Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Release Date - April 15, 2014
Publisher Website - Bloomsbury
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  342 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received in exchange for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.
A fictional account of what it would be like to be Taylor Swift's BFF? A summer road trip to rival all others? A book that seemed to focus on the friendship, as well as some romance? Open Road Summer practically sounded perfect when I read the synopsis. After reading it I was delighted to discover that it was just as fun and sweet as I anticipated.

The novel blends Reagan's friendship with Lilah with her newly budding romance with Matt Finch. Neither is more important for Reagan's character progression, and neither detracts from the other. The novel allowed both to co-exist and for Reagan's character to be defined by neither. The friendship was my particular favourite, simply because of the emotion it held. I bought into the history between them, and that they genuinely cared about each other. There was none of the 'fake' friendship that sometimes haunts novels.

Reagan is a little rough around the edges. A quasi 'bad girl' who gets into trouble now and again. Lilah is the sweet as apple pie songstress who is  currently America's darling. At least that is what you'd think if you look only at the surface. As the novel progresses you see that each of them grows, and that there is much more to both of them than what appears at first glance. In allowing us these glimpses we also get to see the whys of their friendship. You see what they each bring to it, and what they each get from it.

There had been some pretty loud rumblings online about the swoon worthiness of a certain Matt Finch. As a result, expectations were pretty high before I even opened up the novel. I am torn between thinking he is just that adorable, or if it was the way he related to Reagan that made him appear so sweet. He brings out something in her that she normally hides away from everyone but Lilah. He gets her to let her guard down a bit, and that makes him extra swoon worthy. He's patient, charming, and just flawed enough to be enticing. Needless to say I predict he'll be on many blogger's end of the year lists. The most refreshing part of him though was that he was genuinely a nice guy. In the troubling trend of 'abusive love interests' he was needed change.

There is some drama peppered throughout the story, and at times it did become a bit much, particularly in the romance department. I was so caught up in the story, however, that it was barely noticeable. This novel is more about the characters, and their journeys than anything else, and that shines through every page.

Wanderlust is an obvious side effect of reading this novel. A desire for a road trip is what you'll take away from it, to be exact. It makes you want to grab some of your best friends, a camera, and just drive. It reminds you that making memories along the way is what the journey is all about. I've seriously been daydreaming about a road trip since I finished.

If you're looking for a novel to help ease those end of summer blues, I recommend Open Road Summer. Filled with a swoon worthy romance, a tone that brings to mind summer, and a friendship that trumps everything else. It all adds up to one you won't want to miss.

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