Review: The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord

Title: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published: March 2015 by Bloomsbury
Ranking: 5 STARS!!

What’s it about? (Summary taken from Goodreads, check it out here! )

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?

What I LOVED about it:
1. The main character: Let me first start out by saying that I really loved Paige as a person. She’s been through such a rough time,  losing her first boyfriend to drowning, and she deals with it in such a real way. It’s this interesting mix of, “he was my first boyfriend & I only was really dating him for a little bit” & “oh my god we are so young and he’s just gone”. Her reactions to things make complete sense & there were so many times I just wanted to hug her and let her know it was okay. I love that she takes hold of her own life though & starts making this list of things to do. She goes into everything with “beginners mind” (what she calls it throughout the book) and I really admired her for that. I wish that in High School I had gone into a lot of things with that mindset instead of being scared to take a risk. I think that’s what made her so likable, how flawed she is & how just completely normal. She doesn’t just jump into things and is like “woah yeah this is great!!”, she’s only human and she second guesses herself a lot and still stays true to who she really is! Yay Paige!!
2. The Best Friends: Emery Lord is Queen of THE BIFFS. Seriously, if you haven’t read her other  book (Open Road Summer) you need to. She writes friendships where I’m like, “wait…where were these girls when I was in High School and dealing with stupid petty drama?! I needed real friends then too!”  There are four of them in the group (including Paige) and they are all so different, but in a  way that makes sense why they are biffs. Plus, they admit how they don’t always get along & they get into stupid little fights that we all get over so quickly!  I also liked how Lord shows how realistic having that many friends in a group is, how there is always that one person that you’re a little closer to but the group still works as a whole. It’s so sweet all the things that they do for each other & they just know exactly how to react to the others problems. Plus, Paige is pretty kick ass in a certain part when she has to save one of her biffs & she does something she never normally would do. It just shows how far you will go for friendship! Plus, I loved her number one friend Tessa, she’s the kind of girl we all wish we could be or the person that we just wish would be our friend cause she’s that chill!
3. The Romance & “Bro”mance: I’m a huge believer in being best friends with your significant other & the slow build up of relationships in YA.  *there may be a bit of spoilers here…but I am trying my hardest not to give anything away!* I LOVED LOVED LOVED the romance & the friendship with both boys in this novel. Ryan Chase is the boy that every girl would love & honestly I was going to be super disappointed if he fell into his stereotype. Most boys like Ryan Chase get portrayed as jerks in novels & playboys, but I knew that Emery Lord wouldn’t let me down here! Ryan is ADORABLE! Seriously. What a sweetie & I fell in love with him instantly. He’s just a good guy and he deals with Paige so so well ( even when she acts a bit nutty around him). Which brings me to his dorky, adorable, sweet cousin Max who I instantly became a fan of. He’s EXTREMELY smart & he knows it, but he isn’t shy or embarrassed about who he is. Dorks get this bad wrap in YA novels & usually are subject to bullying ( not saying this is a bad thing and that it doesn’t happen, it totally does, but it’s nice to see a story where a nerdy kid actually owns himself & has no problem showing that in high school. Confidence =key ). The banter between Max & Paige is freaking awesome and I love how supportive he is of her when she tries new things. He pushes Paige and shows her just how truly great she is if she just had confidence in herself! Paige isn’t really sure about Max in the beginning and she sort of judges him at first, but they turn into such best friends. I won’t say anymore, but these two alone make the novel 5 stars!

Overall, this is one of my favorite books this year! I’ve already read it twice and it gets better the second time around. Emery Lord writes fantastic stories filled with kick ass friends, boys, and main characters who are exactly who they should be. High School is rough and it’s so refreshing reading a book where the main characters are comfortable and who accept each other, faults & all.

Have you read The Start of Me & You? What were YOUR thoughts? If you haven’t read it yet, WHY NOT!? Go out there and pick up a copy, you won’t regret it!
Let’s chat!

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