I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Published by Walker Childrens on April 15th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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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.
What happens when you hit rock bottom and your best friend is coincidently about to headline a summer tour around the country? You take advantage of that epic road trip, of course! Reagan O’Neill is a little, well, out of control. Her family life is less than ideal and her ex-boyfriend hurt her beyond repair. Her summer vacation with her best friend and country superstar Lilah Montgomery is the perfect chance to start over. Add an adorable and handsome opening act to the mix and you get a very unexpected surprise. Even though the premise sounds like the perfect summer read, Open Road Summer was a little less awesome and a lot more genetic than I was expecting.
I was really looking forward to the road trip aspect of this novel. However, despite some exceptions, it was more of a “venue-to-venue” sort of trip instead of an exploration of the cities they visited. While I understand that they had a limit time in each place, I would’ve liked to step away from the bus and experience the different locations instead of feeling like every stop blended into the next. While the tour left a lot to be desired, the characters were interesting enough to keep me reading. Reagan has a very strong personality and she might be a little difficult to like but the over-the-top niceness of her best friend balances this out a bit. Matt (the previously discussed adorable opening act) is dreamy and his conversations with Reagan are funny and/or heartfelt. Even though I didn’t dislike the characters or the book itself, I felt like the story was too predictable. I knew exactly where it was headed from the very beginning and that took away from the few bright moments of the novel.
The one thing that I really loved about Open Road Summer was the friendship. I feel like healthy female friendships are difficult to find in YA so this one gets a lot of brownie points for including one. Even though Reagan’s best friend is a celebrity, there isn’t any jealousy or animosity between them. They have ups and downs but they’re always there for each other and I loved that. I also really enjoyed the music element of the novel. I have a weakness for lyrics and I loved those moments when thoughts and feelings were explained through music.
To be completely honest, I was expecting a lot more from this novel, but I didn’t have a terrible time reading it. It isn’t spectacular and it might not be the most original book ever written, but it was fun. If you like Contemporary and you’re looking for a light read, Open Road Summer is the perfect book for you. Just make sure to leave your high expectations at the door.