Title: Open Road Summer [Amazon]
Author: Emery Lord [website]
Publisher: Walker Books for Younger Readers
Source/Type: Publisher/Paperback ARC
Stars: 5 of 5 –> I want to give it a 10 though! ♥
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.
Very rarely do I call a book perfection. Even five star reads always have that something that irks me or that I dislike. But, there have been a couple that are pure perfection and I now have one more to add to that list, Open Road Summer. Bluntly put, it was EVERYTHING. It had all the highs and lows of a great contemporary book. I laughed and swooned and cried and felt those deep feels that only a truly great book can make you feel. It was exactly what I look for in a great book and to make matters better, it was a debut novel.
Open Road Summer is a book about friendship, boys and figuring it all out. It’s the story of Reagan(one of my favorite names by the way) and Dee, two girls that have been best friends since they were 8 and who couldn’t be more different. Reagan is the wild child, always getting in trouble while Dee is the professional with a country music contract. With a US summer tour happening for Dee and everything at home falling apart for Reagan the two of them embark on a road trip they won’t soon forget. But when a scandal happens and Matt Finch, a former boy-bander gone solo, joins them, what started out as a drama free girls summer becomes something entirely different. As the girls navigate broken hearts and healing and moving forward they also hold on to the one thing they both know matters most, each other.
I don’t even know where to start my love fest, because let’s face it, that’s what this review is going to be. I guess I’m going to start with the writing because without it you have nothing and Emery Lord gave a whole lot more than nothing. She gave this book everything. She wrote Open Road Summer not like a debut author, but like a seasoned pro. Everything, every single thing gave me the book feels and I’m still stunned by it. There were pages and pages of quotes I want to share but I’m going with just one: ‘I would like to know you for a while.’ That one simple sentence gave my tummy that flutter that I love getting when I read a phenomenal book. Lord has power in her words that made me believe what I was reading like I was a part of it as opposed to just looking in. She wrote pure magic whether she was describing the locations and the scenery or the feelings Reagan was having or the connection Dee and Reagan had.
Actually the relationship of Dee and Reagan was one of my favorite parts of the book. It is very rare in YA for there to be a tight bond between friends. I always find the frienemy is used more often than the friend. As a person that has had some of her closest friends for 25-30 years it has always bothered me. But Lord has fixed that. She wrote a true, real friendship between Reagan and Dee. They were just like all friends. They had each others backs, bickered, laughed, were jealous of one another, and even fought. That’s what friends do. But friends also are there for one another and Dee and Reagan were no different. Their bond was so strong and true and a complete joy to read. Some of my favorite parts of the book were when it was just the two of them being goofy or hanging out with Matt in the tour bus.
Oh and Matt! OMG, Matt Finch! Add another book boyfriend to the list because…SWOON! Seriously is it getting hot in here?!?! The boy is like Etienne St. Clair and Corey Livingston with a hint of Matthew McConaughey all wrapped in one. He had manners and sass and swagger. He was confident and boyish and charming. Basically the perfect package and Reagan’s perfect match. There was something just so right about their banter and Matt in general. GAH, I don’t want to give away too much of his awesomeness, but man is he awesome.
So flat out, I loved Open Road Summer like I haven’t loved a book in a long time. It’s one of those books that transports you to summer days hanging with your best friend. To those feelings you get when you first develop a crush. It comes to life while you are reading it and just gives you all the feels you can barely handle. It’s amazingly written, has great characters and a great plot. Emery Lord has now become an auto buy author for me after reading just one book and I think after you pick this one up you will feel the same. Thank you Reagan, Dee, Matt and Emery, thank you.
I sometimes like to dress the characters in books that I read and I was inspired by Dee and Reagan.