Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You

The Start of Me and You Book Cover
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

Published: March 31, 2015 by Bloomsbury

About the Book:

Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it's never too late for second chances.

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?


I cannot express how much I loved The Start of Me and You. If young adult literature continues to have authors like Emery Lord I plan to keep reading it when I'm 80! I don't even know where to begin, because I loved so many things about this book!

[Pause, Breathe, Think]

The Start of Me and You is Emery Lord's second novel and I can safely say that I loved it as much as, if not more than, her first novel Open Road Summer. While I didn't write a review of Open Road Summer** I can tell you that I LOVED IT!

When we first start the book Paige is dreading going back to school where people feel sorry for her because her boyfriend died in a tragic accident. She has recurring nightmares and really hasn't recovered from losing him. She struggles with that fact they were only together a short time, but has lived with the identity of "the girl whose boyfriend died" a lot longer.  Luckily she has three great friends who stand by her and always know how to help her even when she doesn't know she needs it.

The night before school starts Paige runs into her old crush Ryan and is determined that this year will be different and makes a plan.

How to Begin Again
  1. Parties / Social Events
  2. New group
  3. Date
  4. Travel
  5. Swim
Paige thinks she knows how the world sees her and she has everything figured out, but in reality she finds out that she's very wrong. In similar fashion we see Paige's mother as overprotective, but learn the overprotectiveness began after the accident and the crippling fear that she could lose Paige again makes her hold on tighter. We don't always see parents who are complex with their feelings in YA books and that is just one of the many reasons why Lord's books are AMAZING.

Paige's plan to begin again is really a journey to discover who she is and what she needs in life. She learns that real life is much more complicated than her plan. and the reality helps her conquer fears and let's her see people for who they really are. I found myself loving every character and how their personal story fit in with Paige and her friends. The friendships remind me of my own and remind me of how grateful I am for them.

Lord has an almost magical way of writing that weaves you in and out of these characters lives. There are so many quote-worthy lines that I found myself taking pictures of my favorite sections of the book. I laughed at sections and cried at others all while begging to find out what happened and yet not wanting the story to end.

I don't think I can convey how much I loved this book, so let me just say if you read one book this year let it be The Start of Me and You!

To find out more about Emery Lord visit: http://www.emerylord.com/

**If you read Open Road Summer keep a look out for a mention of Lilah Montgomery in The Start of Me and You

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Review: Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Finding Paris Book Cover
Finding Paris by Joy Preble

Published: April 21, 2015 by HarperTeen

About the Book:

An evocative and compelling story of two sisters who would do anything for each other—perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and Speak. Joy Preble's stirring new novel explores the lengths to which sisters go to protect each other, and the winding road that brings two strangers into each other's lives.
Sisters Leo and Paris Hollings have only ever had each other to rely on. They can't trust their mother, who hops from city to city and from guy to guy, or their gambler stepfather, who's moved them all to Las Vegas. It's just the two of them: Paris, who's always been the dreamer, and Leo, who has a real future in mind—going to Stanford, becoming a doctor, falling in love. But Leo isn't going anywhere right now, except driving around Vegas all night with her sister.
Until Paris ditches Leo at the Heartbreak Hotel Diner, where moments before they had been talking with physics student Max Sullivan. Outside, Leo finds a cryptic note from Paris—a clue. Is it some kind of game? Where is Paris, and why has she disappeared? When Leo reluctantly accepts Max's offer of help, the two find themselves following a string of clues through Vegas and beyond. But the search for the truth is not a straight line. And neither is the path to secrets Leo and Max hold inside.

I found Finding Paris to be a huge departure from Joy’s previous novels Dreaming Anastasia and The Sweet Dead Life. Finding Paris will quickly draw you in and you will find it hard to put down. Leo is out with her sister Paris at a cafĂ© when Paris dares Leo to go talk to a guy. Leo finds out she has a lot in common with Max so Paris gives them some alone time. When Leo goes outside to look for Paris she realizes Paris is gone and not answering her phone. To make things stranger Leo finds a note that makes it seem that Paris is in trouble. Paris seems to be sending Leo on a scavenger hunt that leads to her sister and secrets that will make you question everything.

The entire time I kept reading Finding Paris I thought of Pretty Little Liars and all the riddles and twist the girls have to solve. Towards the end I thought I had everything figured out to learn I really didn’t. Finding Paris has some great characters, but also some very flawed individuals that will pull at your emotions.

My only complaint would be that I would have liked for a few issues in the last chapters to be more detailed. Since this is not the first book in a series, the end is just that; the final chapter, The End, there isn't a "to be continued". That is why I think that some of the subplots needed a better resolution or lead the reader towards a better conclusion for the characters we've invested sleepless nights over. It’s hard to say without giving away the ending. If you are a fan of Pretty Little Liars or love a book with a ton of twists then I highly recommend picking up Finding Paris. Finding Paris will be a book that stays with me for a long time!

To learn more about Joy Preble visit: www.joypreble.com

Sunday, June 7, 2015

June What I'm Reading Now

June To Read List! I swear May came and went in the blink of an eye.  In May I finished Mind Games and just yesterday I finished Finding Paris and got through about 8 hours of Dreams of Gods and Monsters. I think Dreams of Gods and Monsters is a little over 18 hours so my goal is to finish it this month. (Hold me to it) Review for Finding Paris is coming later this week.

Remember I am always up for taking recommendations, so please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. If you visit my blog often you will find I add and remove books depending on my moods.

What are you reading or looking forward to reading this month?

A Matter of Heart Book Cover

Listening to:
Dreams of Gods & Monsters Book Cover

the start of me and you book cover Finding Paris Book CoverDevoted Book Cover