Title: The Start of Me and You
Author: Emery Lord
Published: March 2015
Summary: A year ago, Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died tragically in a drowning incident. She is beginning to crawl out of the hole of darkness that has enveloped her for the past year and wants to make an effort at starting over and moving forward. She does this by making a list of things she thinks she needs to do in order to move on, including joining a new club, dating someone new, and swimming.
Thoughts: This is the second book I have read by Emery Lord this year, the other being Open Road Summer. I do love YA, but sometimes there is YA that is really best served by being read by someone who is YA, which I am not. This book really would best be enjoyed by someone that still has the word teen incorporated into their age, or close to it. It is a good enough read and I am not saying I didn’t enjoy it, but it just lacked some plot development and character depth that usually draws me into a story. What I will say is that it seemed like it could have been written by a teenager. I don’t mean that as a sleight to either teens or Emery Lord, but I mean that it really had the voice of someone that is 16. I enjoyed the geeky-ness of this book, including many references to literature and other little factoids that came up throughout the book.
I had a hard time believing the depth of Paige’s friendships, and this might actually be the crux of why I couldn’t fully get behind this book. Come to think of it, this is often where I think a YA book can stumble, forcing these massive, bigger-than-life friendships onto the reader instead of developing them. Stating that these people were her best friends is one thing, but showing deep-rooted friendship through story telling takes time and finesse, which I didn’t see as much of in this book. The use of friendships as a major part of a story plot, as it was here, requires me to buy into the friendship fully. I am sure Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh are great people, but I just didn’t feel like I had the chance to assess the friendship myself.
Overall, I would say that this book would be great for a teenager, in fact, I immediately recommended it to my 15-year-old niece. It is a pretty wholesome, feel-good story, without much content that would make a parent concerned. As for me, I might be ending my relationship with Emery Lord.