Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: March 31st, 2015
I have been taking a break from dystopian and fantasy books and instead have been gravitating towards cute contemporaries. The Start of Me and You really fits the bill. I got the book after completely loving Emery Lord’s newest When We Collided. The best way I can describe it is like a combination of Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything, it’s very Morgan Matson-esque.
The writing is easy and very typical of high-school set young adult. That being said, there were some real gems in the story. It only took me a day to read this book, so very quick to get through.
There’s the pretty-average girl main character, the memorable and quirky friend group, cute perfect guy, and then the nerdy but lovable other guy.
Paige is our pretty-average girl. Within the past year (or two years, I can’t remember) she lost her boyfriend in an accident. And while she grieved, they were only together for about two months. It’s not like they fell in love yet or had any milestones. Yet, both Paige and everyone else in town is letting his death define her. The book begins when she decides no longer, that she’s going to make a list and basically reinvent herself, with things like parties, new clubs, and a new boyfriend—preferably her longtime crush Ryan.
I really liked Paige. Like I said, she is pretty average but that makes her relatable. She doesn’t necessarily know how to talk to guys, she is a little nerdy, feels guilt about moving on,worries about people judging her, and loves pop ballads. It’s all very real.
“In books, sometimes the foreshadowing is so obvious that you know what’s going to happen. But knowing what happens isn’t the same as knowing how it happens. Getting there is the best part.”
Paige’s friends were great as well. Having them all related in different ways worked well to create different levels and types of friendships between Paige and each girl, and it also made them memorable as individuals. They had some really touching moments where they were just there for each other as best friends, junk food and tissues included.
Ryan is Paige’s crush since middle school and who she wants to be her next boyfriend. And while he’s fine as a character, it’s his best friend and nerdy cousin Max that shines in this book.
Max has recently transferred back to Paige’s school, and they become close for the first time when they do Quiz Bowl together. Max is the captain, and Paige is looking to join a club as part of her list. He’s obsessed with Firefly, airplanes, and Do-si-dos. Him and Paige together are magic. They open up so much, and the dialogue between them is fun and quip-y. Imagine an argument about Pride and Prejudice, and whether one is more of a Jane or an Elizabeth.
I just loved him. I knew from the moment he showed up in the book, and started answering every question in English class that I would love him. What high school boy out there references Pride and Prejudice? I mean come on, my heart can’t take it.
The romance in this book (and I don’t think I’m spoiling anything because it kind of tells you on the back of the book) develops slowly. That was probably my least favorite part, because by the time the relationship actually starts the book is done and I just want to see more. Like there’s no couple time (except in the bonus chapter in the back, make sure to read that).
I loved this book. A solid four-point-five stars for sure. The Start of Me and You is available on Amazon and you can find the author at emerylord.com. Give it a read and let me know what you think in the comments. Plus leave recommendations for my next book!