Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Review: Open Road Summer

Open Road SummerTitle/ Author:  Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher/ Year:  Walker, 2014.
How I Read It:  Hardback (Library)
Why I Read It:  I have gotten multiple recommendations and the reviews were outstanding.  I just had to read it.
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

This is a stand alone novel and the first of many books (I hope) by this author & this was a great surprise by how much I was entralled.

Summary from Goodreads:  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.
I absolutely adored this book and so happy because now I get what the buzz is about this book.  There's so many aspects to it that I loved and it certainly flowed nicely as I was reading.  I was captivated throughout the book and there was no stopping me.  I've always said that when it's a good book it will make your heart melt, but when you get that rollercoaster feeling, the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, you know it's a great book.  After reading it, I told my friends immediately to drop what they're doing and read the freaking book.

If you are looking for a feel good book that's slightly different from your typical contemporary but still has a swoony boy who will steal your heart, this is the book for you.  I absolutely enjoyed it from cover to cover and appreciated all the different themes throughout the book, like the value of friendship, love, hardships of fame, and so much more.  Maybe the idea of roadtrip across the country because your best friend is a country popstar isn't quite relatable, but the issues that the main characters face are very relateable.

The main characters all had unique personalities and their own issues that they constantly struggle with, and I appreciated that diversity.  I found myself relateable to each character in a way, but Reagan was definitely similar to me, attitude and mindset wise.  She's the kind of person who won't take crap from anyone and isn't afraid to playfully tease and torment anyone.  She makes fun of people to show affection, which is exactly how I am with my friends.  They act insulted by it, but they just insult me back but we're pretty much the best of friends.  Another thing that defines Reagan is her fear of putting her trust in someone or something.  She's been hurt before in the past by her ex-boyfriend, and her mother leaving, and of course her father marrying another woman who she can't really seem to get along with.  Dee is pretty much her family, and while their personalities are different, they're a perfect match.  

Dee is quirky and friendly and is and incredibly strong character.  She and her ex-boyfriend Jimmy broke up because he didn't want to be involved in the fame, and while they still love each other, Dee is heartbroken over it.  Just listen to all her songs about him.  But though tabloids and paparazzi seek to find a way to ruin her, she keeps her head up.  I sympathize with Dee, because she really can't do anything she wants without having to be Lilah Montgomery to someone else.  She can't live a normal life.  Now I understand Miley Stewart's dilemma.  Regardless of it all, she puts her family and the people she love before her, and she refuses to let the fame get to her head or the fame destroy her.

Then we have Matt Finch.  MATT FREAKING FINCH.  If you just look at my goodreads updates for this book, you would probably laugh:

The majority of those updates are about Matt Finch.  He's a character that has so much hidden depth to him that you just can't help but love him.  One of the things I love about him is that while he's not good with showing people how he feels about them, he sure knows how to put his feelings into a song.  While he's been famous since childhood, he doesn't ever let that get to his head.  He's a strong independent character and it was so great to see his development throughout the book.  I loved his relationships with Dee and Reagan:  the brotherly/sisterly relationship & the romantic kind.  Regardless of the consequences, he couldn't help his feelings for Reagan and I don't think she could have helped it either.  In a way they're good for each other, no matter how messed up they both were or how much secondhand embarrassment I felt.

What I really enjoyed is that it didnt' have the cliche ending I was expecting, and I honestly loved it.  It ended the way I think it should have and now that I have had a few days to reflect, there's no doubt that there could not have been a better end for the book.  Not only was the plot just perfection, but the writing was incredible.  The introduction and delivery of the different themes was absolute perfection.  Anyone who reads this book is sure to be satisfied and feel lifted off their feet.  Nothing was overdone; it was the perfect blend of anything and everything.  I really enjoyed this book and it demands to be read.


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