Monday, March 2, 2015

Review ~ The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 384
Publication Date: March 31st, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Goodreads Description: 
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & 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 a year, 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?

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.

Source: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I LOVED The Start of Me and You! It was a beautiful book that had pretty much everything I could hope for in a YA contemporary: great writing, fantastic relationships, great focuses, quotable moments, fresh romance, and so much more!

There was at least a little focus on pretty much every relationship Paige had: with her parents, her best friends, Ryan, her grandma, her little sister, Max. They were well developed, too. I really liked how the author covered each relationship.

- There were family issues, but Paige's parents clearly were important and she had a good, healthy relationship with them. The family focus was a positive and fresh one.

- The focus on the sister relationship was small, but I loved that it was there. 

- Oh, and the grandma! I loved her. She was so sweet and so important to Paige.

- I really liked that, although Ryan wasn't the real love interest, he still didn't become a jerk. It seems that usually, if a girl doesn't go for a guy she had a crush on in the beginning of the book, he turns out to be a sucky guy. Ryan was a very nice friend, though. I liked his character.

- I was also really happy with Paige's friends. They all had strong bonds and always stuck by one another. They supported one another through everything. Drama didn't deteriorate any of the bonds between them and I appreciated that. The friendship aspect was amazing.

- MAX. Max was such an amazing guy! I loved that that he was nerdy--that he was in QuizBowl and loved airplanes and had a Firefly t-shirt. It was so refreshing. The "hot guy" is usually the love interest and I loved how the author didn't make good looks one of the most important things about him. He wasn't the typical love interest. He was different. And he loved to read. And he wore glasses (I know--that is a small detail, but not many main characters seem to wear them).

The romance was great. I really liked how Max and Paige became close friends first before any romantic feelings were brought up. This allowed them to build a true connection, so their feelings for each other were more convincing. The two shared secrets with one another, hung out, supported each other, and got to really know one another. I loved this couple! (I did wish for more kissing, though. . . .)

Paige saw a lot of character growth throughout her story. She came such a long way! She realized that there were a LOT of people to support her, to help her through the tough moments. She also learned that assumptions about people (baes on looks, first impression, etc.) and situations are usually wrong. The people Paige made assumptions about (especially Max) surprised her quite a bit. I really liked how much she grew and opened herself up more.

I was crying towards the end, mostly because of a sad event, partly because I was scared of the couple not end up together, and partly because Emery Lord's beautiful writing. The book was so quotable, especially in in this part!

Overall, The Start of Me and You was an amazing book! I went into it with high expectations and I'm so happy that they were met. My favorite part was the well developed relationships. If you love those as well as great romance and character growth, you must read this book! 

EDIT: I had the wrong Reading Progress before . . . this is the correct one!

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