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The Start of Me and You Hardcover – March 31, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Aspiring screenwriter Paige Hancock is determined to redefine herself one year after her boyfriend, Aaron, drowned. Paige creates a checklist of tasks that she intends to accomplish during her junior year to finally shake off the label of "the girl whose boyfriend drowned" in small-town Oakhurst, Indiana. With the support of a solid core of best friends, Paige succeeds in her "plan to become normal again." The crew also helps her recover from the devastating loss of her beloved and supportive grandmother and to cope with her divorced parents dating each other. She also finds a budding romance in an unexpected place—with Max Watson, nerdy cousin of heartthrob Ryan Chase. The positive and healthy relationships in the novel—between Paige and her friends, Paige and her parents, and Paige and Max—provide subtle modeling for young adults, while still remaining believable and not coming off as preachy. In sharp contrast to darker, more issue-driven YA books, this title keeps truer to the problems that most teens face. The protagonist's upbeat attitude will inspire readers to persevere even during the low points in life.—Nicole Knott, Watertown High School, CT
“In sharp contrast to darker, more issue-driven YA books, this title keeps truer to the problems that most teens face. The protagonist's upbeat attitude will inspire readers to persevere even during the low points in life.” ―starred review, School Library Journal
“This is the teen world as it should be, full of good times and good friends to temper life's inevitable sorrows, big and small. Fans of Sarah Dessen and Deb Caletti will want to add Emery Lord to their summer reading list.” ―BCCB
“A fabulously entertaining story of friendship, healing, and love. Filled with laughter, heart, and a side of sass, this rock star debut will have you cheering for an encore!” ―Elizabeth Eulberg, author of REVENGE OF THE GIRL WITH THE GREAT PERSONALITY, on OPEN ROAD SUMMER
“Lord (Open Road Summer) offers a sweet story of love and loss. . . . The author is gentle with Paige as she struggles to redefine herself both in school and at home, as well as figure out who understands her best as she stumbles toward new romance.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Reads like an ode to unconditional love that will keep readers firmly believing in believing.” ―Booklist
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Top Customer Reviews
Emery Lord is the author that I wish would have been around when I was in high school. Girls in the 13-18 (and beyond) age range should be reading Emery's books, especially The Start of Me and You because she includes such wonderful and positive friendships, and the friendships in this one are stellar. Personally, I feel like friendships kind of get brushed aside in a lot of contemporary YA novels to focus more on the romance, but Emery makes sure that Paige and her best friends are center stage throughout most of the novel. I loved reading about these four lovely girls (Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan), and I'm sure many teenage girls will be able to relate to them.
Ms. Lord also tackles the very difficult subject of grief in this novel, and she does it flawlessly. It's hard to lose anyone when you're at a young age, especially to tragedy because it's just confusing. There are so many highs and lows that come with losing a loved one or a friend, and Lord captures that grief, heartbreak, and confusion and bottles it up in Paige to create a completely realistic character and plot.
Yes... there is romance in this novel, and I adored how Emery wrote planned and wrote it in this book. The reader knows something is eventually going to happen, but they don't know when. I was anticipating how things would develop the whole time, and I was completely satisfied when the big moment happened. I had a huge grin on my face, and I couldn't have asked for anything more adorable.
What I Loved:
☻ Paige's personal history - She's intelligent but she's also very pop-culture savvy (like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore), but she's very aware of her problems and how they might affect the people around her.
☻Paige's circle of girlfriends - They are all so different and unique, but they are always there for one another.
☻Max Watson - He'll make you swoon, but that's not all he's good for. He's a truly remarkable character, and one that will be hard to forget.
☻Cameron - I'm a sucker for books with sister relationships, and Paige and Cameron have a rocky, but still loving (and realistic feeling) relationship.
☻Ms. Pepper - I'm an English teacher, so I love it when English teachers are pretty big characters in a book. Ms. Pepper is pretty awesome, and I loved her.
☻One surprise reference - Emery alludes to something in her previous book in The Start of Me and You, and I almost melted.
☻The pop culture references - The Start of Me and You is full of pop culture references that will make any pop culture or trivia junkie geek out.
Would I recommend this book? Absolutely and to any and all fans of contemporary YA! It's just one of those books that all teenage girls should and must read, and I would tell any YA/school librarian to order it and display it immediately! I even tried to pass it off to my sister as soon as I finished reading it so she could experience Emery's wonderful story of finding yourself and beginning again. This book deserves more than just five stars because it's just beautiful.
I could not put this story down, I was so enchanted by the writing and the characters. I read it in one day. The story is very entertaining. I found this story to be funny as well. The Start of Me and You is well written and it is very easy to get completely wrapped up in reading it!
My favorite things about this book are the relationships. They are the best!
The friendship in this book is spectacular and so realistic. I love how close these girls are to each other. And how wonderful they are together. It is the friendship that warms your heart and makes you wish you were apart of this group of friends.
I really enjoyed how much Paige's family is a part of this story. It is so wonderful to see such a balance between friendship, family, romance, and personal growth!
The romance in this story is just SO CUTE! Seriously, it is simply adorable. I love the interactions so much! One of the cutest romances ever.
The Start of Me and You is easily one of my favorite reads. It is an heartwarming story that deals with loss, grief, moving on, living, and love. This story has wonderful relationships that make my heart happy. This story made me laugh, smile, cheer, and cry. It is moving, hopeful, and very entertaining. I couldn't put it down. Emery Lord has easily become one of my favorite writers and a must-buy author for me. I can't wait to read everything else she writes! I highly recommend reading The Start of Me and You!
What had me, however, was the turning point when you realize that the one you were meant to be with is the one who was right in front of you all the time. It even took me a while to see it but in the last seconds of 7 minutes of heaven- it all is revealed and you really hope that it all can be sorted out. Get your minds out of the gutter. This book is as chaste as Twilight.