Bloomsbury, 384 pages
Expected US Release Date: March 31, 2015
Format/Source: ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for a year, 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?
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
If you're lucky, relationships--with family or friends or boyfriends--are limitless. There's no maximum on how much you can love each other. The problem is, there's also no limit to how much you can hurt each other.
Emery Lord has got to have the most approachable writing in YA right now. There’s something so open and friendly about her writing (I hope others who have read her books know what I mean, otherwise I sound like a crazy person), it just draws you in and gets you coffee and lets you prop your feet up. I always sink so comfortably and so fast into Emery Lord’s stories, and it completely consumes me.
The Start of Me and You had such an interesting concept of having Paige the “widow” of a high school relationship. So unique, and something that has so many possibilities in terms of follow up. And I mean…I’m a sucker for lists, so her plan of moving on was so perfect and right up my alley.
And maybe this is a weird thing to attach to, but one of my favourite things about The Start of Me and You is how utterly normal it all is. I mean, Paige’s situation is unique…but her friends, her thought process, befriending Ryan and Max, moving through her school year? It’s all perfectly realistic and paced just as any real relationship and friendship would develop, and that definitely made everything seem so much closer to my heart.
Let’s talk Max, because YES PLEASE. I may even love him more than Matt Finch from Open Road Summer! Who know THAT was possible?! Max is seriously the best nerdy awesome guy in the world. I loved his backstory, his friendship with his cousin, his playfulness and how he exhibited his intelligence without any sort of bragging or condescension. As I get older, I tend to attract to guys who are unabashedly, unashamedly themselves—and Max fits that bill perfectly.
And as much as I did love Max, I have to admit the friendships in this book are amazing and wonderful, too. Which I think Emery just specializes in, because Lilah and Dee’s friendship in Open Road Summer was one of my favourites, too. (I think this means I should be friends with Emery. Is that creepy?) Paige’s girlfriends were the best and reminded me so, so much of my own little crew I keep. Sure, there are pairings within the 4, but it makes sense and they’re still 100% there for the other. It’s a real friendship, with ups and downs and arguments and hugs and support, and I absolutely wish I could be folded in with them.
Paige and Max’s friendship is also something I enjoyed immensely, because it’s so obvious there’s an attraction but there’s also an understanding there, too. They’re thoughtful in regards to each other, and seeing it on the page absolutely squeezed my heart with warmth.
And the thing I particularly attached to was the ending realization of having to come to terms with yourself and be who you are before you can really be with anyone else. I like that Paige is sort of broken, without being absolutely shattered, and that every win for her no matter how small it is really makes a difference in her rebuilding of strength. It’s very much a lesson I’ve been learning, and thought it was displayed so well.
The Start of Me and You is a fantastically written story of a girl struggling to find her way after suffering a loss. It’s got romance and friendship and Quiz Bowl and airplanes and I cannot wait until I can read it over and over again because I will never tire of the relationships found within. Everyone needs to read this book.