Welcome to this week's Unraveling Books in which we dual review
Emery Lord's OPEN ROAD SUMMER!
Release Date: April 15th, 2014
Publisher: Walker Childrens
After 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.
Taherah's Review: 4.5 STARS
Light and heartwarming, I immediately enjoyed reading Open Road Summer. Emery Lord did a great job balancing all the aspects of a contemporary novel into this book. There was a stronger connection of friendship more so than other contemps I've read which I love :) and the boy drama didn't overload the girls and change/drift the girls about. And with Dee (AKA Lilah) also having to deal with the fame and how it affected her life for better or worse, this book just showed the impact it had on someone as innocent and sweet as Dee.
Reagan was a totally different character than I originally thought although I have no idea why O.o We see Reagan as she deals with her life and the urge for her to change and stop being this trouble maker. This city tour is way for her to leave everything back home and just chill with her best friend. I'm not exactly sure how to exactly describe Reagan...she's loyal, full of spirit (both bad and good), and she really tries her best to deal with all her bad choices and decisions she made in the past. There's this new sense of determination to do better and become this better person. She doesn't totally leave her personality but she does see stuff in a new perspective ad that develops her character.
I love Dee, Reagan's best friend, so much and how both girls easily connected even through their totally opposite personalities. And it's an interesting twist for the main character to not be Dee as one would expect. We do see how much she stays true to her own self not letting the fame getting to her. She's just that type of person that anyone could be swayed by her charming, bubbly self. It was pretty heartbreaking to see her after the break up with her boyfriend especially when they both love each other. But of course there's complications and I love seeing this slight character development in Dee by the end. Reagan and Dee just fit so well together and I love that their friendship was a main part of this book.
Then we meet Matt. Matt brings in this light and cocky personality that rivals Reagan perfectly. He's the character I would say that has the biggest demon of them all. He's the guy I would go up to and just hug the life out of and he would just totally go along with it and smile after. His cockiness is absolutely hilarious especially when he does it purposely to irritate Reagan. I loved seeing their relationship develop and become into something more. Also his relationship with Dee was awesome, I loved that he was able to cheer her up and be able to be that person she could relate to and rely on. I was so relieved when Caitlyn told me they had a purely platonic relationship.
Caitlyn's Review: 4.5 STARS
Open Road Summer is the perfect books for a mini vacation for yourself. (I say as I avoid studying like its the plague) Its funny and sweet and a really quick read. Emery Lord hits all the amazing aspects of contemporary novels while also brining in a lot more on friendship, which I really love. It is also really interesting that instead of the main character being the pop star its her best friend, Dee (or Lilah). Its a really interesting point of view about how everyone around Dee's lives change along with hers and how they grow and figure out how to deal with her stardom. ALSO! They don't fight over the boy and ruin their friendship. Dee and Reagan are too cool for that, plus Dee has someone else, so fear not! (Taherah was worried about this before she read it)
So Reagan is totally a bad ass and I love it! She is basically the epitome of teenage delinquency in a fluffy contemporary setting and not at all in a scary realistic way. She got arrested and broke her arm (not at the same time) and is really different from what you'd expect the main character of a book titled Open Road Summer to be. Reagan is really sarcastic and doesn't take no sass from no one! She smokes and glares at people but she really is a great and nice person. She really understands Dee and Matt and works her hardest to always be there for Dee, especially since Dee was always there for her. I thought it was really great that right from the start Reagan made it her goal to be the best friend she could be to Dee and to start changing her ways to be an altogether better person. Reagan is really tough and amazing yet sweet in the perfect way.
Now Dee. She is the character you would THINK would be the heroine of this book. She is a pop star, she's super sweet and humble and she just broke up with her boyfriend (whose name I forget) who she still loves and is now taking a tour around the country with her tough as nails best friend and a hot guy pretending to be her boyfriend (kinda). Dee is a really strong person and its great seeing how she deals with her increasing lack of privacy and free time. I love her relationship with Reagan. They seem so completely opposite and that's what makes them such amazing friends. Even though they're different they truly understand each other and its great seeing the way they seem to compliment each other. Oh, and Dee's relationship with Matt is really sweet in a big brother/little sister sort of way that is a big boost she needed to get through the craziness of her tour and the heartache of her break up.
Oh, Matt. Where do I even begin? Well he's hot. And if I'm not mistaken has awesome abs. He doesn't put up with any of Reagan's sarcasm. In fact he is one of the only people that is able to fluster her and throw some sass back at her without dire consequences. He is really cocky and funny and the perfect person to compliment the duo of Reagan and Dee. Its awesome to see him use his cockiness just to irritate Reagan and her just adds so much excitement and awesome sauce to this book, I can't even explain.
Open Road Summer is really, really good. It is sarcastic and funny and sweet and heartwarming and a really, really good distraction. Emery Lord is a genius! (can you believe this is her debut novel?!? I can't wait to see what she writes next!) This road trip/music star contemporary novel is a great read and you should definitely pick it up and read it!