Open Road Summer
By Emery Lord
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Source: LibraryAfter 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.
Review: One look at this book and I knew that I just and to read it. As a YA contemporary that had to do with road trips and country superstars, it sounded right up my alley.
Reagan O'Neill is finally ready to change her life after breaking up with her boyfriend, and what better way to start over than by spending the summer on tour with her best friend who just so happens to be the biggest country superstar? But when Matt Finch joins the tour in order to help save her best friend's reputation after nasty rumors were spread, his good-boy charm is impossible to ignore. On her journey towards being a better person, Reagan discovers that you can't always control who you fall for and that taking that risk may be just what she needs to become the person she needs to be.
At the beginning of the novel, I was super wary of Reagan's character. I usually hate girls who are all, "oh, guys check out my hot body all the time" and have very scandalous, bad girl pasts. With Reagan, though, we get to see her at a point in her life where she's been hurt and finally sees that she wants to change that bad-girl persona and try to be a better person. I loved how Dee, her superstar best friend, is the complete opposite with her wholesome, good girl personality. While they're complete opposites, I think that Dee and Reagan were perfect for each other and I'm so glad that this book had such a strong friendship at the core of its story. They both knew each other's painful pasts and care about each other to the point where they'd do anything to make the other one happy. It was nice seeing a friendship that, while having its ups and downs, played an integral part to the stories of each of the characters.
Yes, the friendship was great, but we can't ignore Matt Finch. Oh, Matt. He was such a cutie pie. I love guys like him and he was exactly what Reagan needed at that time in her life, thought she wouldn't admit it to herself. Matt is the kind of guy who is super genuine, but also won't put up with Reagan's crap. Their initial bantering was so cute and I loved how flirty Matt could get because it would get on Reagan's nerves since she didn't want to admit how much she liked his attention. It doesn't hurt, either, that Matt's also a singer who can write some adorable, emotional songs about the relationships in his life, which may or may not include one with Reagan. Reagan may be this tough girl on the outside, but Matt's charm finds a way to wriggle underneath the surface and show Reagan that a guy like him is just what she needs. And, oh my gosh, what he does at the end? I was literally swooning over how freaking perfect and adorable he was. Reagan wasn't just about to dive into anything with Matt after how her last relationship ended, so she really made him work to show her how perfect they were for each other.
There are contemporary YA books that completely blow all of the other ones out of the water, and I definitely think Emery Lord has written one of those. She's created a real friendship between her two main characters and an emotional romance that has to establish a sense of trust before either character goes all in. Reagan was a tough girl, but her bad girl reputation wasn't too over the top and she was a the point where she was trying to change for the better. And Matt Finch is more than ready to help her with that task! If you want a YA contemporary that has the fun, summer road trip setting full of new beginnings, friendship, and romance, pick up Open Road Summer by Emery Lord.