Music that means something.
Open Road Summer by Emery Lord is a YA contemporary that features all of these things--plus a very cute nice-guy/boy-next-door love interest named Matt Finch who is sure to make you swoon.
The story features two 17-year-old girls who couldn't be more opposite (on the outside). Lilah Montgomery, "Dee" to her friends, is a country music starlet on the rise. She's the good girl who never puts a toe out of line, perfection personified from her long golden locks and persistent smile to her sweet southern lyrics.
Reagan O'Neill, on the other hand, is anything but perfect. She's a recovering bad girl who loves wearing high heels and tight clothes. Her quick temper and wild streak has been known to get her into trouble. That's why she's sworn off guys for the summer. This tour is going to be just her and Dee, best friends, having the time of their lives. No boys allowed.
Until Matt Finch joins the tour.
And shows Reagan that maybe, just maybe, nice boys are the way to go.
Okay, so what I liked best about the book was the friendship between Dee and Reagan. It was very sweet and believable. I loved how loyal they were to each other. Though the story starts with their friendship fully formed, I totally bought the fact that they are best friends who look out for each other, know one another inside and out.
What I liked even more? They never turned on each other.
In a lot of YA these days, I see so many "frenemies." Girls who are just waiting for that moment when they can steal their BFF's boyfriend, stab her in the back, and steal her place in the social hierarchy. This totally could've been one of these books. But thankfully, it wasn't.
Dee and Reagan were true best friends, who laughed and cried together, argued but always had each others' back. The love there was real, and I greatly enjoyed reading about girl BFFs who maintained and strengthened their bond throughout the story.
I'm not going to lie: I couldn't help but picture Dee as Taylor Swift. She was very Swift-like, if you will, but I think that was intentional. Matt Finch, the love interest, was sweet--but not too sweet. Matt was flirty and sincere and kinda sexy and everything a book boyfriend should be. Speaking of which, I also adored Jimmy, the cowboy Dee left behind <3. If their story was front and center, I actually might've loved it even more.
The writing itself wasn't necessarily as snappy as I usually go for, but it had heart. I especially liked the song lyrics that were incorporated. Unlike many other stories, these lyrics read like real lyrics. Definitely liked that little detail.
Overall, Open Road Summer was an enjoyable read with two girls at its heart who were true best friends. A very nice read!
Happy Thanksgiving, and happy reading everyone,