Review: The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

22429350Brimming 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?

Rating: 4/5

One thing I really enjoy about the author’s writing is that she manages the perfect blend of contemporary sweetness but with a serious undertone, without descending into what I refer to as ‘issue books’. (And disclaimer, there’s nothing wrong with ‘issue’ books, but I wasn’t in the mood for something terribly heavy.)

The female friendship in this book was also wonderfully depicted – yes, there are conflicts and you can grate on each other’s nerves and even treat each other badly sometimes, but ultimately they are the little family that you’ve made and you’ll go over and above the line of duty when they need you.

In friendship, we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.

I liked that while Paige had a massive crush on Ryan, she came to realise that it was something she’d made perfect in her head, but in reality would end up as something that she actually wanted or be right for her. It’s an important distinction to make – and I wish more books would do this.

As an introvert myself, I could also totally appreciate my poor shy awkward cinnamon rolls of Max and Paige trying to communicate with each other, and putting themselves out there. I enjoyed watching their friendship develop, and that it came before they decided to take things a step further.

The family issues and grieving process were also dealt with pretty well. Paige has a lot of her own baggage to sort out before she can even begin making other major life decisions – and realises this.

Overall, the author somehow manages to add some profound statements without sounding pretentious, but which simply capture so many of the things I find myself unable to put into words.

8 thoughts on “Review: The Start of Me and You – Emery Lord

  1. I’m glad you fared better than I did with this book. I distinctly remember disliking it for reasons that aren’t coming to me at this moment. She’s got a new book coming soon, but I’m not letting my feelings for The Start of Me and You deter me from reading more from this author. :)


    1. Ha, I saw your one star review on Goodreads after I started reading and got quite nervous, haha. But sometimes certain contemporaries just don’t work for one. The reviews for her latest aren’t as glowing as for her previous two books, but I’ll still be reading it to judge for myself.


  2. Not sure if I read Emery Lord, but she sounds like a find. I also appreciate that blend sweet & serious, when the proportions are right. Definitely curious now.


    1. I really admire her style of writing, particularly the focus on female friendship, which she does extremely well!


  3. Yay!!! I adored this book as well, so I love to see how much you liked it. I plan to read When We Collided in the next week or two, and I’m ridiculously excited for it!! Great review! :)


    1. I’m looking forward to seeing how she deals with the subject matter in the next book – it seems to be darker than her usual fare!


  4. I’m with you – I need a balance in my contemporaries – not too sweet and not too dark. I’ve heard that her upcoming one is her most serious, so a little worried about that, but overall am a fan!
    Jen @ YA Romantics


    1. Yup, I’ve heard similar things – it apparently gets quite intense re: mental illness! But her previous work is definitely awesome.


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