Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You

The Start of Me and You
By Emery Lord
Published: March 31, 2015

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?

My review:

Paige is tired of getting "that look" from people who know she lost her boyfriend Aaron. As the new school year starts, she decides to make a plan to show everyone that she is just fine. Her plan involves becoming more social by attending parties and social events, joining a new group, dating, traveling and swimming, which she has been scared to do since her boyfriend drowned. To help her accomplish her goals she has the support of her friends Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh who have been there for her and helped her through her grief. Her family is also supportive although her grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer's and her parents are divorced. In addition she has a new friendship with Max, the cousin of Ryan Chase her longtime crush. 

I loved how friendships are so important to the story. Paige has some truly wonderful friends though things are tested particularly when one of her friends is dating a jerk and they can't get her to see that. I think that is something that teens could relate to. I know I could when I was a teen!

Paige is a fully developed character with personality and interests. I loved the relationship she had with her grandmother who encouraged Paige to become a screenwriter in the first place. I also liked her parents though Paige has some issues with them since they are dating again and happen to be dating each other. Her relationship with Max starts out as a friendship and slowly grows to something more even though she is convinced it is Ryan she wants. Max is a really nice guy and so is Ryan. I think most of the teens in the book are actually portrayed in a positive way (except for her friend's nasty boyfriend). The novel also handles grief in a sensitive and realistic way. Paige definitely goes through some tough times both with mourning Aaron and with her grandmother's Alzheimer's but through it all she has the love of her family and friends.  

I was a huge fan of Emery Lord's debut novel, Open Road Summer and this book definitely lived up to my expectations. I especially loved the inclusion of Quiz Bowl. I was a member of my school's academic team (our version of Quiz Bowl) so I really enjoyed those scenes and I was glad Paige decided to try it. Overall I thought this was a fantastic book and perfect for summer reading. The characters are likable and easy to relate to and while there is some sadness the book maintains an overall light and positive tone. I think readers who enjoy authors like Jessi Kirby and Morgan Matson should add Emery Lord to their reading list. She is definitely becoming one of my favorite authors.

Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Netgalley


  1. I feel the same way about Emery Lord--she is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I'm glad you agree and I'm glad you enjoyed this one as much as me. You were right...this book is just as good as Open Road Summer, if not better! I could totally relate to Paige. I thought she was very real and her friendships with her girlfriends were awesome....loved the positive portrayal. I also adored the relationship with her grandmother (it brought a tear to my eye on more than one occasion) and felt her relationship with her parents was realistic as well. This book is one of my favorites of the year for sure! Great review, Christina!

  2. After all the rave reviews of Open Road Summer I put this author on my wishlist. It sounds like she has another winner. I love how friendship was pivotal and that the characters were so developed.

  3. Yay! I'm so glad you liked this! It is one of my most favorites this year. :) I looooove the relationships between Paige and her friend. Max was so adorable! And I even love that her parents are dating each other again!! haha!!


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