Just Finished Reading... Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord
To be published by Walker Books
on April 15, 2014

Source: giveaway at ALA

Synopsis from Goodreads: After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

My take: I love road trip books. And even though I'm not a big fan of country music, I've loved every country music-themed YA that I've tried (books like Paradise by Jill Alexander and Dirty Little Secret by Jennifer Echols.) There's something about the heartbreak and angst of a country song that meshes perfectly with the heartbreak and angst of the teen years.

I loved Open Road Summer. It's a book about female friendship. It's a book about following your dreams. It's a book about finding the right guy, but also a book about learning from that failed relationship with the wrong guy, learning that you deserve more.

I loved Reagan. She's my favorite kind of female protagonist -- tough and wary on the outside, but loyal and a little insecure on the inside. I loved Lilah the country singer too. I tried to give this book to one of my teen reviewers recently and after she saw the words "Taylor Swift" on the cover, she wrinkled her nose. I guess Taylor is somewhat polarizing?? If you love Taylor, you may see some of her in Lilah. But if Taylor isn't your thing, Lilah is certainly not a Taylor clone. I liked Dee/Lilah's character just as much as Reagan's, and I loved the fact that Lilah's story was partly about what women have to go through and give up when they pursue their dreams, because that's something I've been thinking about lately.

Contemporary/realistic YA is a big genre -- one that encompasses everything from fluffy escapist books to dark issue books. My favorite books are those that manage to balance both the dark and the light, and Open Road Summer does exactly that.  There are funny moments, there are serious moments, there are sad moments -- just like real life.

If you're a fan of authors like Huntley Fitzpatrick, Rainbow Rowell or Sarah Dessen, you should definitely, absolutely push Open Road Summer way up on your TBR list!


  1. YESS! Road trip books, it has to be one of my favorites! I just like how it is plotted and you fully feel what the characters experience!

    Happy Reading Jen!
    Patrick @ The Bookshelves

  2. Such a nice review. Really makes me want to read it. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. This sounds so fun! Your review makes it sound even better! Thanks for sharing :)

  4. Yes I adored this book to and the many feelings :)

  5. I have this ARC and I can't wait to read it! I've heard nothing but good things....

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  6. I heard a lot of great things about this one, so right now I'm just waiting for April 15th so I can get it for myself and finally read it!

  7. I just put a hold on this at the library! It sounds like the perfect read for me because I love road trip books too!

  8. I love road trip books, too, though I think you probably already knew that after our series of giveaway hops last summer. ;0) I think this book was all kinds of adorable and nearly perfect. It's everything I hope to take away from a contemporary. And I think mostly everyone else agrees. :D

  9. One of my favorites of the year so far. I loved everything about Reagan too. A perfectly interesting flawed but loyal friend and character. I'm so glad you enjoyed it too!

  10. This sounds wonderful and I have read nothing but good things about it!

  11. Love Huntely Fitzpatrick and I think you are right. I will like this one.


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