Open Road Summer by Emory Lord

Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emory Lord
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Release Date: April 15, 2014
Pages: 342
Source: ARC, ALA

Summary from Goodreads:
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.


EVERY LITTLE DETAIL in this book is likable – the characters, the relationships, the summer setting, the 24-city concert tour, the country music, Reagan’s photography. This is one hell of a contemporary that has become a new favorite of mine. But two things were done EXCEPTIONALLY well that gave this book that favorite status – the friendship between Reagan and Dee and the romance between Reagan and Matt.

Reagan and Dee could not be more different - Dee being kind, and trusting and well-behaved with Reagan being outspoken and stubborn and rebellious - but they were both good girls and their friendship was rock solid. It reminded me of what I have with my best friend. You could tell that these girls loved each other from the way they took care of, supported and looked out for one another. No matter what life threw their way - heartbreak, bad press,  expectation - they were their for each other and would get through it together. It was such an admirable friendship, with deep-seeded roots, and I loved it.
 "'This past year has been a lesson in letting go and holding on, and I still don't know what to make of it. I guess I do know this: find a best friend, and hang on tight.'"
As for the romance between Reagan and Matt – it was just the right amount of sugar and snark. At first, they flirted and teased each other, not really giving much thought to an actual relationship, but the more time they spent together, the more they realized they had in common.They both had a difficult past, understood loss and guilt and regret, and it bonded them together. And then it was sweet, so so sweet. But Reagan struggled to give her heart fully to Matt having been hurt before. But Matt was patient and would not give up on her. Guys, Matt Finch is seriously one of the best fictional boys EVER. Just wait until you see what this boy does for Reagan. I swooned hard. I am totally a finchette.

This book is a must read. Do not be afraid of the hype - I admit that I was - but it is well deserved. It's not often you see such a strong focus on friendship, characters with a lot of personality and depth, a sweet and believable romance, and a fun music-filled setting. This book has a little something for everyone. And it is every bit as fantastic as they are saying.

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