Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: April 15, 2014
Source: Personal Copy
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Goodreads says, "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."Reagan O'Neill is ready for the summer of her life when she accompanies her best friend and country music superstar, Lilah Montgomery, while on tour. This comes at the perfect time in Reagan's life, because she just got out of a bad relationship and this road trip will hopefully give her some new perspective. Plus, Lilah is also newly single, so a summer with your best friend and tons of girl time should help both of them. However, girl time is cut short when Matt Finch joins the tour as an opening act. This throws a wrench in Reagan's plans for a simple summer when she starts to have feelings for Matt and can't resist his charm. Reagan and Lilah learn a lot about life, friendship and love while on the road. Emery Lord's young adult debut, Open Road Summer, is summertime read perfection.
Reagan and Lilah are opposites in Open Road Summer. Reagan is outgoing, abrasive, and tough. She's the type of girl to dish it right back to you, gets all the attention, and wears stilettos like she was born in them. Reagan dates bad boys and has gotten into some trouble back home. Lilah, or Dee as Reagan calls her, is more timid, the quintessential "good girl," wears flats, JCrew, and is determined to live out her dream as a country music star. Somehow Reagan and Dee work though despite their differences and have been best friends since they were kids. It's an interesting friendship and I found myself daydreaming what it might be like to have grown up with someone like Taylor Swift and be her best friend from home.
Enter Matt Finch. Whenever a good looking boy enters the picture in a situation like this, I always cringe, because you know it's going to put a damper on the girls-only plans they had for the summer. I thought immediately that fireworks were going to ensue between good girl Dee and good guy Matt, but Dee's heart still belongs to Jimmy, her ex-boyfriend, back home. So, of course, Matt is intrigued by Reagan and as much as Reagan tries to close herself off to him, he breaks down her walls again and again. I was a huge fan of Matt in Open Road Summer.
Let's talk about two of my favorite aspects of Open Road Summer. Number one: Country music!!! I am a huge country fan, so I was loving the country music vibe in this book. Lord provided snippets of the songs Matt and Dee were writing and I thought it felt very real to me. They sounded like songs I might listen to on the radio…very authentic. Plus, the girls live in Nashville, so needless to say, country music plays a major role in this story. Number two: The road trip!!! Yes, to a summer road trip! Road trips always make for a fantastic summertime read. I love a good road trip and Lord captured the magic of a summertime trip perfectly.
Open Road Summer is a wonderful summertime debut and one that I recommend. It would be perfect to read poolside or at the beach this summer. This book made me want to buy a pickup, hit the road for Nashville with the windows down, music blasting through my speakers and my best friend by my side. Open Road Summer is definitely one of my favorite books of the year.