Thursday, February 27, 2020

Book Review: The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord

Pages: 368
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: Open Road Summer,
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars 

Goodreads says, "It's senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing "the rest of her life," Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be--how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?  Emery Lord's award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life's most important questions."

Fans of The Start of Me and You will remember Paige Hancock and her swoon-worthy relationship with Max.  Now it's senior year and Paige has spent her summer in New York City focusing on screenwriting, which is her passion.  However, with senior year comes changes and big choices that have to be made.  Paige has to figure out where she wants to go to college, all while wondering where Max is going to go and the future of their relationship.  Of course, she is worried about how going off to college will impact her relationship with him as well as her close-knit group of friends.  Her adorable group of friends made a senior year bucket list, but despite all of the fun they had, there's still the ominous cloud of separation that hangs over her head.  Emery Lord truly captures how exciting senior year can be, but also how terrifying it can be to leave your comfort zone in The Map From Here to There.

If you are an avid reader of my blog, you know how much I loved The Start of Me and You. It was one of my favorite books of 2015.  I adored Paige an her group of supportive friends, which you don't often see in young adult literature. I still adored them in The Map From Here to There, especially as they go through the many changes that senior year brings. I also appreciated that they were a diverse group and not just the usual group of girls that you encounter in YA.  Also, I love that Paige is such a well-rounded character. She is smart, she is loyal, but she also deals with many issues that young adults deal with today: anxiety, fears regarding the future, family issues, and more. I think many young adults can relate to Paige and appreciate her journey. 

I really loved Max in The Start of Me and You.  He was just ok for me in this sequel. As much as I liked Max in the first novel, I found myself not wanting Paige to be tied down to Max as she goes off to college.  Nonetheless, as far as YA boyfriends go, he is a good one.  I also appreciate that Lord gave Max a few of his own issues to tackle in senior year, which made it feel even more realistic.

What I love most about Lord's writing is her ability to make her characters and their situations very realistic. The Map From Here to There explores so many of the issues that many us had senior year of high school and she brings it to life well. I wish I could have read this novel back when I was in high school. I think it would have really spoke to me and help me navigate the waters of change that senior year inevitably brings.

If you are a fan of The Start of Me and You, you should definitely pick up this sequel, The Map From Here to There, to see how things ends for Paige.  While I didn't love this as much as the first novel, I still appreciated Paige's journey and I think many young adults will too. 

Are you a fan of Emery Lord's novels? Let me know what you think in the comments below.  


  1. I haven't read these books, but this premise of getting through senior year is so relatable!

    1. Right? I wish I could have read it when I was a senior. I love Emery Lord's writing style and I think I would have appreciated it even more when I was a young adult. Thanks for visiting, Angela!

  2. I'm in two minds about reading this one. I enjoy Emery Lord's books for the most part (The Names They Gave Us was a bit of a miss) but my recall on The Start of Me and You is hazy (I know I enjoyed it - I just don't remember a whole lot of details!) so maybe I'll just leave Paige and Max as they were at the end of The Start of Me and You. I've read a couple reviews of this one and it seems like a lot of people feel there wasn't really a need for a sequel.

    1. Yeah, as much fun as it was so revisit Paige and Max,I am not sure it was entirely needed. Lord's writing was great and I enjoyed it overall, but I think I would have been ok with her leaving the ending as it was. Thanks for visiting, Leanna. It's so great to see you back in the book blogging world! ;)


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