by Emery Lord
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Publication Date: March 31st 2015
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary | Realistic Fiction
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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? (Goodreads)
When we first meet Paige in the novel, she seems a bit lost. After the death of her boyfriend, she closed in on herself. But it’s been a year and she’s finally ready to get back to her life, so she comes up with a plan to recreate herself, which includes getting her old crush, Ryan Chase to finally notice her, and to join a club to get herself out there more. But then Max walks into her life, and changes all her plans forever.
I found Paige to be a very relatable main character, especially her need to have *introvert time*, where you just have to step away from the crowd for a moment and take a breath. I could totally understand the overwhelming feelings considering everything that she went through, and this made me appreciate her journey to recreate herself even more. Luckily Paige had a great support system in her three awesome friends, especially in Tess, her best friend. These girls shared an amazing friendship, one of those rare, special bonds that I am always envious of. I loved Paige, she was such a great character, and I loved how well I connected with her.
There are just SO many secondary characters in the story that you are going to love. As I already mentioned above, Paige has some really great friends, especially Tess. Tess is one of those friends that every girl dreams of having. She was so awesome. There’s also Paige’s crush, Ryan, who was pretty great throughout the whole story. And then there is Ryan’s cousin, Max, who you are going to fall head over heels in love with because he’s so close to perfection, it’s insane. Paige and all of these characters have an amazing chemistry and friendships and they really make this novel even more amazing.
While there is a bit of romance in the book, it’s definitely not insta-love, and it doesn’t overpower the story at all. The relationship was sweet and adorable; one that grew over time, especially with one of the characters being oblivious for the most part. But I adored it. The storyline for the book was cute, but it also dealt with some difficult issues as well. I loved the setting of the book as well; a lot of the story took place in a book store/ coffee shop, and I enjoyed reading about it so much, I found myself wanting to visit so that I could stroll through the aisle while I enjoy a drink.
Overall; The Start of Me and You is a wonderful novel filled with really great characters, wonderful relationships, and a lovely story. This book gave me all the feels; I laughed, I giggled, I cried, I wanted to climb into the book and live with these characters. It was such a great read. If you’re a fan of Emery Lord already, you’ll definitely love this new novel. If you’ve not yet read something by her, I highly recommend that you do so. Her books are so great.