Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
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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.
This review is going to be so much gush. So. Much. Gush. I'd heard nothing but great things about Open Road Summer and more specifically about the ship. Which left me extremely excited to read about all the things. God, this book is just so right and adorable. The amount of book hugging as I was reading along was maybe a little creepy. But hell, it just had to be done. And that ship. I will go down with that ship. I don't think I've yet to require a sequel as much as I do now. Well really I require more Matt Finch. It's a necessity for my continued happiness.
Reagan's BFF is Lilah Montgomery, a teenage country music star. So when she asks Reagan to come out on the road with her for her summer tour Reagan jumps on the chance. It's the perfect time to get away from her life and spend time traveling across the country with her best friend.
So let's just get right into why I loved this book so so so much.
Reagan and Dee's(Lilah) friendship. I easily ship both relationships in Open Road Summer. It's so rare to find such strong female friendships in YA. And this one is by far my favourite I've come across. They've known each other for years. Reagan was with Dee before she became a superstar. She was her best friend when Dee was awkward and friendless. So there's absolutely no jealously. They would take down the world for each other. Which is very apparent when some extremely photo shopped pictures of Dee get leaked. Reagan is not only there for Dee as she's extremely upset but she also knows the exact things to say and do to get Dee through it. She's also ready to destroy the world to get the images taken down.
It's not just one way though, Dee has seen Reagan rebel and not make the best decisions over the years. Reagan's mom walking out on her and her dad when she was younger made a huge impact on her. But Dee brought along a much needed friendship as well as a second home. Dee's family is Reagan's family too.
As individual people I loved Reagan and Dee, too. Reagan is very real, a little cynical, and knows how to get what she wants. But she's also realistic, witty and smart.
Yes Dee is a Taylor Swift like superstar but she's so grounded. And so very sweet. She's all about privacy for her friends and family. She cares so much about every one around her and her young, impressionable fans. She handles being the spotlight like a pro. So when she does break down emotionally it totally gets you in the feels too.
You must trust me when I say these girls and their friendship is one of the best out there in YA today.
Than you have Matt Finch. What a babe. There is no way I can do this guy justice. But just think of this Levis wearing, guitar playing, sweet singing voiced, hair getting in the eyes, adorable guy. Got it? Now you have to pick up Open Road Summer because your imagination did not even get it close to right. I don't know where you came from Matt Finch but you've just pushed yourself right near the top of my fictional boyfriends list. I don't want to say to much about him because honestly you need read him and all his glory and come to understand why he's just perfect. He's not as famous as Dee but when he joins her on the road you see why he has a very loyal following. He is charming, sarcastic and so very sweet. Matt Finch's reasoning for joining the tour is to be there for Dee. He treats her like a sister. It's so loving and cute.
Now this is one of the best ships. Ever. Reagan and Matt are freakin' ridiculously adorable. I don't think I've wanted two people to "just kiss already for God's sake" as much as I needed them to. The banter and flirting between them is so well done. I just can't even. Words fail me. They just needed to happen. They're so well suited for each other and just so good together. Give me more Reagan and Matt Finch, Emery Lord. GIVE ME!
Everything about Open Road Summer is so fun. The writing and dialogue flows so easy and is packed full of personality. I think Lord does a fantastic job of painting a teenage star dealing with being in the public's eye and the crap the media constantly piles on these people's lives. It's always about the story. There's no care for what it could do to their life. So it just shows the importance of having trusting and loving people that care about you and your well being in your life. But that just doesn't come across with Dee and her relationships but with Reagan and her's and Matt and his. This book is just brilliant at showcasing strong relationships well in such a fun and summery setting. Open Road Summer took me on road trip alright. And left me smiling and giddy the whole way.
“If we could capture feelings like we capture pictures, none of us would ever leave our rooms. It would be so tempting to inhabit the good moments over and over again. But I don't want to be the kind of person who lives backwardly, who memorializes moments before she's finished living in them. So I plant my feet here on this hillside beside a boy who is undoing me, and I kiss him back like I mean it. And, God help me, with the sky wrapped around us in every direction, I do mean it.”