If you read my 2014 End of Year post then you know Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer was one of my favorite books last year. With her kind of writing, it was obvious to me I’d be a fan of any books she’ll write in the future. So I wasn’t worried if The Start of Me and You would measure up to Open Road Summer because I didn’t put them up against each other and in turn, I ended up loving The Start of Me and You for its very own reasons.
My favorite thing about this book is the friendships. Paige has a great group of girlfriends. They’re each unique and each is into their own things and it’s exactly how I wish all friendships were. So often girls band together on their common interests, and even worse, at times girls will morph their interests to fit into certain groups. I think Paige had this idea of the girl she should be and the things that girl should be into in order to stand out in this group, but her friends loved her because of the real her. It was really great seeing her realize her true self. She’s super smart and she learns to embrace her nerdiness when in the past it was the source of her torment.
Max Watson is definitely the main reason Paige learns to embrace it. She sees how unabashedly nerdy and confident he is. I think he really inspired her. Paige really evaluates a lot of things after her boyfriend died, but it took a while to get there. She really shut herself off for a while there and was afraid to do a lot of things. She does an awful lot of growing and it was written so smoothly and authentically.
But let’s back up to The Boy for a minute. Max Watson is what nerdy dreams are made of. He’s incredibly intelligent, funny, and so freaking adorable. The “thing” growing between him and Paige was slow to build up. They had such great chemistry and an even better friendship happening. The wait is worth it, trust me. :)
Another thing I really enjoyed was Paige’s family situation. Like, what the hell, guys?! LOL I found the whole thing with her parents hilarious at first, but I get it. And her Grammy! Oh, Grammy. She’s one of the best.
I have a feeling it’s going to be difficult to not have The Start of Me and You on this year’s End of Year favorites post. The story is great and the characters are even better. Fans of YA Contemporary should not pass this one up!
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Pub Date: March 31st 2015
Format: ARC | Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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?