Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Title: Open Road Summer 
Author: Emery Lord 
Published: April 15, 2014 by Walker Children's 

Amazon 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.

I think the hype monster got the better of me on this one. I had heard fantastic things and I was excited to make this my beach read but I wasn't blown away. Now before you take up arms against me, hear me out... 

First things that I liked. The premise of the story was great. Two best friends, one a famous country singer, spending the summer helping one another through a tough patch. Their friendship was amazing and so caring. Our main character and narrator is Reagan who as the synopsis informs us has spent most of her teen years rebelling and getting into a lot of trouble. When times get tough she turns to Dee to help her through. But while Dee is of course there for her, Dee ends up needing Reagan just as much. You definitely felt the history of the two girls and the give and take between them. It felt so genuine and real. The fact that I was reading it while spending time with my best friend who I haven't seen in a year made this theme even deeper for me. 

But that being said, for me there were some odd plot points. I know that Reagan was going through a transition where she was trying to find herself and change her ways but at times I felt like we were told that she is rebellious and difficult without being shown it. I didn't quite buy it at times, it just seemed like normal teen behavior. I also had a few issues with the pacing. Things moved a little slow compared to what I'm used to. I haven't read a straight contemporary in awhile so I think I just forgot what they're like. I'm used to the fast-paced action of fantasy and dystopia.

 But what this book did do very well is the romance. Matt Fitch was very delightful and sweet. Right from the beginning I totally loved him, I mean that is one hell of an introduction for a romantic lead. What I liked so much about him is that he was much more complicated than first expected and this fact was made more obvious by the fact that this was definitely the slow-burn kind of romance that I love. As we learn more about him and his past you can't help but fall for him. Plus did I mention the songwriting? Yeah, he's a musician. How could I resist? But I'm not sure I felt the kind of deep swoon that I was expecting. Again the hype did me in a little bit. While I loved him and found him delightful I was waiting for the swoon and it didn't come. But that may also be because it didn't have the satisfying ending that I wanted to see.

I give Open Road Summer by Emery Lord an 8 out of 10

For me this was good not great, the hype monster gave me high expectations and I was a little disappointed but I still liked the book. It was a nice and fluffy beach/road trip read for fans of the Young Adult Contemporary genre. I would definitely recommend it for fans of the genre but not necessarily for those who want to try more of the genre.

Have you read Open Road Summer? What did you think? Is it worth the hype? Leave me a comment with your thoughts and HAPPY READING!

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