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I Belong

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road SummerTitle: Open Road Summer

Author: Emery Lord

Genre: YA Contemporary

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 15, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0802736106 (Bloomsbury)

ISBN-13: 978-0802736109 (Bloomsbury)

Reviewed by: Bridget


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.

Quick & Dirty: Amazing coming of age story featuring friendship, romance, and humor. I loved every minute of this book and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a great beach read this summer!

Opening Sentence: The fans scream for her, but they don’t really know the girl on the magazine covers— the girl with the guitar and the easy smile.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Reagan O’Neil needs to make some changes in her life. She just recently broke up with her loser boyfriend and decided that she needed a change of scenery. Summer just started and Reagan’s country superstar best friend, Lilah Montgomery (or better known as Dee), is starting her cross country music tour and Reagan is going to go with her. Its’ just the distraction she needs to get her life back together and she gets to spend the summer with her best friend. Then comes along, Matt Finch, the young heartthrob that is going to be the opening act for Dee.

Reagan has promised herself a drama-free summer and with Matt around that is becoming more and more difficult. He is too charming for his own good, but at the same time he is a good person. Reagan has made some very poor decisions when it comes to the guys she dated and she’s not sure she is a good match for someone like Matt. But with the help of her best friend, she comes to realize that taking risks for love is always worth it, even if you get burned in the end.

Reagan is my type of girl. She is beautiful, confidant, snarky, and always has a comeback on the tip of her tongue. But she is also insecure, dramatic, and makes some really dumb decisions. Her flaws made her more realistic and her good qualities made her likable, so she was a very well rounded character that was easy to love. Also, one of the things I liked the most about her was how loyal she was. She has been best friends with Dee for most of her life and even though their friendship has had some rough patches they are always there for each other no matter what. Reagan has also had a rough few years and has made some pretty poor decisions that lead to pretty severe consequences, I love that she owns up to the fact that shes not perfect and has made mistakes. She is trying to change her ways and make herself a better person which made me respect her. I instantly connected with Reagan and my adoration for her just grew throughout the story.

Matt was a total heartthrob that was easy to swoon over. He  hasn’t had the easiest life, but I loved that he still has such a positive outlook on life. He became famous at a young age which is never an easy thing to deal with, but I felt that he was a genuine person that was just so likable. I also loved that no matter what Reagan threw at him he was always willing to throw it right back at her. He was never fazed by her abrupt attitude and every time she tried to push him away he always stayed constant. They had awesome chemistry but they also were really compatible. Matt was such a wonderful character that makes you feel all gooey inside which is exactly what a love interest should do.

Open Road Summer is the perfect beach read. One of my favorite things was that the romance was not the main driving force of the plot. I actually thought that Reagan and Dee’s friendship was a much more significant part of the story and I really liked that. Getting to see a friendship that is more important then your current fling made the story much more realistic. Now don’t get me wrong, I love good romance stories, but its also nice to see such a great friendship story done so well. Also, that’s not to say that the romance wasn’t great because it was perfect! The pacing was spot on and from the very first page I was completely hooked. The ending was amazing and I loved how realistic it was. This is the first book I have read by Lord, but her writing is phenomenal and I will be picking up anything else she writes. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a great contemporary romance full of heart, love, and friendship.

Notable Scene:

“Yes!” Dee’s voice is hard to understand through her honking and the suitcase’s insulated sides. “This is going to happen.”

She tugs at the zipper, leaving an open space at the top. I poke my head out the top to see Dee, doubled over in laughter. Maybe it’s funny because we’re so tired, so overwhelmed and desperate to laugh. But no matter the reason, I laugh so hard that it feels like a muscle spasm in my stomach. I couldn’t stop if my life depended on it. Dee’s all-out raucous laugh reminds me of being eleven again, of sleepovers where we woke her mom up with our giggling. Girls, Mrs. Montgomery would say, it’s time to quiet down and go to sleep, even though she seemed to be hiding a smile of her own.

“Get my camera, get my camera,” I say. Dee retrieves my camera from my bag, holding it with shaking hands. She steadies herself, taking a picture that I hope won’t be blurry.

I’m jolted by a rhythmic knock at the door, and Dee nearly drops my camera in surprise. I’m still too slaphappy to panic about my beloved camera’s well-being. For some reason, the chance that the hotel staff will see me zipped into a suitcase is even funnier to us. Dee unzips the suitcase enough that I can wriggle an arm free, and I keep tugging at it as she runs to answer the door. On her tiptoes, Dee peers out the peephole and then throws the door open with full body enthusiasm.

The guy at the door looks a bit older than us, with light brown hair that curls slightly at his ears. If this is a hotel concierge, he’s the hottest one ever. Like, of all time. And  here I sit, a barefoot jackass in an empty suitcase. I bolt up, ?uf?ng my hair before he can see me.

FTC Advisory:  Walker Childrens/Bloomsbury provided me with a copy of Open Road Summer.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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