Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: YA, contemporary, romance
Publisher/Publication Date: Walker Childrens/April 15th, 2014
How Did I Get It? Bought it!
Format? Hardback

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

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The Yacht

This is it. This is the story I’ve been looking for in the last two weeks of binging on contemporary reads. This is the book I’ve been dreaming of since finishing Lola and the Boy Next Door last December. This. Is. It. Open Road Summer is friendship and romance and sunshine and happiness all stuffed into a little over 300 pages. It actually made me wish that California was over this crapy overcast weather, and springtime will finally settle in to stay.

I honestly don’t even know how to write this review. Basically:

With a little bit of

And a lot of

And a dash of

Okay, I’ll stop with the gifs now. But ORS deserves every ounce of attention that it’s getting – and more. Okay, and maybe there are some clichés, maybe a few tropes, but it works, and it’s damn good on top of that. Because those tropes are balanced out with a stunning lyrical writing style, a cast of characters that you can’t help but love, and an ultimate story about best friends and the strength you lend to your non-romantic soul mate.

Reagan has a rough exterior that’s grating at points, but she has a depth to her that once you see past all the gruffness, she’s a really great main character. She’s sensitive, driven, and intelligent, and likes who she’s becoming. Also: I just have to mention here, I love how Emery wrote the different “new Reagan” and “old Reagan.” I don’t want to get into any spoilers here, but the way Reagan dealt with the messes she created before the summer tour was incredibly mature, and honestly I think it’s a fantastic, subtle message that’s really important.

Dee had the potential to be a cheap Taylor Swift knockoff, but she wasn’t, at all. She was sweet, and optimistic, but there’s a bubbling sort of fiery heart brimming just below the surface and she will take you down if you screw with her or Reagan and push her to the breaking point. Her character wasn’t spent lamenting her past relationship, or the negativity of the press – it was about her looking forward, and dreaming of the future.

Matt Finch, of course, deserves a gif:

I am a Finchette. Officially.

He’s that boy-next-door sort of sweet musician (any one else reminded of Nick Jonas, with the whole “youngest in a boy band” thing? Speaking of, have you seen a pic of Nick lately? Like holy schnikies I’m freaking old and he’s freaking hot) with manners and an arrogant sort of swag that hides his tender little heart and ohmygod I want to hold him and maybe do other things with him but most of all I want to hug him and send him off into his bright future. Because despite my wanting to claim him for myself, I ship him and Reagan so hard it’s not even funny. I also dearly loved the fact that Emery made me fall in love with Matt before the romance really bubbled – he didn’t exist solely for the romance slot. His own past and his own pain was very real, and created the depth that I really needed to fully invest myself into the story.

There are so many quotes I’d love to put in here, but I can’t because SPOILERS. Anyway, there were a million parts in the story where I literally had to stop reading, squeal (much to the confusion of my sister), wipe away happy tears, take a deep breath, and then dive back in. Another note: I absolutely hate original songs in books. Why? I don’t know. But what I do know is that in ORS, they worked. I loved the songs, and the book would have been much less without them. They were perfectly placed in the exact right moment for the plot, and I just… ❤

I’m really sorry heck no I’m not sorry about all the fangirling in this review, but I haven’t had this amount of love for a book since… I don’t even know when. Maybe Ignite Me? It’s oh so special and will join the ranks among the most special of my contemporary books – right next to Katie McGarry, Morgan Matson, and Stephanie Perkins. And if I had a bottomless wallet, I’d buy everyone a copy so that this magnificence could be spread through the world. But I’m not fabulously rich, so instead I’ll settle on book pushing until I’m blacklisted from the blogging community.

My Final Rating:

Anchors Aweigh

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11 thoughts on “Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

  1. Sign me up, sounds like I need this immediately! I’ve been in contemporary sort of mood lately too, which is strange because I’m usually ALL about dystopia and fantasy, ha. I’m not against the tropes and such as long as they work, and it sounds like they totally do here!

  2. Ah, I loved this review! I’m not a fan of Nick at all, but Matt sounds… well… hot damn. I don’t know. I totally need all those feels–just don’t throw the book at me, haha!

  3. OMG, I am so excited to read this one. When I come off my mini ban at the end of May THIS WILL BE THE ONE 🙂 Lovely review, and I love the gifs 😀 I more skimmed it but I couldn’t resist reading some parts … I’m intrigued by the old Reagen, New Regan!!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Recap 24 (April 27) | The Thousand Lives

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