Thursday, March 27, 2014

Open Road Summer - Emery Lord

Open Road Summer - Emery Lord
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Source/Format: Publisher (Thanks Bloomsbury!) || ARC
[I received this book for review from the publisher. This in no way affects the thoughts expressed in my review.]

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. (from Goodreads)

Warning: It’s going to be impossible for me not to gush about everything I loved about Open Road Summer. I make no apologies for being a big fan girl, especially when a novel is just that amazing. It almost seems as if Emery Lord dug through the recesses of my brain and pulled out some of my favorite things (Taylor Swift, road trips, summer, best friends, cute nice boys) and decided to spin them all together in this story.

It is always fun to read something that just makes you feel so good. While reading Open Road Summer, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face, laughing and swooning as the story called for it. This is not to say there weren’t moments where I felt sad or angry, because there totally were. In fact, the novel took me on an entire roller coaster of emotions, and I loved that I felt everything with an intensity that matched main character Reagan’s feelings.

Reagan, by the way, is a great character. I loved learning more about her with every chapter, both good things and not-so-good things. She’s been through a lot, and made some awful choices (which kind of makes her hard to like). But, by choosing to do so, she experienced a summer of change while away on tour, and it made me so proud of her! Plus, I loved so many other things about her: her passion for photography, her unique fashion sense, her no-bullshit attitude, and her extreme loyalty and intuitiveness when it comes to her best friend

Of course, I cannot fail to mention two secondary characters who stole my heart as well –Matt Finch and Lilah Montgomery (who is known to Reagan and her friends as Dee). Dee was awesome, an extremely talented musician and songwriter, with a positive attitude, sweetness and sort of lightness to her personality. Of course, it was an excellent decision on Emery Lord’s part to show us that Dee was also vulnerable and emotional. Being a superstar has its pitfalls, and Dee definitely experienced quite a few. But I loved her, and her friendship with Reagan. They were good for each other, and their friendship, in spite of a few bumps here and there, is the kind that you only come across in life every so often – steady, real and true.

Matt Finch needs to exist in real life right now, thank you very much. (Kidding.) (Well, not really kidding.) He’s just such a nice guy, the boy next door type who is willing to bare his heart through his music. He made me laugh, smirk and smile at equal turns. I loved that he cared about Dee like a big brother, and that he was willing to take what Reagan would dish out and hand it right back to her.

In fact, it has to be said: the romance was lovely. It developed gradually from being acquaintances, to a tentative friendship, to a beautiful little relationship. The moments Matt and Reagan share are filled with chemistry and romantic tension. I was constantly smiling and going “aww” because of these two. I do love that their relationship wasn’t precisely perfect, since Reagan and Matt both had baggage they brought to the table.

Other things I loved about Open Road Summer? Well, since Reagan joins Dee on tour for the summer, each chapter is set in a different city. I loved that it helped me feel like they were constantly on the move, even though readers will only really see them on the tour bus, in hotels, at promotional things and at concerts. While I wish there were smidge more sight-seeing involved, I also feel like this was pretty authentic to a “behind the scenes” look on a musician’s concert tour.

I also loved that Emery Lord included some original song lyrics. They were all written in the vein of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, so I obviously had a big fangirl moment over that. I wished many times over that Matt and Dee both had actual albums out, because these lyrics seemed like they’d be pretty darn fantastic if put to music.

Obviously, I loved Open Road Summer. [The smile I’m wearing as I typed out this review and think about the novel again pretty much mirrors the smile on my face as I read it.] It is a seriously well-written novel, with engaging characters, a swoony romance and a solid friendship - and perfect to read in the warmer weather.

Rachel and I have decided to collaborate on this new feature, since we often end up having a lot of the same ARCs. We've decided to read them around the same time, so we can discuss them, and we're sharing answers to one burning question related to the book, author or series with our reviews!

Our questions: What song would best define your life? What artist do you want to go on tour with?

Without absolutely hesitation at all, I can tell you now that my answer to both these questions are most definitely related! (I'm also not going to hedge - I'm very predictable as well.) I'm obsessed with the song A Place in This World, which is, obviously, about discovering who you are and meant to be in this one life you get in this world. And, the artist I would want to go on tour with is the person who sang this song - Ms. Taylor Swift. [You can see how much I love her in this other post.] I seriously would love to pick her brain about how she writes songs, and just hang out with her for a while.

7 comments:

  1. Wasn't this book just everything? The friendship, the road trip, Matt Finch! It was just...EVERYTHING! It was one of those books I wanted to hug when I was finished. It was amazing.

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  2. I'm glad you loved this book so much, I can't wait to read it myself! I think Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield would be my theme song (:

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  3. I had never heard of this book today and then all of a sudden I see like a million people fangirling over it (okay, only 2 people :P) so I know I need to get my hands on it! It sounds so fun and I am seriously in the mood for an engaging contemporary like this. Also, I'm currently obsessed with the song New York City by Among Savages, so maybe that would be my theme song at the moment? :)

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  4. So happy this one worked out for you! I wish I could have connected with Reagan more, but I felt like she was very hypocritical and judgmental. Otherwise, I couldn't agree more about Matt and Dee and all the relationships.

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  5. I read this book and had hearts in my eyes for the WHOLE book. I couldn't NOT to be honest. It was my first five star book of the year, too. It's just..it's own brand of perfection.

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  6. Ahhh, I love your love of Open Road Summer! I seriously need to make it my next ereader book, after Scarlet by AC Gaughen or however you spell it. I love summer themed books and road trips and music and nice romantic interests and ahhh, this sounds sooo good!

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  7. ROMANCE + FRIENDSHIP + LYRICS + SUMMER = one happy girl. Well two. Cuz you loved it and I KNOW I will too!!!

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Thanks for leaving a comment! I love seeing what you have to say, and will try to reply (here or on Twitter) as soon as I can :)

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