Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

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The Start of Me and You
    by: Emery Lord

Publication Date: Mar. 31, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Physical ARC provided via the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 384 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.

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?

 
 
"With our arms around each other, I almost believed that strength could travel between us like the heat of our bodies. Nothing, not even sadness, could be greater than the sum of us."
 
I am hereby dubbing Emery Lord as the QUEEN of writing female friendships. No, really. She writes such strong friendships and I loved the friendship between our main character Paige and her three best friends, Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh. It was so well done and I felt these characters come to life and I was so engaged in their lives and the way they supported one another. However, they do have their ups and downs and their friendship isn't perfect. I am glad that Lord highlighted realistic issues that high school girls would be faced with: new boyfriends taking precedence, etc. This was just a great read for me and I enjoyed going on Paige's journey with her.
 
Paige has been dealt a rather difficult hand at this stage in her life. Having lost her first boyfriend, she hates being labeled as the girl whose boyfriend died and being given 'The Look' from sympathetic acquaintances. Junior year is upon her and she is determined to turn things around for herself. She makes a list that encourages her to be more social, date again, and conquer her fear of swimming. She is set on dating her old crush Ryan Chase, now that he's newly single. It's just her luck that he shares English class with her and she ends up sitting near him. However, even the most perfect of plans get waylaid and Paige ends up finding herself sitting near Ryan's slightly nerdy cousin, Max.
 
Max is captain of the Quiz Bowl team and Paige finds herself joining up, interested in doing something different. I love that she took that leap and immersed herself with a group she wouldn't normally hang out with. She ends up finding herself spending a lot of time with Max, since he and Ryan are best friends as well. I loved seeing the merging of the two groups- Ryan and Max with Tessa, Paige, Morgan, and Kayleigh. It's funny that Paige is so hung up on Ryan when it's obvious her and Max click so much better. All of her friends notice it, but don't bring it to attention. Ryan is a sweet guy, but things are rather awkward between them. The only time conversation flows easily is when they are talking about Max. Max is seriously adorable. I loved him. He was sweet and kind and come on. He's a Firefly aficionado. That earns him mega cool points in my book. The romance is a really slow burn and I do wish we would have seen more of them together afterwards. Still, the post card at the end made my heart sing and I was just overwhelmed by the cuteness.
 
I also really liked seeing Paige interact with her family. Again, too often that is overlooked in Young Adult, and it is such a focal point of these high schoolers' lives. Paige's parents are divorced and her and her sister Cameron, find out some things about their parents and their relationship that they must deal with. I appreciate that Lord didn't just gloss over the familial aspect of the book.
 
This is such a great adaptation of a teenager in high school, trying to navigate the waters after a tragedy and find herself again. She realizes that what she thinks she wants may not be what she needs, and she eventually realizes that sometimes you can't be afraid to make that leap into the unknown. The friendships developed are so well crafted and placed and I loved the pivotal role they played. Emery Lord is on my auto-buy list and I cannot wait to see what she does next!
 
"In friendship, we are all debtors. We all owe each for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos."
 

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18 comments

  1. That is one of my biggest peeves with YA contemporaries, I feel like I always want just a bit more at the end... just a bit more of the cuteness together... but this one sounds adorable and I love the sound of Max. Also strong female friendships FTW! Great review!

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    1. I hope you read this one Teresa! It's really cute. I definitely needed more couple time though!

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  2. I loved this book! Emery is one of the queens of contemporary fiction, and I absolutely love her.

    Great review! We agree on so many of the same things, especially about the strong friendship. :)

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    1. She really rocks these kinds of books!

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  3. i enjoyed emery lord's first book but wasn't crazy in love with it like everyone else.. however i really feel like this is more my cup of tea! Max sounds ADORABLE! love how we thought she's get together with Ryan but nope, it's Max! I'm super excited for it

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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    1. Yes! That completely took me by surprise! I didn't mind though in the change up of guys. :D

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  4. Ahhh I adore books with strong female friendships! This sounds perfect! And family interaction?? Woot! Definitely buying a copy soon!

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    1. I know! All things I need to see more of in YA contemp!

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  5. Yay! I'm so glad you loved this one as much as I did, Jess! I really loved the friendship in the book and of course Max is adorable!
    I loved that the author didn't gloss over the family life too. We need more YA books like this!
    Wonderful review!

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    1. I completely agree girl! I love that she took the time to incorporate those elements.

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  6. Oh, a book with a good friendship?! I'm intrigued. I always get so mad when YA friendships are catty and deceptive. I've been meaning to read this one.

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    1. I agree Vi! I'm like, ok not everyone in HS has catty, mean friends!

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  7. I need to read this SOON. My review is due by Tuesday lol! I'm such a wimp though; I've been putting it off because I hate that she's so hung up on the other dude. >.< Why am I so paranoid, Jess?! :P

    Great review, lady! I'm glad you loved it so much. The friendships sound amazing, as does Max.

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    1. Aww. LOL. It didn't bother me that much. I thought she did it really well.

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  8. I hadn't read a Lord book before this one, but I really enjoyed this book! I definitely agree about friendships and family - I loved seeing strong, positive friendships and relationships in this book. YA needs to see more of that, versus the petty, catty, competitive and fake friendships.

    Excellent review, Jess! So glad you loved this one :)

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. I agree. YA definitely needs more of that. I didn't have catty, mean friendships when I was in HS! So why does every book I read seem to have? LOL.

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  9. Max!! Man, I loved his geeky, awesome self. He was too perfect for words. As much as I loved the romance here, the friendship and family relationships are probably my favorite things about this book. No one writes friendship like Emery Lord.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this one as much as I did. :) Great review!

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    1. Yes! He was so precious. I was sad we didn't see as much of them together as I'd like, but that wasn't the focus of the book. Sometimes I'm so romance driven, haha.

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