by Emery Lord
To be published on March 31, 2015
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: 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?My take: I put off reading this book for a couple of reasons. I was afraid it would be really sad. Also, I really liked Open Road Summer and was afraid I wouldn't like this quite as much.
The Start of Me and You is not a sad book. Which for me was a good thing. Yes, Paige's boyfriend died in an accident, but the two of them hadn't been together more than a couple of months before the accident happened. That created an interesting situation in which Paige has been thrust into an almost widow-like role. Paige has been the Girl Whose Boyfriend Died for two years and, as the book opens, she's ready to resume a "normal" life.
The Start of Me and You has a sweeter, quieter feel than Open Road Summer. The characters in Open Road Summer felt larger than life to me and these characters seem more like regular people. There's a point near the beginning of the story where Max and Paige argue about Pride and Prejudice. He makes a case for the loyal, even-tempered Janes and Bingleys of the world over the hard-headed, outspoken Elizabeths and Darcys. I loved this. Max and Paige are definitely more Jane and Bingley. They're both a little introverted, hanging out in bookstores and competing on the Quiz Bowl team. (Paige is also a grammar freak who's obsessed with the correct use of pronouns, which makes the title kind of an inside joke.)
Like Open Road Summer, this book has great female friendships. I liked that Paige had a big group of friends, though Tessa was the only one I felt I got to know well. Still, I loved the sense that Paige had this supportive group of young women who always had her back. It made a nice change from the roving gangs of mean girls in many YA books.
I liked that romance took a bit of a back seat in this book. Yes, there was a romance, but this is really the story of Paige's journey back into the world -- facing her fears, saying goodbye to Aaron, figuring out who she is and who she wants to be.
While Open Road Summer was the classic summer read, I'd say The Start of Me and You is a great spring book -- filled with new beginnings. I'll be giving away an ARC this week on Freebie Friday, so be sure to stop by!
I'm so happy to hear that it wasn't such a sad book but still sweet. It feels like books these days are either all or nothing. Great review! I especially loved what you said about Paige and how it's a lot of her trying to find her place again.ReplyDelete
Yes some of my thoughts too and I adored it too . Slight romance and getting over someone.ReplyDelete
Looking forward to this one!ReplyDelete
seems like a nice sweet readReplyDelete
Aha! (about the title:) I haven't read either - for some reason, I don't feel pulled toward contemporaries as I do with fantasies. It's especially frustrating given the recent expansion of the sub-genre, because it makes it hard to form a broad view of what is happening in the young-adult fiction currently. In any case, you mention characters bigger than life - I can hardly ignore that, can I? :) Thank you. Your reviews really are terrific.ReplyDelete
I thought this book was such a great and balanced story. Family, friendships, and romance - in that order.ReplyDelete
Kate @ Ex Libris
Great review Jen, I actually never heard of this series, but I'm glad you enjoyed it! And it's great this one isn't a sad book, there's so much sad books in YA already, it's refreshing to see something in a new angle.ReplyDelete
Patrick @ The Bookshelves
Aw, good to hear that you enjoyed as wellReplyDelete
I am sure I will like it! I loved Open Road Summer! I am glad you liked it!ReplyDelete
I've been hearing lots of great things about this book. In fact, I'm currently reading it.ReplyDelete
I love the girl friendship in Open Road Summer, I'm reading this next and I'm glad to hear it's not a sad book.ReplyDelete
I put it on my tbr list, especially because of the girl's journey back into the world. Glad it wasn't centered around the romance, it's a tendency nowadays...ReplyDelete
I had totally overlooked this one because of the cover. It's nice but looks like every other contemp romance coming out lately.
Karen @For What It's Worth
I loved The Start of Me & You! I think Emery's ability to write stories that feel so rich and real is incredible, and I fell for this one just as hard as Open Road Summer :)ReplyDelete
This sounds like a really good read and a sweet romance with a very nice female main character I think I will try this one as well ^.^ And I am glad you let us know it isn't a sad book - I was assuming as much.ReplyDelete