Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Publication Date: April 15th 2014
Genres: Young Adult
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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’ve been hearing great things about Emery Lord’s writing so I’ve been wanting to try her books out for a while now. I got to dig right into this book after I caught up on all of my review books for the month so I was pretty stoked.
This book follows Reagan as she spends the summer with her country superstar best friend Lilah Montgomery on the road for her summer tour. The summer was meant to be a best friends summer because Reagan was making some changes in her life and spending time with Dee, going from city to city was supposed to help her move on from the past she so desperately wants to leave behind. When Matt Finch joins the tour and starts hanging out with them, Reagan didn’t plan on liking him. She didn’t want to like him because he’s supposed to be playing the role of Dee’s boyfriend for the media (even though they’re not together) and she’s not the kind of person that will bring trouble to her best friend. But like Selena Gomez said, the heart wants what it wa-a-a-a-ants. And Reagan and Matt want each other.
I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting but I wasn’t expecting it to be so hard to like Reagan. Holy cow did she get on my nerves for a whole chunk of this book. I get that she’s been burned and treated badly but it was disappointing to see someone who was slut-shamed by others, slut-shame and judge the hell out of girls who approached Matt. Umm, you hated when those girls judged and shamed you at school so why would you do the same to random, means nothing to Matt girls? Reagan was very immature and her personality got on my nerves. I did like that she was super loyal to Dee (aka Lilah Montomery to the masses) but that loyalty didn’t really help with everything else that bothered me about her. Her snap judgments and her stubbornness got on my nerves and that stubbornness was still present at the end of the book, which was frustrating.
Matt was a good love interest. He was cute and swoony and everything that a pop star should be but I didn’t understand his attraction to Reagan. She was so mean and cold to him, not to mention how hot and cold she ran. One minute she was all swoony and all over him and the next, she’s pretending he doesn’t exist and ugh. When they finally do get together, I liked that all of the games Reagan played seemed to fall away.
The story progressed at a nice and steady pace and even though I was frustrated with Reagan, I wasn’t ever bored with the story. I liked getting a behind the scenes look at life on the road for a big summer tour. I liked seeing everything that went into being Lilah Montgomery and to be honest, I really liked and probably would have preferred reading about Dee and Jimmy. Their story was interesting, the big superstar and the guy she left behind…still in love but can’t be together…what happens? When they get back to Nashville and Dee goes to see Jimmy? That hug? Happy sigh. It was good stuff.
Anyway, the book as a whole had a lot that kept me interested but Reagan got on my nerves so I stayed frustrated throughout the entire reading. The whole bit with Matt’s best friend and Reagan, I wasn’t a fan of that. It felt forced and so obvious. I would have liked for something else to be the road block in their friendship and not something so contrived as that. But overall, I’m not mad that I read this book. I will probably read more from this author, I’ve already bought her other book so I’m sure I’ll get to it eventually.
Grade: 2.5 out of 5