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Open Road Summer
by Emery Lord
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After the wonderful book that was The Start of Me and You, I had to go and read all the other books by the author. And this one didn’t disapoint. It’s beautiful, vulnerable and realistic with an interesting trio of characters you can’t help but love.
Reagan is not your typical protagonist. She is an infamous party girl, drinking, smoking, just all out rebelling until a bad breakup (and a very literal one) finally forces her to revaluate her choices. She is prone to temper, doesn’t trust anyone easily and is fiercely protective of her best friend. She is also very intelligent, gets excellent grades, has an ambitious plan for college and has decided to use her summer on the road with Dee to shore up her applications for her photojournalism major – not that anyone knows this about her. She is sassy, gives back as good as she gets, but has a vulnerable side to her that no one gets to see except Dee. She has always given into her bad instincts but is now trying very hard to listen to her therapist and think before acting out on her impulses.
Lilah Montgomery or Dee may be a teenage country music star who has to work hard everyday to live up to her image as a role model for young girls; but she is just a young one herself who has to constantly deal with intrusion into every aspect of her life by the paparazzi and slut shaming of all kinds by the gossip rags despite being untrue. She is very mature and strong willed most of the time, in spite of being heartbroken over her breakup with her high school swetheart. She is focused on her goal to become a successful songwriter even if that means she might not get to be with the love of her life, but she does burst into tears and outbursts sometimes when everything becomes too much to handle.
Dee and Reagan’s friendship is the best part of this book. They are very opposite in personalities and its hard to believe that they could really be friends. But they’ve also know each other since they were eight, have seen each others’ bests and worsts, shared their heartbreaks and drunken bouts, but always been there for each other. Reagan’s sees past Dee’s celebrity status and recognizes the teenager within. Dee can see through the tough rebellious facade that Reag puts up and wants the vulnerable girl within to find her happiness. They poke and prod each other, laugh and cry together, and fight and shout and say mean things, but its such a realistic portrayal of teenage friendship, that it made me remember all the best times with my BFF.
Matt Finch is the cute, sweet, boy next door type. He is effortlessly charming and swoony, making all his female fans go crazy, but Reagan likes the man underneath – the one who misses his mom and is very unsure of his future. He tries every trick to tease Reagan out of the walls she has put up around her heart. Their attraction is instant, but they hold back, unsure and uncertain, develop a friendship based on trust and slowly ease into their relationship. Drama obviously ensues and misunderstandings force them apart but the ending is very interesting. They are definitely not the cute, adorable couple but the stubborn, passionate one who will fight with each other about everything, but will also fight hard and dirty for each other, and there will never be a dull moment when they are together.
Though this book is set on the road, it doesn’t have that spontaneous adventure vibe that we generally expect. But I enjoyed the metaphorical journey of each of them finding what they want and where they want to be in their lives. The writing is easy flowing, very conversational and raw and realistic and you will not want to put it down once you start. I especially loved the song lyrics, they are so poetic and emotional and full of feelings and I kept wishing I could hear them as a song.
This book is amazing in its portrayal of teenage friendships, love and heartbreaks, very authentic, showing it in all its true and ugly glory. Definitely recommend to anyone who loves YA contemporaries.
Rating: 93% (4.65 stars)
Regan, BFF to a rising country music star, narrates this summer road trip/concert tour. Lilah, or Dee, to her friends is dealt a blow when an innocent picture is cropped to look salacious, and posted online with the intent to damage her reputation. Management brings in a former child star to be an opening act/pretend boyfriend. Of course, sparks fly between Reagan and the pretend boyfriend.
This book was much better than I thought it would be. Earlier this year I read a book that felt like a Disney movie special. (shudder) Open Road Summer was more realistic and felt like a semi-accurate portrayal of life on tour for an underage entertainer who wants to keep her values.
Reagan and Dee's friendship was strong and felt very real. Some of the reviewers have commented on Reagan's slut shaming of other girls, which she did do often, but I felt like it was a proactive reaction to being a slut shamed herself. It didn't bother me, as a reader.
This was a cute rom-com in book form. I flew through it. I loved the characters. It was exactly what I needed to get over CoFH.
As the title suggests, this is a road-trip book. Our main character's best freind is the equivalent of Taylor Swift and the Main character is going on tour with her for the summer.
At one of the first stops, a picture is leaked and a scandal strikes up concerning the Taylor Swift Look Alike. Luckily. Taylor Swift's PR manager has an idea: Lets invite a boy who signed to the same label on tour and let the media think you're dating him!
Reagan: Reagan has had a rocky past. An absent mother, an alcoholic dad, and a series of bad choices and boyfriends on her part. At some point before the beginning of this book, something happened that made her reaxamine her whole life and realize, in her words, there are only three things she cares about: Dee, her dad, and her photography.
Dee: Dee is the Taylor Swift Look Alike. Except with WAAAAAY less boyfriends and break-ups. In fact, Dee has only had one boyfriend and one break up. And despite the fact that this break up happened more than a year ago, she's still hung up on it. You can see her trying to hold together even though the fame is causing her to fall apart in this book.
Matt: Matt is the boy Dee's PR manager set her up with. But, predictably enough, Matt and Reagan fall for each other even though he's fake-dating her best friend.
As I said, Reagan had made a series of bad choices and boyfriends prior to the beginning of this book, and the last one has left her sort of vulnerable, which, on top of the fact that Matt is fake-dating her best friend, just another reason to push him away. But Matt is a persistent country homeboy and she eventually gives in.
NOTE ON GIVING IN: I HATE the song "Give". Especially since "Human" and "Battle" were so good. But "Give" was SOOO immature. It pained me to read those lyrics. Listen: I know that county has this stigma, but very few country songs are actually that immature. It just seriously annoyed me, I'm sorry. And if someone wrote ME a song, and they wrote THAT song, I'd be pissed off too. Back to your regularly scheduled programming.
When Reagan and Matt start being officially not-dating-because-he's-still-technically-fake-dating-her-best-friend but they're officially in love and Dee knows and it all cool and wonderful and then Corinne comes smashing in, and even though Reagan never explicitly stated her fears in her thoughts, I knew what she was afraind of and I said, out loud, "He'd never do that to you. It's just not in his character." So when that thing happened, though I WAS on Reagan's side, I was still pretty sure that the situation had been horribly misread. And there was a reason she misread the situation, stated apty by Dee and Matt, but the sum of it is: Since her last mistake, she'd been projecting her fears onto Matt their whole relationship. she was ready, prepared, willing to bolt at the first sign of trouble.
Follows seventeen-year-old Reagan as she tries to escape heartbreak and a bad reputation by going on tour with her country superstar best friend--only to find more trouble as she falls for the surprisingly sweet guy hired to pose as the singer's boyfriend.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.6 — Literature English (North America) American fiction 21st Century
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So wonderful! *gushes*
And what a ride!
I'm rooting for those two.
FINAL VERDICT: GO READ IT! NOW! ( )