Welcome to the blog tour for
THE START OF ME AND YOU by Emery Lord!
Firstly, many many thanks to Bloomsbury for putting on this blog tour and asking me to be a part of it! I became a HUGE Emery Lord fan last year when I first read OPEN ROAD SUMMER and upon finishing THE START OF ME AND YOU, I knew that fellow fans’ love would only grow.
For my stop on the tour today, I’m sharing my thoughts on the friendships featured in Emery Lord’s books. OPEN ROAD SUMMER brought us Reagan and Dee, two best friends who had everyone reeling about the powerful bond between a girl and her BFF. THE START OF ME AND YOU is no exception to the strength of friendships but I love that it features a few different kinds of friend groups throughout the book.
Reading an author’s sophomore novel is always a scary thing for me. I knew I was in good hands with Emery Lord but with having the only book out by her so far, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, so naturally I was looking for similarities to OPEN ROAD SUMMER. The great thing is that three major themes exist in both books (and I have a feeling this great trend will continue): a girl who’s trying to figure out her future and change her life, a romance, and almost even more prominent than the romance, a life-long friendship. THE START OF ME AND YOU is the story of Paige who reaches a breaking point in her life. She notices that she’s struggling after her boyfriend’s death and feels like it’s finally time to start moving on with her life but doesn’t exactly know how to start. Her determination to find happiness again is her own decision but her friendships play instrumental roles in helping her achieve this goal and find a proper balance in her life again.
“In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.”
I really enjoyed that the friendships were very different in THE START OF ME AND YOU than they were in OPEN ROAD SUMMER and yet they were just as powerful. Paige has a close group of three best girl friends. Her friendship with each one of them is unique and as a group, they become even stronger. Paige also attempts to get to know her current crush Ryan better throughout the book and one of her goals is to finally make that kiss between the two of them happen. As she’s trying to set herself up with Ryan, she actually starts to form a true friendship with him (and of course his cousin Max, who you will get to know ALL about in the book!) and *gasp* Paige’s group of girl friends and Ryan’s group of guy friends COMBINE. I honestly think this was one of the best friendships I have read in a book because the ease at which the two friend groups merged just felt so natural and reminded me of my own groups in high school. I had my best gal pals and we had friends who were also guys. We spent time apart but we also spent a lot of time together and although in the book a romance develops, crushes are formed, and advances are turned down, there was so much time with guys and girls just being friends and it was SO refreshing. This is definitely something I’ve been missing for a long time!
This was actually something I loved about OPEN ROAD SUMMER. Yes, a romance does spark between Reagan and Matt and there is a bit of complication based on what’s implied with Matt and Dee but there never is a love triangle and the feelings between Matt and Dee are nothing but platonic. Friendships and relationships can be messy but I really loved which messy points Emery Lord chooses to include. Her main characters are girls with flaws who are just trying to get a hold on their life and humans are just imperfect so naturally there will be confusion, hurt, jealousy, and misunderstandings but every relationship felt so unique — in both books — and the drama doesn’t feel melodramatic because the relationships are just so relatable. I love how these friendships really made me reflect on my own and the people in my life. I noticed that I was contemplating different things than what I had in OPEN ROAD SUMMER, too. Each character brought out a different side of the book and a different side of me and I loved being able to recognize that as I read.
“Nothing, not even sadness could be greater than the sum of us.”
Emery Lord is just a pro at sharing natural friendships with her readers. They never feel forced, they always feel strong, and that level of personal connection outside of a romance really helps me as a reader connect with the characters and the book even more. I really feel like I’m peering into someone’s actual life and forget I’m reading a book. I hope for many, many more books with excellent friendships from Emery Lord and I have a feeling we will see just that in the future!
Want to learn more about Emery Lord and THE START OF ME AND YOU? We’ve got the hook-up below!
Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. Open Road Summer is her first novel. Visit her online at www.emerylord.com and on Twitter @emerylord.
// Want more about the books?
// And don’t miss the rest of the blog tour!
- March 30th : Paper Riot
- March 31st : Ex Libris Kate
- April 1st : Lost in Lit
- April 2nd : Nick’s Book Blog
- April 3rd : Book Addict’s Guide
Bloomsbury is graciously providing a copy of THE START OF ME AND YOU for giveaway too! The winner will receive a hardcover copy of the book. US entries only, please. Must be 13 years of ago or older to win.