Book Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Book Review: The Start of Me and You by Emery LordThe Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on March 31, 2015
Genres: Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Source: eARC from Netgalley
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I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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. It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, 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?


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Have you ever read a book that you knew was written specifically for YOU? As if the author took it upon herself to crawl into your head, burrow there for the duration of your life, and then crawl out long enough to turn it into fiction? THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord is one such book for ME. It quite possibly the first book to ever make me feel this way…

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Here is a list of things that make me and Paige the same person:

  • Paige has type A tendencies – I have type A tendencies
  • Paige in not one to take risks – I rarely take risks
  • Paige is a bit of an introvert – I am an introvert (except online)
  • Paige’s nickname is grammar girl – I correct my husband daily
  • Paige’s parents are divorced – my parents were divorced
  • Paige’s parent are getting back together – note the “were” above
  • Paige lives inside her head quite a lot – my head is always full of things

Obviously there is quite a lot that I can personally relate to in The Start of Me and You – because of that, it made it a most engrossing read. I whole-heartedly believe that The Start of Me and You stands apart from other contemporaries and follows Emery Lord’s 2-for-2 track record of writing about perfectly imperfect friendships and family relationships. The stories that she weaves for each of her characters – the careful attention that she gives to each and every person – is astounding. Plus, it goes without saying that her romance is top-notch as ever.

Do you know what’s the best thing about The Start of Me and You? (Aside from the fact that I wish I could have best friends just like Paige’s. I swear those girls know each other’s quirks and have each other’s backs like you would not believe…) It’s the fact that the events that transpire within its pages are never too far fetched or overly dramatic. Emery doesn’t deliberately make characters bad just for the sake of badness. These people really and truly care for each other, just like friends and family should. It a breath of fresh air to read contemporary fiction that isn’t *all* about the dramatics. Even with a plot that involves a terrible tragedy at its core, The Start of Me and You keeps things real and doesn’t try to be anything more than what it is; a beautiful story about the ins-and-outs of friendship, discovering who you are and finding love when you least expect it.

…Is it okay to say that I want my own Max? Why must you be so amazing, young man?

Alas, I cannot finish this review with out pointing out the one thing that Paige and I do not have in common: How on earth can the fact that two divorced parents want to give their relationship a second chance possibly be a BAD THING??? I’m saying this as someone whose parents did the same exact thing! (And I am glad to say they are still happily remarried even to this day.) As a result, I am totally 100% pro-family-get-back-together-again. No joke. It is hard for me to wrap my mind around Paige’s insistence that nothing good could possibly come from their reconciliation, though I guess I kind of see her logic. It would not be healthy for her little sister to experience a repeat performance of their first marriage…

That being said, I couldn’t find any big faults with this book. It was so right for me.

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This book is my soul animal. If I had a patronus it would be shaped like this book. There is so much ME in it. It’s like the author knows my LIFE, my experiences, my thoughts…

Five overflowing with love emojis!

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About Emery Lord

Emery Lord is a 20-something Midwestern girl who writes stories about high school and best friends and weird families and the crushes that make you feel combustibly alive and also more awkward than you thought was possible. If you're not sure how to pronounce Emery, try slurring the name "Emily," and that will get you really close.

She lives in Cincinnati in a 100 year-old pink row house with her BFF/husband, a closet full of dresses, and lots of books. If karaoke-ing in grocery store aisles or guzzling coffee while impulse shopping were illegal, Emery would be writing her overemotional YA books from jail. Also, she makes up words sometimes. Like combustibly.

header-leave-a-comment-02Let’s talk in the comments below!

10 comments

  1. Carina Olsen says:

    Aw, yay 😀 Amazing review Jenna. <3 I am so happy that you loved this book so much. Sigh. You make it seem pretty amazing 🙂 It isn't for me right now, but hopefully one day. <3 I adore this cover, though. So pretty 😀 Thank you for sharing your thoughts sweetie. <3

  2. Kelly L. says:

    Awww Jenna! Reading your review put this big, huge goofy grin on my face. I need to reread The Start of Me and You sometime soon again!
    Also, whoa, it really does look like Emery Lord wrote tSoMaY just for you! You and Paige are so alike that it’s scary.

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