Monday, March 09, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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 Rating: 4.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: After not really liking Emery Lord’s debut standalone, Open Road Summer, last year, I debated whether I should read her newest novel, The Start of Me and You. I’m so glad that I decided to give her writing a second chance because I would have missed out on a great contemporary novel.

Here are five reasons why I think you should read The Start of Me and You too:
  1. The voice of Paige: One of the biggest reasons I loved The Start of Me and You was because of how easy it was to hear Paige’s voice in my head. She’s introverted and kind of nerdy, and I liked her right away!
  2. The friendships: When I read the synopsis and saw the cover for The Start of Me and You, I figured that it would involve a lot of romance. Instead, more of the novel is focused on friendship than romance. Not only do we see Paige befriending Max and through him, Ryan, but I loved that Paige also had a close group of girl friends who were always there for each other. More importantly, these girls were solid secondary characters who had their own personalities, perspectives, and lives, and weren’t just in the book for the sake of being there.
  3. The romance: The romance in The Start of Me and You is exactly the kind of romance I enjoy because it begins with Paige and Max starting off as friends and Paige not even considering Max to be her type. 
  4. The familial relationship: Just as important to Paige’s story are her interactions with her family. I loved that Paige’s parents and sister were present throughout The Start of Me and You and that one of the people Paige admired and constantly talked to was her supportive grandmother.
  5. The realistic dealing of grief with the passage of time: Finally, I liked that Paige’s grief over Aaron’s tragic death was portrayed realistically. Not only does she mourn the fact that she will never see Aaron grow up, but she also mourns the fact that she will never see what they could have been like as a couple. As well, I liked that Lord showed that despite people trying to move on, grief has a way of occasionally creeping back into one’s thoughts. 
The Start of Me and You will be released by Bloomsbury on March 31, 2015. 

Comments About the Cover: Although it’s cute and romantic, the novel makes it clear that Paige has recurring dreams of drowning and is terrified of even going into a pool. So, I doubt that she’d be casually hanging out near a large body of water. 

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Bloomsbury Publishing) for free via NetGalley.  


  1. I think I'm going to really like this one, Z! I haven't read Open Road Summer, but I'll definitely will check this one because of all the reasons that you listed. Nerdy and introverted girls unite!

  2. WOO HOO!!!!!! I absolutely loved this one as well Z! I was a little worried it might follow a familiar YA path where the friendships between the girls get tested because of a guy and things deteriorate, but that didn't happen. I loved that these girls stuck together through everything:) SO GOOD!

  3. GASP, you didn't like Open Road Summer?! Lol, I haven't read the book myself, but it feels like you might be the only person I know who hasn't looooooooved it. I'm glad you liked this one though :)

    Introverted and kind of nerdy? Paige sounds exactly like me :P. It's always the best feeling when you get to identify with the voice of the main character so strongly!

    I've heard people describe Emery Lord as another Sarah Dessen, but as much as I like Sarah Dessen, I start to think of her as 'summer romance,' whereas everything I keep hearing about Emery Lord is what you said: the girl friendships. The close group of girl friends always there for each other and having distinct personalities - this is what my life has usually been about, and it's refreshing to hear that some YA books do in fact portray that over slut-shaming girls, emphasizing romance, etc. etc..

    Yessssssss, I love when the romance starts off with them as friends - that's what gives you the chance to SEE how wonderful they are together (although sometimes it can be like 'oh no, i wish not all boy-girl friends who start as friends end up as more' - but that depends on the book, and it sounds like this one avoids that re: Ryan/Max).

    A supportive grandmother! Huzzah! And present parents! Okay, so it seems like more of the light hearted YA has that going for it whereas the darker & other genre types do more of the orphan gets powers, etc. type.

    I'm guessing Aaron is the old boyfriend? I do like that there's some gravity to this book too, with grieving Aaron and growing up as you said.

    Sooooo you didn't like Open Road Summer and I'm guessing would recommend reading this first, but what if I actually own Open Road Summer? Ought I to try it out and then get this or ignore ORS because this is really better?

  4. :):) yayy!! I know loads of people loved Open Road Summer, but it seems like people are really loving this one more just like you. And that's exciting! I mean, obviously it's not really my kind of read, but I am trying to branch out more and I think I need to add this one now.


I love comments and will reply back via either email or stopping by your blog. Please note that this is an award-free zone.