Monday, March 30, 2015

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Release Date - March 31, 2015
Publisher Website - Bloomsbury/Penguin Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages - 384 pages
My Rating - 5/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
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?
Are you a Jane or an Elizabeth? Every book lover knows this question is referring to Pride and Prejudice. It also happens to be something that is delicately woven into this story of grief, friendship, moving on and finding out who you are. Emery Lord once again charms with her mix of heart, flawed characters and the perfectly imperfectness of life. It's a story that shows, as Emery writes, much we can love each other, how much we can hurt each other, and everything in between.

There is a saying that life is what happens when you're busy making other plans. Paige's life has run off her intended course multiple times. This novel focuses on her plan to get back to normalcy after the death of her boyfriend. As things derail from her carefully laid plan, both Paige and the reader, see that it's the journey that makes the end result so worthwhile.

There are many stages of grief. The one painted within these pages is not the raw, consuming early stages. It is not even the wistful fondness that can only be brought from time and healing. It is instead the guilt ridden, sneak up on you when you least expect it, lingering kind. Paige is removed enough that she isn't frozen in grief and wants to get back to living her life, but living feels like betrayal. Happy moments can be yanked away by the reminder that Aaron will never experience these moments. It's the kind that lingers, almost a dull ache, until you are slammed with the wave of pain again. This novel examines the 'learning to live with grief' part of losing someone. You never get over it, and it never fully goes away. It just gets easier to handle with each day that passes. Emery Lord has captured that in between stage masterfully and with tenderness.

Defining herself is a huge part of Paige's journey. Part of the struggle back from grief for her isn't returning to who she thinks she should be, but finding out who she really is now after these life altering experiences. Hence the question of whether she is an Elizabeth or a Jane. We often don't see ourselves clearly, and this novel captures that with pure honesty. It, sometimes, takes help from those we care about to help shine a light on who we are. The connections in this novel are so beautiful, complex and real that it left me aching. The group of friends that Paige has, in particular, left me wanting a group of friends who were that close. A group that knew each other that well, who would do anything for you, and who supports you implicitly. Emery Lord always leads with the friendship in her novels, rather than the romance, and this may even be a better developed friendship than the one found in Open Road Summer. You instantly believe their history, and bond. It is a friendship that is Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants level of amazingness, especially in terms of their best friends forever connection.

For all the friendship feelings to be found within this novel, there are plenty of swoons to be had as well. The connection between Max and Paige starts out as friendship first. This happens to be one of my favourite romantic tropes, and I loved the foundation this one was built upon. As a reader there is nothing more satisfying than getting to see the characters fall for each other on the page, and that is exactly what you experience in The Start of Me and You. You get to see all the sweet, cute, delicious moments that come between the friendship and the possibility of something more. There may also happen to be a pretty hot scene in a closet, just saying.

Emery Lord has cemented her status as a must read author with her second novel. The Start of Me and You is brimming with friendship, laughter, character growth, romance and a wide range of emotions. Those who adored Open Road Summer will be floored by this sophomore novel. Those who haven't read Emery Lord previously should prepare to become obsessed.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad to hear this book was such a good read! I have my copy coming tomorrow (technically today!), and I'm super excited to read it!!


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