Hardcover, 384 pages.
Release date: March 31st 2015.
Rating: 4 out of 5.
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?
Emery Lord arrived on the YA Contemp scene with a bang thanks to her pitch-perfect debut, Open Road Summer. The story of wild child Reagan O’ Neill and her country-music superstar best friend Dee Montgomery stuck a chord with readers everywhere and was a huge summer hit when it hit shelves last year. Now Lord is back, and while friendship is again a central theme in her sophomore novel, The Start of Me and You reads quite differently to Open Road Summer. This book may be a quieter, less dramatic affair than its predecessor, but this heartfelt story has characters you will root for and the slow-burn of a sure-to-turn-swoony-perfect-match friendship that will delight hopeless romantics everywhere.
Aspiring screenwriter Paige Hancock doesn’t want her life to be defined by tragedy, but ever since her boyfriend Aaron died, that’s exactly how her life has been. Paige and Aaron may not have dated for very long, but to the people of her small town, Paige is now known as ‘the girl whose boyfriend died’, forever the receiver of sympathetic looks, and sad, mournful smiles. Paige will never forget her time with Aaron, the fun they had, the bond they shared, but she’s ready to move on with her life. It’s the start of a new school year, a time for new beginnings, new challenges, and maybe, just maybe, even a new boy.
Enter Ryan Chase.
Ryan Chase is hot in a Jake Ryan, Jordan Catalano kind of way, and just like those two ultimate (slightly dated points-of-reference but COME ON everyone has heard of Jordan Catalano, right?) crushes, Ryan Chase is forever referred to by his full name. He is never just Ryan, always Ryan Chase, as in ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe Ryan Chase knows my name,’ or, in Paige’s case, ‘Oh my God, Ryan Chase totally just bought me a hotdog,’ kind of way.
Paige has been crushing on Ryan Chase since forever. And I mean forever. If anyone is going to help her to move on with her life, then Ryan Chase is it.
Ryan Chase is newly single – and a little heartbroken with it.
Ryan Chase may be gorgeous, but he is a nice guy with it. All the swoon.
It’s a sad but true fact that Paige doesn’t have a whole lot in common with Ryan Chase, by which I mean, they have zero, zilch, nothing very much in common at all.
You know who Paige has a whole lot in common with, though? Fellow nerd (and proud of it) Max Watson, Ryan Chase’s cousin, who we–along with all of Paige’s friends and even her English teacher- know is the perfect match for Paige. Only she doesn’t see it. I mean, our girl doesn’t see it, even after Max christens her with a literary nickname. I mean, come on. Poor Max. He’s been Friendzoned. But will things stay that way? Will Paige see the error of her ways? Or will she continue to crush on so-cute-but-we-have-nothing-in-common Ryan Chase?
Wow. I am so making this review all about boys. And this book is not all about boys. Not at all. This book is all about the girls, in fact.
The Girls: Paige’s friends Tessa, Morgan and Kayleigh were the glue that held Paige together when Aaron died, those girls got Paige back on her feet, back to feeling normal again. They have been there for Paige through everything – and that’s a lot. I love how Emery Lord writes about and makes friendship such a focal point in her books. She just gets it so right both here and in Open Road Summer. Lord’s take on friendship is never cheesy or overdone; it’s just real, even right down to the petty squabbles that even best friends sometimes have. And I love that.
Special mention to Paige’s gran: This very cool lady with whom Paige shares all her secrets. Loved their bond.
Perfect for fans of Sarah Dessen, this sweet book of friendship and family, grief and heartbreak and moving on is sure to be another huge hit for Emery Lord.
Read this if you loved The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen and Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins.