendships like this in books. I know friendships, especially in your teens, can be unhealthy or rocky or they fall apart, but we see so much of that in books, it’s nice to see friends who stick together, support each other, and never give up on each other. There were so many beautiful moments between Paige and her friends that made me tear up or even start to full-on cry. I also absolutely adored Paige’s friendship with Max. MAX. Max, in all his nerdy glory, was pretty much perfect. I loved that he was an unapologetic nerd, and that even though that’s all Paige saw at first, she quickly learned what a genuinely good guy Max was, and that there was much more to him than just being incredibly smart. There were other great side characters, too: Paige’s grandmother, Ryan, and Ms Pepper in particular all added to Paige’s life and growth.

The Start of Me and You is a beautiful story about friendship, family, and love in its many forms. It’s about healing, learning to live, and not being afraid to live. Emery Lord has a knack for writing characters you wish were your best friends, and boys you wish were yours to fall in love with for real. I got this book from the library, but I’ll definitely be buying a copy of my own, because I loved it so much I know I’ll want to read again.  





Have you read The Start of Me and You? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? What are some of your favourite books about friendship? Let's talk here or on Twitter!
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1 comment:

  1. Don't you love when you read a book that's perfect for you at that moment? This one sounds very good.

    ReplyDelete

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