It’s been a year since it happened — when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident on the river. After shutting out the world, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school… and she has a plan and true to her type-A tendencies, she has a plan:
1. Date a boy: Her old crush Ryan Chase is the perfect path to normalcy.
2. Attend parties: With her friends by her side, doable.
3. Join a club: Simple, it’s high school after all.
4. Swim: Terrifying. Yet possible?
Armed with her plan and the endless support of her three best friends, Paige is ready to rejoin the realm of normal high school. 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. Starting over doesn’t always happen smoothly, but the scariest things are usually the most difficult. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live and the love she deserves to feel?
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.
First Sentence: Of all the places to have something memorable happen to you, Oakhurst, Indiana, had to be one of the worse.
Before The Start of Me and You, I haven’t read any of Emery Lord’s books before. Yes, I do have Open Road Summer in my bookshelves and yes, Emery Lord was super cool and awesome when I met her (we are totally bringing denim jackets back in style), but I just haven’t had the time to read any of her books yet. Now that I’ve read The Start of Me and You, I can definitely say that I’m pushing up Open Road Summer wayyy higher on my to be read list. Guys, The Start of Me and You is just SO good! I strongly recommend you pick up the book when it hits shelves and here’s why.
“Did you intentionally inhale the scent of high school?” Kayleigh asked, laughing.
I shrugged. “I know it’s not a good smell, but it smells like…possibility.”
“Possibility has a smell?” Morgan asked, teasing me. “What else does? Happiness?” (ARC 25)
First of all, the friendships. I constantly admired and adored Paige’s friendship with Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh – they were always there for each other, supported one another, and got each other out of trouble when they needed it, which is exactly what friendships should be. Then Emery Lord adds Ryan and Max into the mix, turning their group into a boy and girl group, but nothing has changed – the awesomeness is still there. I do wish that all the characters in The Start of Me and You was real so I can join their group, be friends with them, and bask in all their awesomeness.
And don’t get me started on the romance. The romance in The Start of Me and You was a perfectly slow-burn romance that constantly had me wanting more, even after that perfect ending. What also made me happy was that The Start of Me and You didn’t focus entirely on the romance, but also on the friendships and Paige’s goals.
“I like your friends,” Max announced.
I eyed Max. “Um. I like my friends too.”
He rolled his eyes at me. “No, I mean…I guess I’m surprised by how much I like being around a group of girls.”
“Yes. That is shocking, teenage boy,” I said, and Max laughed. (ARC 155)
The Start of Me and You also made me tear up, something that I didn’t expect to happen at all. I mean, nothing in the synopsis of The Start of Me and You hinted that I would cry. When I first felt the tears coming, I was all like WAIT WHAT. WHY AM I CRYING?! I NEVER THOUGHT THIS BOOK WOULD MAKE ME CRY AT ALL AND NOOOO STOP CRYING KELLY. Nevertheless, I still felt the tears coming. Thank goodness the guy across the subway didn’t notice all the tears in my eyes that I “casually” brushed away.
Overall, I want more. Believe or not, I am hoping for a sequel to The Start of Me and You, or at the very least, a companion novel, since there is this one thing Emery Lord left not fully explored. Anyways, there is absolutely no doubt that I’ll recommend The Start of Me and You to EVERYONE and ANYONE. I mean, who wouldn’t be interested in a book with great friendships, a fantastic romance, and just everything you’ll ever want in a book?