Friday, 18 July 2014
Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker and Company
Format: Hardcover / eBook
Released: April 15th, 2014
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.
Open Road Summer is Emery Lord's debut novel and is the perfect read for warm, sunny days. It's like Nashville in book form, full of music, tour stops and relationships. It's exactly what I needed and I loved it!
Reagan O'Neill and Dee Montgomery have been best friends forever, even though Dee is a rising star in the country music world. After they each go through bad break-ups, they embark on Dee's huge music tour stopping at twenty-four cities throughout the summer. Enter Matt Finch, ex member of the Finch Four and perhaps the only person who can break through Reagan's tough exterior. This summer will change everything and maybe that's just what Reagan and Dee need...
Give me any book about music and chances are I'll automatically love it. Open Road Summer encompasses all my favourite parts of YA contemporary and puts them into one addictive story. There's music, friendship, broken hearts and hot boys. Even though I love Matt Finch (he's lovely), my favourite part of the book is the friendship between Reagan and Dee. Neither girl has everything figured out and they need each other more than they need any boy. Reagan is headstrong and stubborn while Dee is more trusting of others and carrying a lot of responsibility on her young shoulders. They have an unwavering trust between them, a bond that can't be broken by anything, be it romances or lies. Whatever is thrown at them gets thrown right back, and they're like a powerful force that sticks together no matter what.
Matt Finch is a huge part of this book, joining the tour and setting his sights on Reagan. He's thoughtful, kind, respectful and also a little bit broken. His life has irrevocably changed, and he's trying to make sense of it all again. Music is his outlet thanks to his lyrics, but Reagan is the person who makes him happy again, makes him see that there's still a point to everything. I won't say how their burgeoning relationship ends up, but it's worth finding out for yourself.
The whole music side of Open Road Summer fascinated me. Touring and being part of something that huge must be terrifying, and all the behind the scenes politics that goes on is frightening. Dee always has to look and behave a certain way, she can't be seen having normal teenage fun and the tabloids print lies about her all the time. It's a life I wouldn't ever want, but it's interesting all the same - I have a new respect for anyone in the public eye and what they endure on a daily basis.
Open Road Summer is a fantastic contemporary novel, perfect for the upcoming summer months. Emery Lord has crafted a believable, honest portrayal of what it means to be a teenager in a high-profile life and how important good friends really are. I'm glad I bought this one and I can't wait to see what Emery Lord writes next - I hope it's as good as this!