January 7, 2020

Book Review: The Map from Here to There

I’m a big Emery Lord fan, and The Start of Me and You is my favorite of her novels. So, I was experiencing a mix of anticipation and nerves when The Map From Here to There, the long-awaited follow-up story, was announced. It didn’t help that, upon picking up this sequel, I was coming off a reread of its predecessor that had left me perfectly content with that lovely ending. I knew going into it that my beloved characters wouldn’t be staying happy, simply because 1) this is a sequel and there would be no plot (but plenty of fluff) if everyone was still happy and 2) life isn’t always that simple especially if you’re a teen on the brink of a big life change. 

True enough, Paige and her friends are all navigating their senior year experiences and the future that lies ahead of them. The story highlights all the best parts and difficult bits of being a high school senior, as well as capturing the maelstrom of both nostalgia for the present and excitement or trepidation for the future. And, in every aspect, it was entirely relatable! It might have been years since I was in the same position as these teens, but man, did this story bring me right back to when I was a high school senior. Lord’s portrayal of this period in most of our lives felt realistic, as she does cover the highlights reel, the complicated growth relationships can get pushed into and the hard choices that need to be made sometimes with her storytelling. Through the ups and the downs, I was thoroughly immersed in the outcome of this chapter in Paige’s life. I loved the authenticity that rang throughout this story, and I would highly recommend checking out The Map From Here To There

(Blogger's Note: You can technically read this without reading The Start of Me and You, but the emotional impact is much greater if you read the first part of Paige’s story prior to checking this one out.)

I received an ARC of The Map from Here to There during BookExpo 2019.
This novel is out today, January 7, 2020, published by Bloomsbury YA.


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