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.
About a thousand people recommended this book to me even before its official release date. I preordered it because my book besties know me well, but when it arrived at my house, I was nervous. I mean, the cover is gorgeous, the synopsis really does sound like it was written with my tastes in mind, and it’d been so hyped — to me and across the YA community. What if I hated it?
I didn’t. In fact, I LOVED it. I’d go so far as to say it’s a new favorite. Guys, Open Road Summer is pure magic. Here’s what I adored…
*Reagan. She’s a breath of fresh YA air. So real. So complex. Fantastic arc. I was riveted by her backstory, which played perfectly into the girl she is at the novel’s opening, and the girl she becomes by its close.
*Dee. I was prepared to dislike her because it’s immediately established that she’s perfect (aside from the fact that she’s grouchy when she’s sick and hungry). Perfect or not, she’s also deep and genuine and charming. An awesome BFF.
*Reagan & Dee’s friendship. Author Emery Lord rendered their longstanding relationship beautifully. Their loyalty and love for one another is palpable.
*Matt Finch. *happy sigh* He’s so freaking cute and alluring and just… winsome. Pretty much every scene he shared with Reagan made me grin. They have incredible chemistry, super fun banter, and some of the sweetest kisses I’ve read.
*Jimmy. He’s a fairly minor character (he’s in only in one scene), but his presence sort of looms over Dee throughout, and I love how that’s executed. IWLYF ❤
*Travel. This novel literally takes place on the open road, all through the southern half of the US (my favorite half, incidentally) and exploring the country with Reagan, Dee, and Matt was a blast.
*Music. It’s no secret that I love country music, and it’s no secret that I love Taylor Swift. I get the impression that Dee was perhaps inspired at least in part by her, which is sort of amazing. Also, there are song lyrics sprinkles throughout the novel that are so very lovely.
*Nashville. One of my very favorite cities. We used to live nearby, so I could totally picture Open Road Summer‘s references to Music Row and the Ryman and the gorgeous landscapes outside the city. Makes me want to visit.
*Voice. There wasn’t a moment while reading this story where I was pulled out of the narrative by a word or phrase that didn’t fit. Emery Lord’s voice reads as effortless, and I’m a fan.
Open Road Summer is definitely one of my favorite reads of the year thus far. I highly, highly recommend it.
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