Monday, March 17, 2014

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord
Read: March 5 - 6, 2014
April 15th 2014 by Walker (Bloomsbury) **UPCOMING**
Source: ALA
Category: Contemporary YA, celebrity friends

Find: Goodreads | Amazon

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.


I liked Open Road Summer so much! This book made me smile and swoon, and wish that I had a best friend musician to take me on tour with her in her souped-up bus. But amidst the 'behind the scenes' look we got at the life of a celebrity through the eyes of her best friend - a storyline that never fails to hook me - are real characters and an honest story. And who doesn't love a sweet guy who writes songs about the girl he likes? 

Five reasons Open Road Summer will make you long for hot days and this book in your hands:

1) This story is as much about Reagan's friendship with Dee as it is a romance. I was as invested in their relationship and what was going on in Dee's life, as I was in Reagan's personal growth and love story. I did think of Dee as Taylor Swift for a large part of this book, though she is definitely not a carbon copy. And I found Dee's part of this story to be especially poignant. 

2) The importance placed on friendships, including in romantic relationships, is refreshing.  Reagan and her love interest Matt take the time to
 hang out, build trust and get to know each other. I love that the thrill of the start of a relationship wasn't rushed over. Reagan and Dee on the other hand have known each other forever. Watching both their hilarious moments and their arguments, it's clear how close they are. Reagan is rarely as open as she is with her best friend. 

3) Matt Finch!! His persistence, song writing abilities, meaningful tattoo and overall swooniness are only some of his great qualities. 

4) Reagan grows up. Regan is an angry, hurt girl when this book begins. She can come across as pretty abrasive because of that, but she also acknowledges that she's made some major mistakes, which she's trying to correct. The one thing that never changes in this story is her complete loyalty to her best friend Dee. Reagan is trying desperately to change the path she's been on, but it's a work in progress. One of the most satisfying and relatable parts of Reagan's growth is watching her perception change about herself and other characters when she starts to loosen her anger at the world. 

5) Within the fun celebrity/friend plot and sweet romance, these characters are still messy and real at the end of the book. Life is a work in progress and relationships take effort. But they can also be amazingly worth it. I love the positive/happy message without too neat a bow.

Love Triangle Factor: None
Cliffhanger Scale: Standalone


  1. The cover kind of pushed me away so I didn't think I would like this book, but after seeing your review and another blogger I admire like this one, I'm now sold on reading it. I LOVE that it's centered on friendship AND romance, which I think some authors don't realize is possible. I think every MC should learn something or grow in some way from start to finish, but it's especially nice when it's a nice change, something you can definitely see...if that makes sense. Sometimes, the change isn't as appreciated in other books, but it sounds like it is in this one.

  2. This sounds absolutely wonderful, Lauren. I've had my eyes on it for some time now and I'm happy that it got your seal of approval. I love that friendship is a huge part of the story and it seems like it's a positive friendship too, so I'm curious to read it. Also, the romance sounds absolutely delightful.
    Lovely review, Lauren. I'll most definitely be getting a copy of this when it releases.

  3. "And who doesn't love a sweet guy who writes songs about the girl he likes?" Um, yes, please!!!!! Omg, Matt, gimme some Matt Finch, please. He sounds adorbs! Plus, I love me some character growth and Reagan and Dee's relationship is something I'm very eager to read about. I cannot wait to read this now. I had seen no reviews thus far and you completely sucked me in. Nice job, Lauren :)

  4. Hiya! Yay for more praise for this book. It's so nice to see across the boards, especially because there is friendship AND romance! I preordered a copy last week and I'm so psyched to read it for myself.

  5. This sounds wonderful, Lauren! I don't mind if the main character is not so like able if they make positive changes and growth through the story. What I like most is there doesn't seem to be any squabbling over Matt which I was a little worried about when I first started reading. Just a good best friends relationship! Kind of rare to read about. Lovely review, Lauren! :)

  6. Oh, I do love a book that focuses on friendship (of course, I like a good romance, too). Especially the kind that takes you on a trip in a tour bus! And there's something so adorable about a boy with a song-writing talent.

  7. I'm so so glad to see that you enjoyed this book Lauren! I admit to really thinking that this book wouldn't be my cup of tea after reading the blurb, but its always nice when a book has so much to offer. I've been really enjoying my books which present a good friendship these days and also I want to read all my Summer books now too! I will definitely be giving this book a go once it's out! Lovely review!

  8. Everyones posting all these great reviews for Open Road Summer and i'm just here like "GIMME GIMME I WANT YOU!" LOL! but also i love how this book seems to focus on the girls friendship as much as the romance which is a two tumbs up in my book. Super happy about that :)
    Lily @ Lilysbookblog

  9. Yay! Love this review--and WTG Lauren on writing a fantastic shorter review (I know that's something we've both been striving for!) I can't wait to start this! I love flawed characters--love books that have great friendships and also books that build up the romance:) This book sounds like the reason I love contemps so much :)

  10. YAY YAY YAY YAY!!!!! I'm starting this one this week Lauren and I absolutely cannot wait. I love that the friendship is as important as the romance (the book I reviewed today was similar in that aspect and I love when female friendships are portrayed in really positive light). So looking forward to meeting Matt, I'm ready to swoon!

  11. I haven't seen any reviews of this yet, but now I'm super excited to read it! Reagan and Dee's friendship sounds amazing, and I have a feeling I'm going to swoon over Matt. I also wish I had a bestie who would take me on her 24-city tour with her, but since I don't I guess reading about it is the next best thing. :-) Wonderful review!

  12. Eeep -- this is my very next book. I'm excited!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  13. I love great friendships in books. This sounds like an awesome book :D Though I'm not sure if I'm ready to read it yet, lol. But hopefully one day :) Makes me happy that there is no love triangle, though. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Thank you for sharing :D

  14. A book that makes you smile and swoon, I definitely need that! I've been reading some dark books recently so I always like to read fun and light books in between. And it's a stand-alone with no love triangle! Gotta love that. Great review! ~Pam


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