OPEN ROAD SUMMER is a YA debut novel written by Emery Lord. Firstly, let me express how my I love the author's name - so unique!!
I have been hearing about this book for quite some time. There were written many reviews about this story and of course, you all know me, I had to find out for myself if they were true. Sitting on book shelf for couple of months, I was waiting for the right time to read it. And summer and the August TBR list was the perfect opportunity.
TWO BEST FRIENDS... TWO BROKEN HEARTS... ONE SUMMER THAT WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.
After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O'Neill is ready to leave rebellious ways behind. Her best friend, county superstar Dee Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Dee's twenty-four-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of breakup ballads and healing.
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. With miles to go before Reagan and Dee are ready to risk their hearts again, this summer will be one to remember.
Firstly, let's take on the easy part - the edition. I own the paperback published in 2014 by Bloomsbury. 342 pages divided into 22 chapters. Very summery design. There is a photograph of a young couple kissing. A beautiful indie design. It slightly reminds me a photograph taken by one of my vintage style cameras. It's a picture of summer.
The writing. It's modern. Easy to read. Exciting. Packed with hilarious situations at times. But also very emotional. This story gives you a great glimpse into a world of show business. It's not all glitter, money and designer handbags. It can be hard. It can packed with back stabbing. Full of gossips and photoshopped pictures which are hardly even close to the truth.
I love how easy is to relate to the story, especially to Reagan's part. She is a great female character. She has been left behind and hurt too many times. It's time for her to change her old ways. But the road to her happiness is long. She doesn't trust anyone apart from her best friend. She doesn't think that she deserves a happy ending or to fall in love. But soon enough, her walls are crumbling. Every girl or young woman can really relate to it. And that's why you find yourself even more hooked to the story. You are wishing for Reagan to find her happily-ever-after.
This story is a beautiful tale of friendship which can withstand even the biggest of unexpected tests. It's about letting go and trust again after being burnt. It's about giving yourself a chance to love again. It makes you laugh out loud. It makes you cry at some parts. It makes you an emotional wreck. And that's a sign of a great story. When an author and their writing makes you go on a roller coaster ride, when they make you feel a whole spectrum of feelings, you know that you have found a special kind of a book.
The characters is this book are all quite loveable and you just cannot help but like them all. In each of them you can find a piece of yourself. Although Reagan is the main character and the story concentrates on her finding someone she can trust again, my favourite character is Dee. Dee is the best, best friend everyone can wish for. Not only she is country music superstar with her own tour, but she is loyal, always there to help, sensitive, sees the good in others. She is nursing her own heartbreak, but it's even worse for her. There are cameras and paparazzi aiming for shot of her fall. Matt is a handsome male lead with his own sadness in his heart. But being on tour with Dee, meeting Reagan makes him smile again. He is a great friend. Tentative boyfriend. And a good man.
Open Road Summer takes you on a road trip around America. It's not a typical road trip style of book. And I like that. It's more like what it would be like if you are best friends with Taylor Swift. And to be honest that is how I saw Dee all the way reading the book - Taylor Swift. (Yes, I think she is an amazing entertainer and do like her - there I said it!)
So thank you Emery Lord for bringing a piece of summer, love & friendship we can reach for anytime, anywhere.. A beautifully-written story which put a smile on my face and warmed my romantic heart and soul. A perfect contemporary YA summer read.
If you want to read more from Emery's pen, you can find her new novel - THE START OF ME AND YOU - in your local book store, or books-selling websites. I'll let you know if I liked it once I read it.
In the meantime, thank you Emery Lord. I cannot wait to read more of your wonderful stories.