Monday, August 4, 2014

Highlights / Lowlights: OPEN ROAD SUMMER


Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord (@emerylord)
Published: April 2014
Genre: YA Contemporary
Pages: 352
POV: 1st person
Publisher: Walker
Format: Hardcover
Source: Anna & Bloomsbury
Rating: The Royal Library, Top Shelf
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. 

Highlight: Reagan and Dee. Reagan's a tell-it-like-it-is kind of girl with a messy past and an uncertain future. This summer, she's trying out a less destructive version of herself - one that doesn't touch alcohol and tries to stay out of trouble. I adored her from the start, with her sharp attitude and the way she views little moments of life that other people might otherwise easily ignore. Dee, meanwhile, is sugary sweet, regardless of whether she's just being a normal teenage girl or musician Lilah Montgomery. She's very Taylor Swift-like, bubbly, and easy to adore. But Dee's also brokenhearted, and her life is anything but easy.

Highlight: Matt Finch. Not only is Matt Finch an incredibly endearing guy, he's genuine and sweet. The best thing about Matt Finch isn't his love for Twizzlers or his heartfelt lyrics, but his acceptance of people for who they really are, flaws included. The only time he ever discourages Reagan is when it comes to unhealthy habits, but otherwise, he appreciates her for who she is.

Highlight: Music and other hobbies. Whether's it's Dee's career as songstress Lilah Montgomery or Reagan's passion for photography, Lord ensures her characters have interests and brings them to life. Lyrics from Matth and Dee's songs appear every now and then, and Lord provides detailed descriptions of Reagan's photographs.

Highlight: Friendship, family, and the people who really matter. The relationship between Reagan and Dee is what sells this story. Lord's characterization is top notch, to the point where Reagan and Dee seem like two real-life best friends. And even though they're on a road trip, family is still a priority, and not something that disappears in the pages.

Highlight: Road trips, coming of age, and new beginnings. Open Road Summer is at it's core a book about friendship and realizing what (and who) really matters in life. It's a hell of a road trip for these girls, full of entertaining moments that will leave you giggly madly. But for all the highs, there are lows, and Lord balances these realistically.

Highlight: Candy, silliness, and shenanigans. You can't go wrong with candy and silly moments. 

Lowlight: Not enough lyrics. Okay, I'm actually just being really greedy, because there are quite a lot of lyrics. It would have been cool to see more, though. Reagan's photos would have been awesome, too!


Rating: The Royal Library, Top ShelfOpen Road Summer is the perfect mix between serious and sweet, along with heartfelt and hilarious. The characters are distinctive, the romance is adorable, and the friendship portrayed between Reagan and Dee is what makes this story shine. If you're looking for a great story about friendship, Open Road Summer is the perfect book to check out.


* Banner image by YA Book Queen. Only the fun books inspire me to draw silly / bad cartoons.

20 comments:

  1. SOOO glad you enjoyed this book….it is definitely one of my favorite books of the year. I loved Matt Finch as well and the whole country music vibe. I can't wait to read more of Emery Lord's books in the future. Great review, Lea!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Adored the country music vibe. I've been playing more of it since reading :)

      So excited for Lord's next novel! It's bound to be fabulous.

      Delete
  2. Matt made me swoon a lot in this one as well

    ReplyDelete
  3. Top shelf of the Royal Library, hmm? I've only heard amazing things about Lord's debut, and I
    m so glad to hear you enjoyed it! This Matt character has me extra intrigued ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes! This book is definitely top-shelf worthy. The characters are so real, flawed, and wonderful. They give this book that extra spark.

      You should check it out!

      Delete
  4. I like this review a lot! I'm so glad you liked this book. I enjoyed it as well... well more than I thought I would actually! I can't wait for Lord's next book. I especially love Reagan and Dee. I love strong, female friendship relationships. I think a lot of times those relationships are show to be bad, dark and back stabby. It was refreshing to see a positive best friend love!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you enjoyed it too! I'm also excited for Lord's next novel.

      Weren't R&D the best? Their friendship was so sweet and realistic. It's definitely great to see a positive friendship in YA lit!

      Delete
  5. I wanted to get to this one this summer but I just haven't been able to squeeze it in. So happy to see you really enjoyed it. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you manage to get to it eventually, because OPEN ROAD SUMMER is wonderful! :)

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Delete
  6. Can't wait to read Open Road Summer!!! I noticed that Matt Finch makes girls swoon. So happy to hear that there's another fangirl to add to his list :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He is so swoonworthy. *swoons*

      Hope you love it!

      Delete
  7. I haven't heard a lot about this one so I'm glad I saw your review! It really sounds fantastic and like the perfect summer read!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It truly is the perfect summer read - music, road trip, BFF's, romance, and a little bit of drama. It's a nice balance, and a story I'll definitely reread again. Such fun!

      If you read OPEN ROAD SUMMER, I hope you love it too!

      Delete
  8. Eeep! I'm reading this one right now and I love Reagan and Dee's personalities and their friendship. Also, yess! Matt is just such a cutiepie and I adore how genuine nad sweet he is. The roadtrip aspect is definitely a part of every good summer and I can't get enough of those! Ha! I'm not done yet, but I would love for more lyrics too. This is such a fun way to review, Lea! I love your thoughts and even though I'm not finished, I agree with everything :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're such an adorable group of characters! And Matt! *swoons*

      So happy you're enjoying the book so far!

      Delete
  9. Aw, yay :D I'm so glad you loved this book so much. <3 Amazing review. I am curious about this one :) Hoping to buy it one day. <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You should check it out, it's fabulous!

      Thanks for stopping by, Carina!

      Delete
  10. I loved this book! I really liked how the story focused on the friendship between Reagan and Dee and how Dee's family was so supportive too. I look forward to seeing what this author writes next.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Awww, it's so clear you loved this one so much and I love that!! This isn't really my kind of book as you may well know, but damn if you aren't selling it to me right now! I just love that this one puts a special focus on creating a realistic friendship... I don't know, that's something of a rarity in YA books these days, it seems. I really feel like I just HAVE to see what this one is all about! Thank you, Lea!

    ReplyDelete