Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road SummerOpen Road Summer by Emery Lord

Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Page Count: 352
Published by: Walker Childrens
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis 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.

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I hope I'm not the only one who didn't think this book was all that. Don't get me wrong, it's still pretty cool for a summertime read. It just didn't wow me like I thought it should or would.

I actually thought Reagan was a bitch. She was really self centered and thoughtless at times, and she had a really bad attitude and was very judgemental. She was mean and a girl hater, and I couldn't stand that about her. It was downright impossible for me to like her. I've come to realize that if I don't like the main character, then I have a hard time liking the book. I feel that they directly relate to each other. So I can't separate disliking the protagonist from disliking the story. Does that make sense? Because that's how I feel about Open Road Summer.

I liked Matt well enough, but I wanted to really LOVE him. That makes me sad because he had all the ingredients to be totally swoonworthy, but he just fell a little short for me. I didn't feel like I got to know him well enough, but I still enjoyed what I got. He seemed like a really great guy, and worthy of the praise he received for his singing and songwriting abilities. He was definitely star material!

Even though there were some really cute moments between Reagan and Matt, I couldn't get behind them as a couple because of my dislike for Reagan. Reagan was extremely jealous and hateful of Matt's female fans, and I thought Matt deserved so much better. I also don't know how long their relationship can last when Reagan feels threatened by every female that Matt comes into contact with. She constantly put down other girls because of their appearance and behavior, when she dressed the exact same way and acted even worse. The biggest problem I had with all of this was that Reagan got away with her behavior because no one called her on her bullshit. And I call bullshit on THAT! Reagan's circumstances and fear of abandonment contributed to her behavior, but in the end I don't believe that is a reasonable excuse for the way she behaved.

I actually liked Dee (Lilah) the most. (Too bad the book wasn't about her and her ex-boyfriend. I could have really gotten behind that story!) I enjoyed Dee and Reagan's friendship for the most part. I liked that they were still close even after Dee's career took off. Having Reagan as a friend allowed Dee to have a normal life and be herself without the pressure of being 'Lilah' all the time.

While I enjoyed the plot, I loved the writing even more. I have some idea of what goes into being on the road as a musician, and this aspect of the story felt authentic to me. This was an incredible debut by this author. Despite my issues with it, Open Road Summer is perfect for anyone who enjoys a good summer on the road book.

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
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  1. I didn't feel that way about Reagan, but I just read a book and felt EXACTLY that way about the main character. It is hard to like a book if you dislike the main character.
    Jen @ YA Romantics

  2. I just finished writing my review for this, and I felt the exact same way you did. Reagan was such a bitch. Why did Matt even like her? Other than being gorgeous, what was the appeal? I'm the same way, if I don't like the MC, it's really hard for me to like the book. Glad I'm not the only one that didn't love this book! ~Pam

  3. This book sounds like a bummer, actually, I'm pretty sure I would hate Reagan.

    I hope your next read is more awesome


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