The Start of Me and You

The Start of Me and You

by Emery Lord


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Acclaimed author Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, and second chances.

* "Will inspire readers." —SLJ, starred review

It's been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock's first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she's back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it's high school after all. But when Ryan's sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?

Acclaim for The Start of Me and You

A Huffington Post Top YA Books of 2015

One of PopSugar's Best YA Books of 2015

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781619639386
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Publication date: 03/01/2016
Pages: 416
Sales rank: 198,521
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer; The Start of Me and You; When We Collided, which was a Schneider Family Book Award Winner, a YALSA-ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, and a YALSA-ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults Books; and The Names They Gave Us. She lives in Ohio with her family and several shelves of books that she considers friends.


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The Start of Me and You 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will quickly fall in love with the characters of this book. Makes you want to be young again.
nancy More than 1 year ago
Great book about loss and love. I original thought it'd be cheesy high school rom-com book, but it's much more than that. In retrospect, the book could have been overwhelming with how much the main character Paige had to deal with - dead boyfriend, new crush, new friends, nightmares, divorce, new beginnings... but Emery Lord did a really nice job putting into words how a normal, sane, practical, RELATABLE, teenage girl would react and feel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much. Once i started reading it i couldnt put it down. Everywhere i went it came along with me. The story line is so true all the way through the book. Everything in this book can and does happen. Love this book!!
LittleBookAffair More than 1 year ago
This review was originally published on First things first, can we talk about how beautiful the cover of this book is?! Seriously, it's gorgeous. Now, on to the review. I went in to this book not knowing what to expect. I've never read anything by Emery Lord before, in fact I never even heard of her, so I went in to this book with no expectations, high or low. I did, however, think this was going to be set during the summer, but it turns out it's set during Paige's junior year of high school. I feel like Lord has a strong Sarah Dessen vibe. Her writing is very easy to read and digest. The words just flow together. The Start of Me and You was a cute, but sometimes sad, story of a sixteen year old girl who had to endure the traumatic loss of her first boyfriend. She's trying to start living her life again without feeling guilty for being happy, so she develops a plan to feel better. The plan consists of 1) date a boy; 2) attend parties; 3) join a club; 4) travel; and 5) swim. I liked all of the characters, I thought that they were believable enough. Originally, I was going to give The Start of Me and You 3 stars but the friendship and the romance in this book pushed it up to 4. This book was cute and simple. Was it the best writing in the world? No. But it was decent. I thought it was the perfect book to start my spring/summer off with, but it's also the perfect book for the end of summer.
BiblioJunkies More than 1 year ago
I admit it.  I haven’t read Open Road Summer.  I’ve heard all the good things about it but there are so many books and so little time.  You know how it goes.  But based on everyone’s reaction to Emory Lord’s debut I went ahead and requested her second novel from NetGalley.  And wow.  If you read any of my reviews you know that friends to lovers is one my absolute favorite tropes in romance.  I mean, what’s better than falling in love with someone that truly knows you?  So it’s no wonder that I fell hard for this story.  Paige’s very first boyfriend died in a terrible drowning accident and ever since, Paige has been hiding from the world.  Depression and fear will do that to a person.  Particularly a young teen.  But her junior year is about to begin and Paige has decided that this is the year she starts living again.  She even makes a list.    1. Parties/social events – because she has avoided anything other than small group outings with her friends. 2. New Group – She wants to put herself out there by doing an extracurricular activity during the school year. 3. Date – She hasn’t had a boyfriend since Aaron passed away. 4. Travel – She desperately wants to go to a summer program in New York over the summer. 5. Swim – She became deathly afraid of water after Aaron’s death.   Paige musters all the courage she can and completes the first two things on her list pretty quickly.  Party?  Check.  Join the Quiz Bowl team?  Check.   Now for the dating.  She has her sights set on one Ryan Chase.  Her crush from years ago.  To her amazement, Ryan and his cousin (Max), naturally become part of her group of friends.  What she doesn’t expect is how quickly she and Max connect.  But Paige is a teenager and is so completely focused on super cute Ryan (who she has nothing in common with) that she is completely oblivious to the romantic possibility in Max.  It may take Paige forever to realize the possibilities in Max but it will take the reader only a hot second.  Max is totally the guy I would have crushed on in high school.  He is kind of perfect and perfectly kind.  I’m going to make a list a la Paige naming all the reasons I love Max: 1. Cute nerd with glasses.  I’m always a sucker for this look/personality 2. Firefly fan. 3. Total Beta hero.  My absolute favorite. 4. Firefly fan. 5. Read Pride and Prejudice. 6. Did I mention he was a Firefly fan? But I digress.  Enough about my list and back to Paige’s. Completing the things on her list doesn’t happen quickly.  There are a few other things going in Paige’s life that require her attention.  One of her friends is struggling with an older boyfriend, she isn’t connecting with her younger sister, her divorced parents are dating again and her grandmother’s Alzheimer’s is progressing.  But even with all the chaos, all three adults in her life (parents and grandmother) and her all of her friends (old and new) continue to be an amazing support system for Paige regardless of the complications in everyone’s lives.  As the school year progresses, Paige, along with the help of her friends (Max in particular), slowly learns to address her fears and ultimately the three final things on her list.    The few contemporary YA books I’ve read this year have been simply fantastic.  But this might be might favorite so far.  I love a friends to lovers romance and this certainly fits the bill. Nat
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Quickly became one of my favorite books! Cheesy and romantic! I definitely recommend this book.
MAMABookasaurus More than 1 year ago
4.6 rounded to 5 stars - REVIEW: I loved Emery's debut novel, Open Road Summer. Her second book was just as brilliant. Paige is our main character, and she is still reeling from the death of her first boyfriend. I must say, it would have been more believable if they had been friends or dated for a longer time. It surprised me how horrifically and completely devastated she was. Granted, the people around her, save her trusty BFFs, were compounding the problems. Overall I thought it an organic, filling read. It deals with several issues very well and I started to get a real emotional pull a few chapters in. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book! I'm not a teenager but it was a sweet, simple, easy and fun read. I couldn't put it down! Highly recommend.
Stephalaughagus More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLUTELY LOVED reading The Start of Me and You!!!! Seriously, I loved everything about this book. Emery Lord is an awesome writer and I think she writes some of the most amazing friendships! This is definitely going to be a book I will be rereading again and again. I could not put this story down, I was so enchanted by the writing and the characters. I read it in one day. The story is very entertaining. I found this story to be funny as well. The Start of Me and You is well written and it is very easy to get completely wrapped up in reading it! My favorite things about this book are the relationships. They are the best! The friendship in this book is spectacular and so realistic. I love how close these girls are to each other. And how wonderful they are together. It is the friendship that warms your heart and makes you wish you were apart of this group of friends. I really enjoyed how much Paige's family is a part of this story. It is so wonderful to see such a balance between friendship, family, romance, and personal growth! The romance in this story is just SO CUTE! Seriously, it is simply adorable. I love the interactions so much! One of the cutest romances ever. The Start of Me and You is easily one of my favorite reads. It is an heartwarming story that deals with loss, grief, moving on, living, and love. This story has wonderful relationships that make my heart happy. This story made me laugh, smile, cheer, and cry. It is moving, hopeful, and very entertaining. I couldn't put it down. Emery Lord has easily become one of my favorite writers and a must-buy author for me. I can't wait to read everything else she writes! I highly recommend reading The Start of Me and You!
bookbruin More than 1 year ago
Actual Rating 4.5 stars This book was just adorable. The Start of Me and You is a really sweet contemporary YA romance. Yes, it was emotional and started with a really heavy event (the death of our MC's boyfriend), but it was also funny and light hearted at times. The story revolves around Paige and her journey to find herself again after the death of her boyfriend. I liked her list of the things she felt would help her move past this and took steps to follow through, but I also thought her inner struggle and how she dealt with her grief rang true. I thought that she felt almost guilty for being thrust into this light of the grieving girlfriend, when she really hadn't even dated him that long and that she felt others were closer and more justified in their grief. I seriously adored Max and was rooting for him from the start. Yes, Ryan had some cute moments, but I felt that Paige's attempts to woo him were superficial and didn't quite make sense. He was the eye candy from afar, but there wasn't any solid connection between them besides the both of them trying to get away from people's perceptions. Paige's relationship with Max on the other hand, felt natural and sprang from a genuine friendship. They were their dorky selves around each other and made no excuses for it. It was honest and real and I ate it up! It was Paige's friends though, that really stole the show. They stuck by each other through it all and were so supportive no matter what. Squad goals for sure. I definitely recommend The Start of Me and You! It was fast paced, cute, and dealt with a heavy subject very delicately and realistically. I can't wait to read more from Emery Lord!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Beth_Rodgers_Author More than 1 year ago
'The Start of Me and You" by Emery Lord was a breath of fresh air after several lackluster attempts to start reading something new. The anticipation that accompanied the ending of each chapter and the beginning of each respective one was great, and the bonus chapter tacked on to the end that chronicled main character Paige's summer was a truly welcome addition to the already almost 400 pages that the novel already included. Paige, still somewhat reeling from the loss of her boyfriend Aaron, who drowned the previous year at the tender age of fifteen, sets out to start her life anew. This premise, while it could have been an extremely depressing beginning to the novel, potentially putting a damper on the rest of the story, hardly detracted from the sweet, optimistic tone that Emery Lord did her best to maintain throughout the book. Despite Paige and Aaron's brief relationship, their time together meant a lot to her, and finding her way back from this loss is not something that she is finding easy to accomplish. Enter Ryan Chase - a cute, friendly guy who she finds out is no longer dating his long-term girlfriend. Adding his name under the "date" category of her to-do list, she comes to know his cousin and best friend Max pretty well too through the English class that the three share. Along with best friends Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh, Paige finds that it takes a lot of heart and a ton of guidance on not only the part of her friends, but from herself, to navigate the murky, emotionally charged waters of high school, new crushes, and uncertain friendships. When Paige joins Quiz Bowl with Max, adding a new group to her life, she finds herself jumping headfirst into new territory. The world she has lived in since Aaron died has been hard for her, and she begins to find that the ending you expect may not always be the ending you wind up with - and that can be the best thing for you more often than you might think. Emery Lord's wonderfully creative use of pop culture, from 'I Love Lucy' and its writer Madelyn Pugh, to considering how Rory Gilmore of "Gilmore Girls' would handle a relationship, to 'I Dream of Jeannie' and so much more, was so telling and true for Paige's character, a girl who wants to spend her summer taking classes devoted to screenwriting. This novel teaches that despite bad things happening, new beginnings are always available - and they may just happen to be right under your nose. A highly recommended addition to anyone's reading queue! Beth Rodgers, Author of 'Freshman Fourteen,' A Young Adult Novel
BooksPixsCoffeeFix More than 1 year ago
Paige Hancock’s boyfriend drowned one year ago. Paige has been in great grief since, and everyone giving her “the look” doesn’t help either. Paige has a small, what I would call bucket list. Paige is finally going back to high school again. Ready for the high school battles, her friends help her complete and succeed her bucket list. Paige's first goal is to date another boy. Maybe it will help her get over Aaron. Attend a party; along with her friends of course. Join a high school club, easy enough. Travel; like her grandmother did. Paris would be perfect. Swim, a scary thought, yet not impossible. Paige has her life on the right track. She has her eyes set on her elementary school crush, Ryan Chase. The class president throws a beginning of school year party every year, so that would be perfect. Join a club, seriously high school. Plus an offer of quiz bowl was presented to her. The other two, she’ll have to figure out along the way. When Paige completes her first bucket list item, go to a party, she feels as if she finally has her life straight. When Paige attends the beginning of school party, she see Ryan Chase, her ultimate crush for the second time this summer. Paige thinks her perfect. Paige’s best friends Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh, are very supportive and sensitive to Paige. Paige begins high school with high expectations. She takes a english class, which is the main setting at the school. At the first day of school, Paige's teacher is picking seats for the new semester. Just by luck, she ends up sitting by Ryan Chase. But later in the hour, gets in trouble for talking to much with a nearby classmate, and switches seats with his cousion Max. He is very different from Ryan. Dorky, nerd type kid. Paige's english teacher later asks if anyone would be intrested in joining Quiz Bowl. She talks her teacher after class, and joins the team. She is told to talk to Max, the team captian, and Ryans dorky cousion about her subject areas. Paige finds it could be the perfect plan to hang out more with Ryan. Over 1/4 she is just hanging out with Max to become friends with Ryan. Ryan and Paige become good friends, but so do Paige and Max. Will Paige chose the boy shes been falling for since elementrary school, or Max. Paige's friend each help her set goals and achieve them. Tessa comforts Paige in her hardest times, and is like her older sister. Kayleigh gives a sense of humor, and is a bit of a trouble maker, which gives the group some edge. Morgan tries to keep the group in line, despite Kayleigh's trouble, and helps the group stay together. Max, Ryan, Tessa, Morgan, Kayleigh, and Paige all become good friends and go on little "dates" all together. Ryan has a crush on Tessa, which upsets Paige a little. Although she won't admit it. She is really close to both of them and each boy (Ryan and Max) affect her differently. Will she have to chose, or will one of them chose her? My Review; I really enjoyed this book, and all the action to go with it. It is mainly romantic with a hint of adventure. There are struggles and challanges in this books, and it's fun to see how the group all works together. I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars because it was a little strange and confusing to be for only 2 parts. Overall though, I LOVED it! Emery Lord is a great author and you should defiantly check out her other books. This books was the perfect mix of romance, adventure, and a little mystery. I really loved the charaters in this book, such as Tessa, a
EllenRozek More than 1 year ago
This book gave me ALL the feelings, and I think that's because ALL the interpersonal character relationships were so heart-warming and complex. It is so rare to see familial relationships prioritized at the same level as romance in contemporary YA, and rarer still to see so much importance placed on friendship. When the story starts, Paige Hancock is still grieving her boyfriend's death and unsure of how to start over. She initially makes a list of new things she wants to try or old things she wants to start doing again, before ultimately realizing that her road to recovery won't be as simple as just crossing off ideas on a piece of paper. One of the items on Paige's list is to start dating again, but this isn't a 'girl meets boy and is healed by boy's love' kind of book. If anyone helps to heal Paige, it's the support of her closest friends and the encouragement of a few new friends. It's her parents who love her and fuss over her, and her grandmother who always listens. Some of my favorite scenes in the entire story were the scenes with Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan getting into trouble and giving each other grief and always, always having each other's backs. Some of the only scenes that made me cry involved the talks Paige had with her grandma. THE START OF ME AND YOU deals with a lot of heavy issues, without ever over-dramatizing them. Paige butts heads with her parents and gets jealous of her friends without it being the end of the world. She learns to embrace her nerdy side without much angsting about it, and falls for a boy she never expected to like because of how easy it is to be with him. Most importantly, she stays true to herself even when big changes happen in her life. Five well-deserved stars for the kind of contemporary YA I didn't even realize I was looking for. I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on Emery Lord's other books.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
This book redeemed contemporary YA for me. I had been in kind of a slump with this genre for a while, but this wonderful! It was the perfect mix of cute romance, great friendships, and enough drama and plot to keep my interest. Paige's first boyfriend drowned last summer, so the whole town knows her as "the girls who's boyfriend died." She sick of The Look, the sad stares, and everyone feeling sorry for her. She's ready to start living again. She makes a list (a pretty casual, secret one) of things she's going to do this year to get her life back on track - join a club, swim again, date someone, etc. And she's selected Ryan Chase, her original crush, as her target, and perfectly enough, his long time girlfriend has just dumped him. Plus Ryan's cousin Max is back after a few years in private school, and Paige plans to use him as a way to get in with Ryan. This story is a mix between friend-turned-boyfriend and match-making-gone-wrong, and I loved every second of it. Both boys were very sweet, kind, and caring individuals. Max is super nerdy starting with his love of Quiz Bowl right down to his Firefly t-shirt (swoon...I love that show)! While Ryan is more of the classic heartthrob - athlete, popular, handsome. Paige's 3 best friends were terrific. I love a book with great friendships. Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan didn't always have perfect friendships, but they felt real. Lord created such great dynamics between them without anything too catty. Their drama added many interesting plot points. You all know plot is key with me, so the extra characters made things more interesting, but not too overloaded. But even better than the friends, were the parents. Seriously! Paige's parents have been divorced for 5 years, but they're suddenly dating again. That sounds like a recipe for disaster, right? It totally wasn't. Paige is not at all thrilled by this development, but I appreciated how Emery Lord used this as a way to talk about healthy relationships. It wasn't at all preachy, but it was real. Paige's mom and dad complimented each other so well in their parenting styles. They were there but not overbearing. They were real people. Paige talked to them and they talked to her. Finally, a YA book modeled a positive relationship between parents and teens. It was so refreshing. The writing in this book was light and easy to read, but so great. I loved being inside Paige's head. Her fears and struggles were real. Her thoughts were authentic. I was routing for her 100% perfect of the time, and I was so pleased with the outcome. This book had everything - great characters, fun plot, positive relationships, and a great message.
mollyreads More than 1 year ago
While it wasn’t a terrible book, it also wasn’t the best contemporary I’ve read. The story took a long time to develop, the main character was a bit selfish and the tone wasn’t sure what it was supposed to be. Also, if you want a love story – this isn’t the book for you as nothing happens with it until the last damn page! (At least it’s not insta-love, I suppose?) It was just a cute read that was attempting to discuss a more serious issue but was forced and lacked the depth it needed to really get to that point.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BoundlessBookaholic More than 1 year ago
This book was absolute perfection. Paige is my soul sister. Max is my ultimate book boyfriend for now. I only wish I could give this book more than 5 out of 5 stars. Read it if you haven’t yet! The Start of Me and You was my first Emery Lord novel, and I absolutely adored it. It was an instantaneous addition to my favorites list. The writing was fantastic, the characters were realistic and I pretty much wanted to be best friends with all of them. Paige was such a great main character. I felt such a kinship with her throughout the whole novel. I made a ton of updates on Goodreads while reading the book. Paige is a list maker, like me, except her list is way different from any I’ve made. But the list she makes leads her down an unforgettable journey with her old, and new, friends. If I’d had the time, I would have devoured this book within a day. It was that good. Max is the perfect book boyfriend. I absolutely adored every moment we got to see him in the book. Ryan was cute, but nothing compared to Max in my opinion. Paige’s group of best friends were an interesting mix of personalities that really meshed well together. There was a high level of nerdy stuff in this book (Quiz Bowl, nerdy banter, etc.), so that could be one reason why I loved it so much. Honestly, it was a really amazing book, and my heart broke for Paige and all she went through, all she was still going through. And there were so many cool references (Harry Potter, Gilmore Girls, etc.)! A few of my favorite lines: “When it all closes in, there are only two kinds of people: best friends and everyone else.” and “But life is not evens and odds and solving for x. And sadness? Sadness is an equation made of all variables.” and “I had always found comfort between rows and rows of books: some familiar, some foreign, stacks of old friends, and piles of new friends to be found.” and “If you’re lucky, relationships–with family or friends or boyfriends–are limitless. There’s no maximum on how much you can love each other. The problem is, there’s also no limit on how much you can hurt each other.” Final note: SUCH AN AMAZING BOOK! I absolutely adored Paige’s (and Max’s) story. Please read it if you haven’t already. Now I need to go purchase a copy so I can re-read this for years to come!
BoundWithWords More than 1 year ago
How do you talk about one of your favorite books? I just really don't know how to make justice to this book and I can't think of anything that will make you realize how good this is, but yeah "The Start of Me and You" is one of my favorite reads of 2015 and definitely a book that I will be wanting to pick up whenever a need a motivational read. Paige is a girl that shut out the world two years ago when she lost her boyfriend on an accident, the books starts when Paige finally says enough for her solitude and elaborates a plan to get back on track and re-start enjoying her life. At first, I thought Paige wasn't suffering that much from grief because well, she didn't even thinked that much about her dead boyfriend on a sad/reminiscent way but them I discovered that they dated like 5 seconds when both were 14 and I was like "ooh, now it makes sense" - this is much more about how losing him and being defined by this fact than a sad grief sort of book. My favorite part of this story was seeing how important was the friendship between Paige and her three best friends, the four of them have a really great dynamic and it felt so real, each one of them complement each other and they are so completely different from each other making all of them necessary and needed on the group - is like, each are irreplaceable and together they form a puzzle, ya know? I really liked the addition of the boys too! Seeing friendship between attractive people from different sexes without romantic feelings (for most of them) was a great addition, and their group dynamics also was great, between all of them. And the romance, basically when I start to think about Max and Paige I go kind of like *giggles* I absolutely freaking love them together and yeah, Paige does takes her sweet time to realize what is right behind her nose and I wanted more of them actually together and kissing and stuff 'cause why not but still, I loved every second of it. Max Watson is basically the best love interest that I've come across in a long time, he is nerdy and attractive and funny and smart and gentle and everything I ever wanted (please, mom give me a Watson for christmas). If it didn't become clear by this attempt of review I loved this book and you should ready it too because I'm still to know someone who doesn't fall in love with the writing and way of story telling of Emery Lord - but especially if you like contemporary romance, stories about figuring out what you want for your life and deep stuff, like coming of age.
MissFictional More than 1 year ago
Thank you Bloomsbury for a copy of this book, which did not influence my review in any way. Everything I disliked about Open Road Summer--the girl-hating, the drama--was nonexistent in The Start of Me and You and everything I loved--the relationships, the writing--was improved tenfold. Don't let the cover fool you, because this is far more than a love story. It's the story of four best friends: Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh, Morgan. By the end of the story, you'll love them so much, that you'll want to have friends like them. Also, Tessa? Can I be your best friend? (Aside: This will probably sound really vain, but Tessa is exactly like me. She's short, outspoken, loves indie music, and is a nerd but a complete slacker. Why I want to be best friends with someone that's apparently exactly like me is beyond me, but I digress.) I think one of the reasons why this appealed to me so much was that it was reminiscent of Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta--which, if you didn't know already, I LOVE. It was the heartbreak and loss dripping from the writing and the well-written characters that drew me to this comparison. Really, the fact that this is anything like a Marchetta book should force you to go running to the store to buy a copy of this. ALSO I LOVE MAX AND HIS NERDINESS BEST LOVE INTEREST EVER IF I MET A GUY LIKE HIM I WOULD MARRY HIM IN AN INSTANT I DON'T CARE THERE WERE TOO MANY FLAILS WHILE READING THIS ASDFGHJKL; Ahem. So yeah, as you can tell, I loved this book to bits. If you feel like you're missing something from your life, it's probably The Start of Me and You.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This story drew me in from the beginning. Lord brought a unique blend of characters to life with a rich story. Her language is rich and smooth but easy to take in. Easily my favorite of summer reads.
Ashley_Belletristic_Books More than 1 year ago
This review was originally posted on my blog Belletristic Books. Emery Lord has done it again and wowed me with her latest story! She quickly became a favorite author after I read her debut, Open Road Summer, and I’m definitely planning to pick up her next tale because I seriously loved The Start of Me and You! Plus, I’m in awe of how fabulously beautiful the covers of both her books are! If you’re in the mood for some contemporary young adult literature, then I highly recommend you choose to read this since I believe it has no faults. I really dug this story because of how relatable I found Paige. Although I haven’t lived through all the experiences she’s had, I understood her fear about trying new things. Paige has a wary relationship with her sister and I got that. I have two sisters and it’s hard sometimes to get along with them. Even though Cameron and Paige aren’t close, I saw how they had each other’s backs, especially when it came to a bit of family weirdness and misfortune. The Start of Me and You emphasizes female friendships very well! I was such a fan of the scenes between Paige, Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh. I could tell how much they were there for each other even if they did occasionally have some drama issues. It was refreshing that all the girls had distinctive personalities and varying interests yet still fit together quite nicely. It was obvious how Paige is willing to get out of her comfort zone to make sure her friends are okay. I also was into how throughout Paige’s journey she was able to honor the memory of her first boyfriend, Aaron, who died in a swimming accident, while branching out and making new friends in order to continue living. But what I genuinely adored about this book was Max and the friendship Paige creates with him! He’s surely become my new book boyfriend! He’s adorable, bookish, as well as charming and I found myself rooting for him and Paige to become more than friends throughout this tale! It was clear to me how safe Paige felt around him and their witty banter was super cute! Even if romance stories aren’t your thing, I suggest you look into throwing this title on your TBR list or selecting it as your next read! The Start of Me and You gets 5 out of 5 stars for sure – it’s fun but sometimes heartbreaking and it really just describes so well how living your life for you is important despite any tragic occurrences that may be happening.
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
For the past two years Paige has been defined by the unexpected death or her first boyfriend. While Paige's grief is real, she also often feels like an impostor being lumped together with others who knew her boyfriend so much better and miss him much more keenly. When Paige decides she's ready to make the most of her time left in high school, she knows she has to start dating again. Who better than her long-time crush Ryan Chase to help Paige convince everyone she is back to normal? They don't have a lot in common but Paige is certain they could become friends. Especially when Ryan's smart (nice, cute, totally nerdy) cousin convinces Paige to join the school's Quiz Bowl team (number two: re-join an extracurricular activity). With help from her friends Tessa, Kayleigh and Morgan--and even Ryan and Max--Paige is certain to have an unforgettable year filled with quiz competitions, nerdy discussions, TV shows and healing. As Paige and Max get to know each other, she has to decide if she needs to stick to her plan or take a leap to discover something completely unexpected in The Start of Me and You (2015) by Emery Lord. The Start of Me and You is Lord's sophomore novel, coming after her debut Open Road Summer made a splash in 2014. While it's easy to focus on the romantic aspects of this story since Max is adorable (as is Ryan to a lesser extent), it's also not entirely accurate. Yes, there is a romance plot here. Yes, the cover and title make that overtly clear. At the time time, The Start of Me and You is a lot more than that. Lord delivers a fully-realized world in this novel as readers are immediately drawn into Paige's life in her small and sometimes stifling town. This novel also boasts a charming ensemble cast filled with characters who compliment Paige and add their own elements to the story. In addition to Paige moving through her grief, Lord also includes plot threads about dealing with divorce, dating someone who is maybe not right, the push and pull between close friends to name just a few. At its core The Start of Me and You is a true slice-of-life novel as it follows Paige over the course of her junior year. At times it feels like Lord might have taken on too much but she brings everything together by the end in a way that is both authentic and satisfying. Paige and Max are a great pair who work well together even as they challenge each other to be their best selves. It would be a spoiler to discuss how their relationship ends, but rest assured that not matter what follows it starts with a rock solid friendship. Happily, friendship is a common theme throughout the novel as, even in the midst of romantic troubles, Paige returns to her friends Tessa, Kayleigh and Morgan. The girls are a great support system for each other and have unconditional love and trust between each other--something that is sadly not seen enough in YA novels. Paige's family is also a great source of support though often in unconventional ways. The Start of Me and You is a book that truly has it all including a smart heroine, an adorable male lead, a great story and even some allusions to Jane Austen thrown in. A delight. Highly recommended. Possible Pairings: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo, A Little Wanting Song by Cath Crowley, Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg, To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han, Unearthly by Cynthia Hand, Since You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson, Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta, A Map of the Known World by Lisa Sandell *An advance copy of this book was acquired for review consideration from the publisher*
The_Hardcover_Lover More than 1 year ago
In accordance to FTC guidelines, I must state that I read and reviewed an ARC (advance reader copy) of this book. Emery Lord nails it again with her sophomore novel by blending serious issues with a light feel that will make readers beg for more. The Start of Me and You includes themes of friendship, self-discovery, and healing, and it is perfection at its finest. You need to add this to your TBR lists right now because it's just so emotionally powerful without being too overwhelming. I'd call this book 2015's Feel Good Book of the Year if I had that sort of power, but I don't, so I'm just telling you that it's a "feel-good" kind of book that you won't want to miss. Emery Lord is the author that I wish would have been around when I was in high school. Girls in the 13-18 (and beyond) age range should be reading Emery's books, especially The Start of Me and You because she includes such wonderful and positive friendships, and the friendships in this one are stellar. Personally, I feel like friendships kind of get brushed aside in a lot of contemporary YA novels to focus more on the romance, but Emery makes sure that Paige and her best friends are center stage throughout most of the novel. I loved reading about these four lovely girls (Paige, Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan), and I'm sure many teenage girls will be able to relate to them. Ms. Lord also tackles the very difficult subject of grief in this novel, and she does it flawlessly. It's hard to lose anyone when you're at a young age, especially to tragedy because it's just confusing. There are so many highs and lows that come with losing a loved one or a friend, and Lord captures that grief, heartbreak, and confusion and bottles it up in Paige to create a completely realistic character and plot. Yes... there is romance in this novel, and I adored how Emery wrote planned and wrote it in this book. The reader knows something is eventually going to happen, but they don't know when. I was anticipating how things would develop the whole time, and I was completely satisfied when the big moment happened. I had a huge grin on my face, and I couldn't have asked for anything more adorable. What I Loved: Paige's personal history - She's intelligent but she's also very pop-culture savvy (like Lorelai and Rory Gilmore), but she's very aware of her problems and how they might affect the people around her. Paige's circle of girlfriends - They are all so different and unique, but they are always there for one another. Max Watson - He'll make you swoon, but that's not all he's good for. He's a truly remarkable character, and one that will be hard to forget. Cameron - I'm a sucker for books with sister relationships, and Paige and Cameron have a rocky, but still loving (and realistic feeling) relationship. Ms. Pepper - I'm an English teacher, so I love it when English teachers are pretty big characters in a book. Ms. Pepper is pretty awesome, and I loved her. One surprise reference - Emery alludes to something in her previous book in The Start of Me and You, and I almost melted. The pop culture references - The Start of Me and You is full of pop culture references that will make any pop culture or trivia junkie geek out. Would I recommend this book? Absolutely and to any and all fans of contemporary YA! It's just one of those books that all teenage girls should and must read, and I would tell any YA/school librarian to order it and display it immediately! I even tried to pass it off to my sister as soon as I finished reading it so she could experience Emery's wonderful story of finding yourself and beginning again. This book deserves more than just five stars because it's just that beautiful.
BlkosinerBookBlog More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars      I wanted to read this because I enjoyed emerys first book. Also books that deal with the aftermath of grief ate speaking to me as is the promise of a sweet and nerdy love interest.     I adored that friendship and family were featured asking with the introspective healing and handling fears and the way grief changes the main character throughout. I grew up very xml lose with my grandma and really related with her wanting to share her secrets and get advice. Her grandma like mine is dealing with memory loss and it is hard to see someone you love dealing with those types of health issues and the fear that you might have to watch them forget who you are.     I liked that she was organized and goal oriented. Her list has things that she believes will stretch her and hopefully guide her back to some sense of normalcy and happiness after tragedy. I liked Paige`s character and I connected with her pretty well. She has several things going on that makes her story have an emotional impact. She is recovering from the accidental drowning of her boyfriend. Its left a pretty big impact on her. She hasn't nightmares about drowning and she doesn't do anything near standing water now. There's also her parents who were divorced and she was actually kind of relieved because of their fighting... she just saw that they made each other miserable. But now they're dating again and she is afraid that it will happen again.     I like how friendship was a big theme in this book. however having three best friends was kind of overwhelming for me at times. The girls all have different personalities, different ways that they met Paige and different families difficulties of their own. So not really sure why I had such a hard time remembering which was which unless it's just the case of being handed too many characters all at once.      The romance was pretty sweet. I like that she had a crush on Ryan even before he was popular. I even like her reasoning behind it because she had seen him with his sister who had cancer and he was dancing shamelessly in the middle of the grocery store just to make her laugh. Ever since then she has harbored the crush on him. But in the process of trying out new things in order to help her have a better year and also wanting to get closer to Ryan she starts falling for his very nerdy but also very sweet cousin Max.     I love her friendship with Max and even though it started out as a reason just to get closer to Ryan, they developed a deeper bond and a trust that I really loved. It was the best kind of slow burning romance I adore and every time that there is nerdy love, of course, I have to be all over it. My husband's one of the more nerdy type so Max reminds me a lot of him. I love how he listens without judgement and how he made her feel so comfortable and that he opened up to her as well.      There's a pretty big fight between them and I was really anxious about if things will be able to be patched up between them and it was hard to see how much careless words can really damage another person. I think it made the story super realistic, especially when we find out why Max was having more distance between them after and Paige was trying to be grown up about it.     I really connected with Paige as she continued her closeness with her grandma. Her grandma has Alzheimer's and she also had a stroke and it sounds just so much like my grandma who I lost a few years ago that it just made my heart ache. I love how Paige trusted her and talked to her about everything and it just really makes me miss the days that I had with my grandma and the time that we had and how I felt that she understood me better than so many other people.     I really liked how much Paige's character grew throughout the story. She learned so much about herself and how to move on after the tragedies of life. She learned to let new people in and she also kept supporting the friends that she had had for years. She realized how much in friendship and with family you're supposed to depend on one another and share each others problem. With that, the punch card is never full because you bear their burdens as well. I think that the loss of her boyfriend Aaron will always shape some of the ways that she looks at life but I like how she realized that it didn't have to define her and that she could move on from her fears a little bit at a time. Also that she can keep his memory alive with others who also misses him.     I really like tells the story ended-- how things were wrapped up but also that we had room in our own imaginations to make more of a future and relationship with the characters that we had met. I definitely wouldn't mind another book about Paige and Max although I doubt that there will be one. But maybe they'll be a companion novel about one of her friends and will get a peek into what becomes of them after their summers and finally admitting things to themselves and each other. Bottom Line: Emotional story that focuses on friendship, family, love and loss.