The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You, # 1)
By: Emery Lord
Publication: March 31st 2015 by Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Source: Personal Kindle Library (Christmas gift)
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Goodreads description--It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
I have long seen Emery Lord's books publish and receive high ratings. Yet I have only now had the pleasure of reading one of her books. I actually requested and was approved for The Map from Here to There without realizing it was the 2nd in a series. So, of course, I had to come back and read the first in the series before picking it up. I am so glad that I did.
I read The Start of Me and You really quickly... even staying up late to read. I didn't want to put it down.
The Start of Me and You is a bit emotionally heavy. Paige is dealing with a lot. Her boyfriend of two months died a year ago and people are still treating her as a widow. Her divorced parents have started dating and she fears she's going to have to endure their separation again. And her grandmother is dealing with Alzheimer's. Lots of heavy things.
One of my pet peeves is people who have a disdain for sympathy or what they view as pity. How are people supposed to treat you when someone you're close to dies? Would you rather they ignore your grief? Would you rather they act apathetic? Why is it so surprising that not everyone knows how to approach you or what to say? And why is it such a bad thing for others to feel bad for the sadness that you're experiencing? Thankfully Paige does work through some of her feelings about this subject. But it is just one of those things that frustrate me to no end when I see it come up. If random people can celebrate your successes with you then why is it so difficult to believe they might also grieve your losses with you and for you?
I LOVED Paige's group of friends. Kayleigh, Tessa, and Morgan. Each warmed my heart in their own ways and for their support and relationships with each other. These girls were true family, and I wish everyone could have 3 close friends like these girls. I also loved Paige's grandmother. Even with Alzheimer's, she was wise and supportive.
I was a little frustrated with Paige's obsession with Ryan. Granted she had a good reason for having a crush on him, but I felt like she ignored so many clues as to his feelings as well as her own. Of course, this was really just needed for the plot.
Paige herself was easy to like and root for even if she missed the obvious a bit.
But Max...Max was awesome. He is so completely at ease with himself. He is happy and comfortable being who he is. Unapologetic. I loved this about him. He's trustworthy. He's thoughtful. And he's smart. Plus he's right, Firefly is one of the best TV shows to exist, especially since it was only one season.
-“In books, sometimes the foreshadowing is so obvious that you know what’s going to happen. But knowing what happens isn’t the same as knowing how it happens. Getting there is the best part.”
-In friendship, we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.
-you are allowed to be sad, but you are not allowed to be a defeatist.
The Start of Me and You was worth all of the ratings I saw come through when it originally published. Emery Lord dealt with a lot of heavy and emotional issues through this book and she did them all justice. I hated to see where Tessa ended up in the bonus content mostly because I was rooting for Ryan, but also because it felt political. The Start of Me and You gets 4 Stars. And I really feel that this review hasn't done it justice. Have you read The Start of Me and You? What did you think? Let me know!