REVIEW TRAIN: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord [GIVEAWAY]

I’m so happy to have the opportunity to participate in this Summer Review Train with some of my favorite bloggers! I hope you guys have been enjoying all of the different stops, because I know I have. Check back tomorrow with Space Between the Spines for the last stop on the Review Train and a GIVEAWAY!

Reagan is currently on tour with her superstar best friend Lilah Montgomery (but everyone that actually knows her calls her Dee). Both girls just got out of relationships and are ready to have a fun, girls only summer. Unfortunately, a strategically cropped photo of Dee appears on the internet and when some of her fans turn on her, management is forced to bring on a new act to open for her. Matt Finch is definitely not Reagan’s type but apparently no one told him that.

After reading Lord’s book The Start of Me and You I thought that I definitely need to read everything from this author. Open Road Summer was great, not necessarily on par with The Start of Me and You in my opinion, but still fantastic. Reagan was, at times, hard to like. She had a serious attitude problem and the reader gets the sense that she really has no idea who she is at the end of the day. I would not say that Reagan is necessarily a good role model even though she does grow a lot by the end of the book. She likes to dress in tight, revealing clothing, she smokes (though she is trying to quit), and she isn’t that shy about drinking. Lord has almost made her into an anti-hero type and uses Dee as a contrasting figure.

The relationships throughout this book were really great. I love when authors portray strong girl friendships and even though Reagan and Dee are so different, they’re still such good friends. At the start, their friendship doesn’t really make sense, but the reader gets some glimpses into their past throughout the book that gives their relationship more depth. Another relationship that I really liked was between Reagan and her dad. Her dad doesn’t feature that prominently in the story line, but I feel like they have a couple of good moments and it’s obvious how hard he’s trying to be a good dad. Some people in the blogging community have commented on how parents seem to be absent in YA books? While that’s kind of true in this book as well, I think Lord does a great job with her adult characters of portraying good parents. Reagan’s dad and both of Dee’s parents are portrayed in a really positive light.

Overall, this book was really fun. I liked the road trip-esque aspect of it and I liked that our characters had some obvious development at the end. Reagan wasn’t always my favorite, but at least I feel like I could understand most of her mindsets and reactions.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Summer 2016 Review Train Dates and Stops:

May 30th – Genni at Ready, Set, Read reviewed The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
May 31st – Lauren at Always Me reviewed Future Shock by Elizabeth Briggs
June 1st – Laura at Blue Eye Books reviewed The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
June 2nd – Sam at Tsundoku Books reviewed Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia
June 3rd – Czai at The Blacksheep Project reviewed Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver
June 4th – Alicia at A Kernel of Nonsense reviewed The Distance Between Us by Kasie West
June 5th – Ashley at [Insert Title Here] reviewed Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
June 6th – Sinead at Less Reality, More Books reviewed The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood
June 7th – Ashley at What’s She Reading? reviewed Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
June 8th – Brittany at Space Between the Spines is reviewing Summer Days and Summer Nights by Stephanie Perkins + GIVEAWAY!

Top Ten Tuesday: I’m a Sarah Dessen Fangirl

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Ten Reasons I Love X

I could choose a lot of things as there are a lot of things that I am currently or have been obsessed with in the past. But really, there was only ever on choice.

Top Ten Reasons I love Sarah Dessen:

1) Her protagonists are usually super relatable. They’re just normal high school girls, usually on the quieter side trying to navigate life.

2) She includes cameos (and sometimes a little more than that) of past characters. I LOVE when she does this. It makes her characters seem so much more real–they don’t just cease to exist even though their book is over!

3) Colby. I love this beach town. Seriously, why can’t this place exist? Okay, mostly I just want to go to that laundromat/pie bar.

4) She features nice guys. Some of Dessen’s male protagonists are a little rougher around the edges than others, but in the end they’re nice guys (with the exception of…two who her female protagonists don’t end up with anyway). I like that Dessen doesn’t glorify the good girl/bad boy relationship. There are nice guys out there ladies. Don’t settle for a bad boy.

5) Parent relationships. There is usually some kind of parent/child conflict in her books, but I love that the parent is never portrayed as the bad guy in the end.

6) Great girl friend relationships. Seriously Halley and Scarlet are #friendgoals along with every other group or pair of girl friends that Dessen has written. They’re honest with each other and fiercely loyal. If you need some girl power in your life, just pick up one of Dessen’s books.

7) Her Twitter feed. Just go follow her. You won’t regret it.

8) The inanimate objects. Hi, where can I get one of Wes’s metal angels or a key necklace? Kay thanks.

9) Characters with great names. Auden, Remy, Macy, Annabel, Halley, Dexter, Wes, Macon. I don’t actually know anyone with these names, but I love them anyway.

10) She’s a great writer. Now, I’m not an expert or anything, but I personally really enjoy the way that Dessen writes. It’s easy to read, but she has some really quotable lines as well. More than anything I like that her books make me FEEL what she’s writing about.