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Open Road Summer [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...
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Open Road Summer

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Overview

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.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
02/03/2014
Reagan and Dee have been friends since they were young, and although their lives are very different, they’re still close at 17. Dee, known to her fans as Lilah, is a country music star with a “squeaky-clean” reputation. Reagan may get good grades, but she dresses like a bad girl, drinks, and has an arm in a cast from a confrontation with the boyfriend she met while doing community service. When Dee needs support after splitting with her longtime boyfriend, she invites Reagan on tour; that’s where Reagan meets Matt, a former teen sensation who is Dee’s opening act. The two plot strands—the stresses of Dee’s love life, celebrity, and tabloid travails vs. Reagan’s struggle to accept her past and shape her future—aren’t always equally effective; for one thing, it’s hard to believe a photo of a kiss (in which Dee appears to be, but isn’t actually, topless) would be so shocking in today’s Miley Cyrus world. Nevertheless, Reagan’s tough, wised-up voice and her burgeoning romance with Matt are the engines that keep Lord’s engaging debut moving along. Ages 12–up. Agent: Taylor Martindale, Full Circle Literary. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Reagan’s tough, wised-up voice and her burgeoning romance with Matt are the engines that keep Lord’s engaging debut moving along." Publishers Weekly

"Lord successfully adapts classic elements of adult romance novels into a love story gentle enough for younger readers." Kirkus Reviews

"Lord’s debut provides an insightful take on friendship, romance, and celebrity culture." Booklist

Children's Literature - Kristi Bernard
Reagan O’Neill is a typical teenage girl with a best friend that she has had since the days they wore braces. Her best friend, Deliah Montgomery or Dee, is not a normal best friend. Dee is a famous country singer who is gearing up for a summer tour. When Dee invites Reagan to join her, the two friends are a support network for each other. Dee has a crazy life since her hit song sent her and her career soaring. She also has to deal with the tabloids and her image is on the line. Reagan needs this opportunity to get a new start for herself. She was abandoned by her mother and left with a drunk father Left alone most of the time she trusted no one except Dee. But that does not mean the tour will be easy. Friendships can sometimes have a few bumps especially when it comes to boys. The characters are easy to relate to, loyal and seemingly very realistic in nature. The story is not just about romance, it also taps into friendships and family. Lord does a great job of showing the parallel between the two female characters. The backdrop of scenery and the life of a music star engages readers with all five senses. Readers, parents and teachers will approve. Reviewer: Kristi Bernard; Ages 12 up.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Ed Goldberg
Rising country star seventeen-year-old Lilah Montgomery is on her summer tour and takes her best friend, bad-girl Reagan O’Neill, with her. Reagan, coming off bad relationships, has resolved to reform starting this summer. When the tabloids print a photo of Lilah and her ex-boyfriend with hints of her being pregnant, her good-girl image is tarnished. Her publicist signs Matt Finch as an opening act, replacing the local talents, hoping to divert media attention with speculation that Lilah and Matt are a couple. Matt, in a brother band, the Finch Four, several years earlier, is currently under the radar. His good looks and squeaky clean image are enough to start new rumors. The only problem: no matter how much Reagan tries not to, she is falling for Matt and vice versa. Can she have a relationship with a “good” guy? If the media finds out, how will that impact Lilah? Open Road Summer, Lord’s debut novel, is truly fun chick-lit. Lilah, Reagan, and Matt are characters that readers will immediately like. Lilah’s pain at leaving her ex-boyfriend, who let her go to follow her dream, will pain readers as well. Reagan’s uncertainty about life and love will resonate with teenage girls, whether “good” or “bad.” Readers will want Matt’s and Reagan’s relationship to thrive. Lord also provides a realistic look at the lengths paparazzi and the media will go to invade a star’s privacy. Since Open Road Summer is due out in April, this reviewer recommends it as a well written beach read. Reviewer: Ed Goldberg; Ages 12 to 18.
Voya Reviews, April 2014 (Vol. 36, No. 1) - Rachelle David
A quick and silly read, this love story is already overdone. There is some witty dialogue but it is predictable and shallow. There is not much depth to the characters. Even the main character Reagan, who changes her life around, is simple. The novel does provide an insight into the country music industry, though it focuses more on relationships between the characters. There are plenty of similar novels and most are better written than this one. Reviewer: Rachelle David, Teen Reviewer; Ages 12 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-12
Reagan joins her best friend Delilah's summer concert tour to escape some poor decisions and break some bad habits, finding romance and complication instead. When Reagan finds herself attracted to soulful musician Matt, romance seems inevitable—but the record company has hired him to pose as Delilah's wholesome boyfriend. Reagan and Matt are both good-hearted characters suffering from emotional wounds. A victim of dating violence (described dramatically but not graphically in flashback), Reagan finds curbing her reckless impulses surprisingly difficult. Matt is reeling from his mother's death and struggling to define himself as a person and artist after the demise of his famous band. Luckily, both have the classic supportive friend in Delilah, who shores them up emotionally and encourages their romance—even as she struggles with the pressures of her increasing fame. These characters are predictable, and the happily-ever-after ending is really never in doubt, but romance fans will undoubtedly still enjoy the developing relationships. Lord also deserves credit for plausibly explaining the lack of adult supervision: Their chaperone, Delilah's 26-year-old aunt, is distracted by her involvement with a new tour boyfriend. Even without adult supervision, Reagan and Matt's physical relationship is passionate but, refreshingly, restrained. Lord successfully adapts classic elements of adult romance novels into a love story gentle enough for younger readers. (Romance. 12-18)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802736116
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 4/15/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 38,201
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

EMERY LORD lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. Open Road Summer is her first novel.
emerylord.com
Twitter: @emlord1
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 13 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 1, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I wanted to read Open Road summer because it sounds like a g

    I wanted to read Open Road summer because it sounds like a great book for summer, and even though it is just now spring in US, I am longing for the warmer days, and it sounded like this book would be perfect. I was hoping for a good mixture of light and heavy, friendship and romance, and the wonderful cover for the book also drew my attention.
    You got a sense of the characters pretty quickly in Open Road Summer, Reaghan has been in some trouble, and made some bad choices, and Dee with stage name Lilah is the shy inside sweet girl that fame hasn't changed yet. They balance each other out, and while they have a long standing friendship, we clearly see how it plays out for them. The support and how they are just there together is wonderful to read about. I loved the focus on their friendship, how they are there for each other no matter what and they can transition from deep and meaningful to hilarious like zipping one in a suitcase in seconds flat.
    I am a hit or miss with roadtrip stories, as well as stories with the musician as main character or romance interest, but the combos in this one worked out for me and avoided some of the cliches and troupes that usually can turn me against them.
    Matt is the romantic interest, and I felt the attraction and chemistry between him and Reaghan right away. I think he found it refreshing that she told it like it was and was more interested in her friendship with Dee than being a fangirl over him. Matt is a genuine good guy, and he's funny, takes Reaghan's sarcasm and the walls she has built up around herself to keep from being hurt again. At first they have to keep everything secret because Matt and Lilah are "dating" in the eyes of the public and paparazzi because they twisted a picture and it was taking down Lilah's clean and wholesome image, and a relationship could make that from taking over publicity. It gives an interesting look into the life of a celebrity, how their lives can be twisted and as a consumer it is just easy to believe what we are fed. It also shows the fragility at times of life in general, how one seemingly inconsequential choice can make such huge waves, but also the strength of human spirit to overcome what keeps being thrown at us.
    Matt and Reaghan both have some hard things in the past and it is nice to see them finally let down some walls and let each other in.
    Matt and Dee have this sibling type relationship, they tease each other, are comfortable with one another, and they manage to use their long time friendship to help bolster the impression of their relationship to the media. But it is hurting Reaghan knowing that her and Matt share something. But she struggles a lot with the effect it would have on her friendship and the perception of her best friend, and I so appreciate that this is a huge thing for her, and she has learned from her past and is trying to make better choices and decisions. It was good to know that Dee has her own love interest at home, and that thread makes the story even more layered. Even though Dee and Jimmy had broken up because he thought it was better for her career, we see that Dee has held onto her deep feeling for him, and she loves that he saw her before she became a star and was an awkward and gangly girl instead of poised and together country singer.
    The ending was well done. It wrapped things up well for the characters but it still kept a realistic ending. There were hopes and dreams yet to be fulfilled but that is life for a teen. I like that it gave a glimpse of what could be for the characters but also wrapping up the themes and threads from this one. This turned out to be just the read I needed, a great balance of light with emotions, and a warm summer read.

    Bottom Line: Open Road Summer manages the perfect blending of light and fun, flirty to serious romance, strength and beauty of friendship and all that I hoped it would be.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Read it straight through in one sitting. Can't wait for her next

    Read it straight through in one sitting. Can't wait for her next book!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Friendship, romance, travel, and music...this book has all of th

    Friendship, romance, travel, and music...this book has all of this plus absolutely lovely writing. A must read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Open Road Summer was recommended to me countless times by people

    Open Road Summer was recommended to me countless times by people who know I love contemporary books. Also I find out this is a road trip book.. with a music theme? and is about the best friend of the super star? can this book get any better? I loved that it isn't about the star, and the girls actually have a very caring and sweet relationship. The main protagonist, Reagan, is far from perfect. She had multiple brushes with the law, she, on purpose, wears suggestive clothes, and pretty much attracts any trouble within a 50 mile radius. However, she's smart, a great friend, and so caring to everyone she loves (limited to her best friend, Lilah, and her dad). One thing I need to include in this review is how Lilah's mom treated Reagan. She was such a motherly figure, didn't judge Raegan for her issues, and was just so sweet, a total 180 turn from the expected cliche plot route. I have started to really appreciate books that try to keep it original, realistic, and just unique. I know everyone loves Matt Finch and find him dreamy and swoon over the romance with him and Raegan, and I do, I really did love it, but that's not what I mostly loved about this book. The friendship just really got to me and Raegan's personal problems and her trying to deal with them. Matt is cute, definitely a great love interest and I think contemporary fans's swoon meter will sky rocket. But this book is so much more than the romance, and I think contemporary books nowadays aren't just fluff and I am loving the direction these authors, including Lord, are taking. I definitely recommend Open Road Summer, because it is a fantastic book that has everything, the friendship, romance, fluff, emotional development, and relatable and realistic characters and plot. I am very excited for Lord's upcoming book! 

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  • Posted September 2, 2014

    I was really excited for the romance in this book, but although

    I was really excited for the romance in this book, but although I loved that too - and want to do ungodly things to Matt Finch - the real magic of OPEN ROAD SUMMER is in the friendship between Dee and Reagan, two girls who've been through everything together and act as each other's anchors during that most tumultuous point in adolescence when you're still a kid but suddenly have to make grown-up decisions about the future, what you want out of it, and who you want in it. I loved watching them travel together and support each other and KNOW each other, and it was exactly the sort of thing I feel has been far too rare in YA. It makes me wish I had a teen daughter to give it to so I can say "THIS - a friend this great and a significant other who's nice, caring, and makes you laugh - this is what I want for you out of life."

    Matt was definitely my other favorite thing about this book. He's the textbook perfect book boyfriend - nice, talented, and funny - but he places a strong emphasis on friends and family, too, something I feel we don't get to see as much in love interests. He wears his heart on his sleeve - and in his songs - and it's really nice to watch him learn and grow along with the girls.

    So, what I'm saying is: Buy it. Read it. Love it.

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  • Posted August 8, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Proof that this book is utterly amazing: I stayed up until 1 a.m

    Proof that this book is utterly amazing: I stayed up until 1 a.m. reading “Open Road Summer” on the night before an early morning English test (I still got an A, in case you were wondering).

    I’m not sure if I have any coherent thoughts right now. There are just so many things that made me love “Open Road Summer.”

    Hmmm…

    I guess I want to start by talking about Reagan, the narrator of “Open Road Summer.” The first thing that really stuck out to me was Reagan’s sharp wit and self-destructive behavior.


    "My list of offenses runs long, and I’m not proud of any of them—except maybe the time I outran a cop while wearing stilettos. But things changed in April, and so did I. I’m trying to get my act together, but I can’t be someone I’m not. I still flirt with boys to get what I want, and I still crave the occasional cigarette. I’m just not as bad as I used to be."


    Right off the bat, I started finding similarities between Reagan and characters like Leah Jones (“Such a Rush”) and Bailey Mayfield (“Dirty Little Secret”). That’s definitely not a bad thing. Jennifer Echols is one of my favorite contemporary authors, and her main characters are typically strong, opinionated female.

    I really liked that Reagan acknowledged that she needed to change and tried restrain herself from doing things she’d regret, like hooking up with random guys and drinking more than one glass of champagne at an after-party.

    The second thing that stuck out was Reagan’s passion for photography and her dream of becoming a photojournalist. I’m an aspiring journalist, and I love photography, so the little mentions of photography interspersed throughout the plot were really interesting to me. Besides, I like it when main characters have a passion for something other than the love interest.

    After reading this paragraph, I felt like shouting, “That’s exactly how I feel!”


    I see it all through the lens of my camera—the flurry of movement, the venue staff in black T-shirts, giving orders into their headsets. As I take it all in, my mind weighs the texture, the composition, the possibility of each changing scene, and I struggle to hold back, to keep my finger from pressing too soon. That’s my biggest flaw as a photographer. I’m impatient—trigger-happy. I want the shot now, now, now, click, click, click, and if I could just wait a second more, the moment would really flourish.


    I loved the dynamic between Reagan and Dee (aka superstar Lilah Montgomery). Despite being total opposites (Dee is the role model of pre-teens across the nation, and Reagan is the poster-child for what mothers fear their little girls will become), they never judge each other and they’re there for each other no matter what. They’re more than best friends; they’re sisters by everything but blood, and nothing can wreck the bond they share.

    Naturally, Reagan would do anything for Dee. So, even though her feeling for Matt are undeniable—she’s the only one trying and failing to deny it—and mutual, she has to restrain herself. “Why?” you ask. Because Matt is posing as Dee’s boyfriend to get good publicity in order to fix a scandal that could ruin Dee’s career and crush her dreams.

    Matt is a good guy, a huge contrast to Reagan’s bad, but they’ve both know what it’s like to be hurt. They complement each other perfectly. Matt gives Reagan a reason to stop her self-destruction. And Reagan makes Matt want to be himself, not the guy that everyone expects him to be.


    The hurt in his voice is so real that I can feel it settle in next to my own, somewhere in that aching part of my chest. Seeing this piece of Matt makes me want to be near him—to see his scars up close and find out if he’s as broken as me.
    That’s ridiculous, of course. But more than ever, I feel a craving—stronger than the dull buzz of nicotine or the rush of a fourth beer. I’m hungry for newness, a fresh start, a do-over. I want to reach back into my history with a grade-school pink eraser, scrubbing away my decisions like mistakes on a math test. Too bad I drew my mistakes in ink.


    The chemistry between them is obvious from the start. There’s plenty of flirting and pushing boundaries, and the anticipation of the moment when they finally realize that they’re perfect for each other drove me crazy.Open Road Summer banner


    Bottom Line
    “Open Road Summer” has a bit of everything. It’s a fun story with two characters that basically define the term best friends. It’s a sweet romance about two characters that bring out the best in each other. And, most of all, it’s a story about letting go, healing and being the person you want to be. Plus, it has photography.

    I’d recommend this book to almost everyone. The plot is fun and engaging, the main character is awesome and there’s plenty to swoon about.

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  • Posted June 25, 2014

    4.5 STARS OF AWESOME I was super excited that this book came up

    4.5 STARS OF AWESOME

    I was super excited that this book came up for my random read.  I have been wanting to read it for a while.  It was so, so good.  




    Dee (aka Lilah Montgomery) is a teenage super star.  Reagan is her troubled best friend.  Reagan is trying to get away from her life and make better choices when Dee invites her along for her summer tour.  Dee is a sweet girl, that has everything she thought she wanted.  She is a star, and she is going on her first tour as the headliner and wants her best friend by her side.  Reagan gladly accepts and goes along for the ride.  Reagan is a photographer, and tells her father that she would use the time to add to her portfolio.  




    Dee is in love with Jimmy Collier, but he wants a "normal" life and doesn't want to hold Dee back, so he breaks up with her.  She is heart broken and cannot seem to get over it.  




    When a picture of Dee is leaked of her that shows her kissing her ex-boyfriend her team goes into repair mode.  They add Matt Finch as a opener.  Then everything gets more complicated.




    I love Matt.  He is just and all around nice guy who has gone though a really hard time.  He use to be in a band with his brothers, but is now going trying out on his own and Dee's offer helps him achieve this goal.




    Dee is that friend that everyone should have.  Loyal, kind and loves her friend unconditionally.  Dee is the kind of friend every parent hopes their child has.  I liked Reagan.  I feel kind of bad for her.  Yes, I say kind of bad.  When you make stupid choices, you cannot expect things to go all peachy.  Seriously.  I do like that she finally sees the fault in her ways, and is trying to make her life better.




    Okay, now what I don't like.  I really did like this book, don't get me wrong...but there are just a few things.  I really do not like reading about teenagers taking on such serious relationships.  I know there are a lot of teenagers out there that can have mature relationships, but I still don't like it.  I just think its so unrealistic.  I do not like the thought of teenagers going into stardom.  I know it happens, but I don't usually see good things happen when it does.  I just think the story would have been even better for me if they were just a smidgen older.




    Now, having said all of this, I still loved the book.  It made me happy, and sad.  When Reagan is betrayed (or so she thinks) again, my heart broke for her.  I cried.  Like little girl cry.  Which made me crazy because she was a young girl, and she should not be going through so much heart ache.  




    I could not put this book down.  I read a few pages the other day, and knew right away that it was going to be one I couldn't put down.  SO, I put it down for a day, and then picked it up last night.  When I say I couldn't put it down, I am not kidding.  I started it about midnight, and didn't go to bed until 5:30 a.m.  YES!!!  5:30 AM.  I could not put it down.  I love, love, love when books draw me in like this :).




    Source:  I bought this book for myself on Amazon.  I am not affiliated with Amazon in any way.  I was not compensated for my review.  These are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.

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  • Posted May 18, 2014

    Open Road Summer with its upbeat beginning captivated me right a

    Open Road Summer with its upbeat beginning captivated me right away. Reagan O'Neill, in an attempt to put her troubled, wild-child past behind her, accompanies her best friend, singer Lilah Montgomery, on her twenty-four-city summer tour. Unfortunately bad publicity brings Matt Finch in as opening act and fake boyfriend for Lilah, and Reagan's resolve to stay out of trouble is tested.

    I absolutely loved the close friendship between Lilah, or Dee as she is known to her friends, and Reagan. Dee, who has to recover from a painful break up while dealing with bad publicity, as well as the normal ups and downs of a busy tour, certainly needs Reagan by her side. 

    Reagan has a criminal record and her own bad relationship to put behind her. Although she is the perfect best friend to Dee, she is rather hateful towards any girl who as much as dare to look at Matt Finch. Reagan may be determined to put her drinking, smoking, criminal past behind her but she is still in the habit of hitting on every good looking boy that crosses her path. In the end I really don't think she deserves to get together with a good, kind guy like Matt Finch.

    Despite the lively start of this novel, the story slows down to a crawl towards the middle as a great deal of time is spent on Reagan's romantic interludes with Matt and their discussions about their respective pasts. 

    Although Open Road Summer was a bit heavy on the romance and coming-to-terms-with-the-past side for my taste, I still found it a relaxing and heartwarming read. (Ellen Fritz)

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2014

    I really kind of loved this book. It was such a joy to read. Thi

    I really kind of loved this book. It was such a joy to read. This is one of those books that really makes me frustrated with the speed at which I read. I’m definitely on the slower side when it comes to reading speeds. It took me several days to get through this book, but that wasn’t because I didn’t want to read it. I read every chance I got! I would have devoured this book in one sitting, if possible.

    I fell in love with Reagan instantly. I loved her snarkiness, her edge, and her “whatever” attitude. She was one of those characters that some may find annoying, negative, even frustrating at times. To me, that just makes a really great character. I’m a fan of flawed, edgy, and at times somewhat annoying characters. So Reagan and I hit it off immediately. :)

    Dee was simply adorable. A goodhearted country singer, always seeing the best in people and trying to do what’s best for everyone. She was so super sweet. I could picture her perfectly, with her cute sense of style, and her always smiling face. The story line between Dee and Jimmy was so sweet and really broke my heart at times.

    Then there was Matt. He was nothing like I thought he would be, which is a really good thing!! I was expecting an arrogant, stuck-up rock star, and instead I got a super caring and fun pretty normal guy. I have to admit his song writing was a bit cheesy and silly at times, but I still loved him. :)

    This story was so fun!! First of all, can I just say ROAD TRIP!!! Who doesn’t love a road trip book?! :D On top of that, a summer on a tour bus with teenage singers… it was just full of fun!!

    Wonderful story. Perfectly flawed characters. This story had a smooth flow, ups and downs, smiles and tears. All aspects of this story were bundled together in the perfect little summer read package. I’m so excited to see what Emery Lord comes out with next. Such a fantastic debut!

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  • Posted April 23, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Part of what drew me to this book was the premise. A road trip d

    Part of what drew me to this book was the premise. A road trip during the summer while touring with "the band" with a possible romance was like apple pie a la mode, too good to resist. For it's part, the book delivered what it promised and more. The other draw was the gorgeous cover. I really hoped I enjoyed the book as much as other bloggers and reviewers did.




    I fell for Reagan, Matt, and Lilah as they toured city after city. I was beyond appalled by some of the things that happened to Lilah and what she went through. I understand that the entertainment industry is built on image and all, but I still couldn't stomach what I saw. If that's what being a celebrity is like, I'll let someone else have it and never wish for it again. I loved Reagan for her fierceness and protectiveness of Lilah. Reagan applied that same ferocity to protecting her heart from anyone who seemed like it might be a threat. Reagan was that cool chick I wanted to be friends with when I was in high school. One of my favorite parts of the book is where it's mentioned how Reagan and Lilah met and became friends and how they see each other. I think plainly stated, Matt simply stole my heart. He was steadfast, willing to prove it, and talented.




    Emery Lord's story features all of its characters in phases of discovery. Reagan, Matt, and Lilah are learning how to deal with their new realities and where they want to go from there. Their journey is a mix of highs and lows that will keep you turning page after page. I can't wait for Emery Lord's next book. She's set the bar really high with this fantastic book. If you're looking for a book that will keep you entertained now that summer is fast approaching, you can't go wrong with this one. I laughed, cried, and hooted with joy as I read this book and I know you will too. If you're still undecided, all you need to read is the first couple of pages and all your doubts will dissipate.

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  • Posted April 19, 2014

    4.5/5 stars I was first drawn to this book by the gorgeous cov

    4.5/5 stars

    I was first drawn to this book by the gorgeous cover. I mean... look at it. It's GORGEOUS. I think this is one I'll need to add to my shelves so I can stare at it. But as we all know- we shouldn't judge a book by its cover, right? Not here. You can totally judge. What's inside this book is as beautiful as the outside. This is the ultimate summer read in my opinion. Road tripping with your bestie, cute boys, falling in love, heartache- it definitely makes for a summer read! Being a huge music lover myself, I loved that this took place on a musical tour and that we were able to see the impact music has on all of the characters.

    Pacing: I loved the way the book came together and I was engaged from start to finish. Being on tour was a lot of fun, as I liked seeing everything play out in the different cities, as well as how Reagan and Dee handled obstacles that were thrown at them. I felt the pacing of the romance was perfect- it wasn't rushed by any means, and I felt that was really important to the development of the story. I was afraid of a love triangle at first, with two young girls and one sweet, good looking boy. That is not the case however, so I was really happy Lord didn't go in that direction.

    Storyline: As I said, I love books about music, and I used to love reading fanfiction about a certain boyband and being on tour, so this was right up my alley. I like the idea of best friends going out on tour together for the summer. It must be extremely lonely being a teenager and being whisked to all of these places, doing what you love, but never setting down roots. Reagan and Lilah (Dee)'s friendship is such an integral part of this novel and I think Dee needed Reagan with her as much as Reagan needed to get away from the mess of her life at home. Dee is a growing country superstar and is still hurting over a breakup with her long term boyfriend. Her best friend Reagan joins her for her summer tour and together the girls are planning on spending quality time together and not letting their pasts haunt them. However, things don't go exactly as planned, and now Dee needs to handle some bad press to keep her good, sweet girl image untainted. The solution? Bring in a cute, boy next door type and let the press make their own assumptions about their relationship to get the heat off the bad stuff. Reagan is determined not to swoon and fall all over Matt Finch, but the more she gets to know him, the more she realizes her heart isn't as safe as she once thought. I love that this story has it all- a great solid friendship between two girls, a slow building romance full of teasing and fun, and watching them navigate the waters of fame, heartache, misunderstandings, and love.

    Characters: I'm going to start off by talking about Matt. I absolutely adored him. Sure, he did some things that pissed me off a bit, but overall he is a GOOD guy. He joins the tour to help with Dee's negative press and the goal is to let fans see them hanging out, spending time together and take the heat off the picture that's surfaced of Dee and her ex-boyfriend, Jimmy. Matt and Dee knew each other previously, so the two are already friends, which really helps make the situation less awkward. I loved his and Reagan's interactions. He isn't deterred by the fact she has steel walls around her heart and befriends her anyway. Matt understands pain and loss and that is part of what gets Reagan to open up to him. He really likes her, but he doesn't push her into a relationship with him. I really felt it happened naturally and had it happened too fast, it probably would have just been a casual hookup. Matt isn't perfect, though. He gets himself into a pickle at the end and while I didn't believe what my eyes (or Reagan) were telling me, I was still shaking my head because he didn't see it coming. Guys really are clueless. As for making Reagan feel the way he did while interacting with another individual, I don't think it was intentional, but it still hurt her nonetheless.

    For as tough as Reagan comes across, she is also very vulnerable underneath that hard exterior. She has been in trouble and making bad decisions for some time now, but it all came to a head and had to deal with some serious consequences. Reagan has not known stability in her life- her mom abandoned her and her father at a young age, her father drank too much, and now she has a stepmother who she really can't stand. Getting away from everything is the one thing Reagan desperately needs at this point. She needs to learn how to stand on her own and realize her own self-worth. Matt and Dee both play a large role in this, but ultimately it's Reagan who has to make her own choices. I was a little irritated with Reagan over what happened with the whole Matt thing towards the end. I thought she was being ridiculous and it was unfair of her to make that judgment call about him, when he'd never done anything to prove himself any different that the guy she knew. She has some self-confidence issues, which I get, but running away is not the answer.

    Reagan is incredibly loyal, however. Her friendship with Dee is such a special one and she really would do anything for her best friend. Dee is one of those kind, sweet people who sees the good in everyone and doesn't let the evil and wrongness of the world taint her personality. She has always believed in Reagan, but she doesn't push her either. She needs her best friend with her, as she is still hurting over her breakup with her boyfriend Jimmy. You were all ready to hate Jimmy's guts for hurting such a sweet girl, but really he was letting her go to pursue her dreams and didn't want to be the one at home holding her back. Dee is definitely the more emotional one of the two, and she is very empathetic to others. She balances out Reagan's wild side with her calm one and together the two just have one of those friendships that will endure anything.

    Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one. It made me long for the freedom of summer and made me miss my own best friend like crazy. The romance was incredibly well-done, and I loved the importance of Matt's lyrics and how significant they were. Emery did an excellent job of making the reader feel as if they were along for the ride and while it may not have always been smooth- it was worth the journey.


    “If we could capture feelings like we capture pictures, none of us would ever leave our rooms. It would be so tempting to inhabit the good moments over and over again. But I don't want to be the kind of person who lives backwardly, who memorializes moments before she's finished living in them. So I plant my feet here on this hillside beside a boy who is undoing me, and I kiss him back like I mean it. And, God help me, with the sky wrapped around us in every direction, I do mean it.”

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  • Posted April 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    If you're ready to beat away the winter doldrums with books abou

    If you're ready to beat away the winter doldrums with books about road trips, music and summer love, look no further than Open Road Summer. I loved absolutely everything about this book – from the gorgeous cover to the very last line. I had high hopes for this one, had heard nothing but positive feedback from others who read it before me and I loved it even more than I hoped I would when I first set eyes on that amazing cover.




    Reagan wasn't the easiest character to like at first, if I'm being honest. She's a little rough around the edges and hasn't had the easiest life. Her mom left when she was young. Her dad is a recovering alcoholic who is getting ready to marry his new girlfriend who Reagan isn't a huge fan of. She's prone to destructive behavior – especially with guys – and has been in and out of trouble recently. She loves to make an impression. She's a photographer (we have that in common) and I loved hearing her talk about her photos. A few chapters into this book, I connected with Reagan. I started to see her behaviors for what they truly were: a defense mechanism to keep from getting hurt. If you don't let people in, you won't be destroyed when they disappoint you. But she was a good friend and I appreciated her snark and honesty. Her inner dialogue was quite amusing at times. 




    Reagan's best friend Dee (aka Lilah Montgomery) is a rising country star and about as far opposite Reagan as you can get. She's a teen country idol; a good girl who is going through a painful breakup. Dee and Reagan have been friends forever. They're each other's rock. Through thick and thin, they've always been there for each other. It only makes sense that Reagan accompany Dee on her summer concert tour. The time away from home, her ex and her father will do her good. She needs a break. 




    The summer that is supposed to be great times shared by just the two girls is quickly changed after a photo of Dee and her ex-boyfriend in what has been altered to look like a compromising position is leaked. Now it's time for some PR damage control. It's then that former child star Matt Finch joins the tour as Dee's opening act and fake boyfriend. Reagan doesn't want to share her friend, but despite her best efforts to steer clear of Matt, he gets under her skin. It's not long before her summer is taking a completely different path than she expected, or thought she wanted, but wouldn't trade for anything. Of course, things are tricky because Matt's supposed to be Dee's boyfriend, so he and Reagan have to keep things on the tour bus. I just want to be clear, though – there is NO LOVE TRIANGLE in this story. It would have been so easy to take the story there and I'm thankful Emery did not. It's one of the things I love most about this book. 




    Who am I kidding? I loved everything about this book. Emery has a way with words and can write humor as well as she can write the deeper, more meaningful moments. I loved the focus on friendship, whether it was Reagan and Dee, Dee and Matt, or eventually Reagan and Matt. I loved the dynamic in each of these pairings so much, even though they were very different. These characters are complex. They're each running away from something and are forced to deal with those things while on the tour.




    Matt was absolutely perfection. He was a good and protective friend to Dee. He and Reagan went round and round, but anyone with eyes could see it was only because they were attracted to each other. Matt understood what Dee was going through as he'd had his own share of relationship drama in the news. He could relate to Reagan, once she opened up, because he too had lost his mom. He was a sweet (and HOT), the perfect boy next door, or in the next tour bus over, in this case. I loved his song lyrics, too. There was something vulnerable about him that spoke to me. Sure he had some cockier moments where I might have wanted to shake him, but those were more to get a rise out of Reagan than anything else. And boy did he ever. I adored these two together, whether they were fighting in the early days or flirting as time went on. They had a spark that jumped off the page.




    Of course, what's a young adult road trip book without some drama and a hint of angst? It wasn't overdone and didn't feel forced though. It just made the story that much richer and believable, in my opinion. Now that's not to say there weren't some times when I wanted to yell at each and every one of my beloved trio for being ridiculous. But that's just part of the process of reading a book where you care about the characters and what happens to them. Or, at least it is to me. 




    Open Road Summer was just a great read all the way around. It was sweet and funny and charming. It had plenty of funny moments and a lot of heart. The characters were rich and lovable. The plot kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I ended this one with a big smile on my face. Reagan was dealing with some pretty intense issues, but I thought they were handled well. She grew tremendously through the course of this book. I seriously can't recommend it highly enough. It was one of my most highly anticipated YA reads of the year and it exceeded my every expectation. I have a feeling I'll read this one a time or two more before the year is over. It's that good.




    I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All quotes come from the review copy and may differ from the final version. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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