The Start of Me and You
by Emery Lord
Release Date: March 31, 2015
Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens
Number of Pages: 411
Source: Borrowed from MCL
Read 7/21/19 to 7/23/19
Can you plan happiness?
It’s been a year since Paige’s first boyfriend died in a swimming accident and it’s time she rejoined the real world.
So she makes a plan:
1. Date a boy (long-standing crush Ryan Chase seems like the perfect choice)
2. Attend parties (with best friends by your side: doable)
3. Join a club (simple enough, right?)
4. Travel (might as well dream big)
5. Swim (terrifying. Impossible)
But when she meets Ryan’s sweet but so nerdy cousin, Max, he opens up her world and Paige’s plans start to change.
Is it too late for a second chance at life?
I decided to try this book by this new-to-me author out after reading a review from Raya over at Raya’s Reads. I’m sure glad I did. This story is very sweet, but not in a sickly overdone way. The characters are people I’d love to hang out with and grab a coffee.
Paige has been through a lot, having to deal with emotions no teenager should have to deal with. How does a young woman overcome losing her boyfriend she’d only been with for a few months when adults don’t know how to deal with such things? Let’s be honest, most people don’t meet their future spouse when they’re 15, but if you lose someone at that impressionable age you always wonder what could have been.
Everything is a slow build in this book, but the story doesn’t move slowly at all. We move from Max and Paige not really knowing one another to working together in Quiz Bowl to being friends very smoothly. It doesn’t happen instantly, but steadily and organically. As Paige and Max become friends, their friends also become friends. There are a lot of real feelings, ups and downs, fun times and rough times. Through it all, Paige realizes she’s come to rely on Max and she confides in him even more than she confides in her best friend Tessa. Not that Paige doesn’t have an amazing friendship with Tessa, Morgan, and Kayleigh. These girls have stood together through thick and thin. I love that the author kept these girls tight through it all.
Max is a wonderfully supportive friend. He always seems to care about those around him, even when he has his own issues. That’s also his problem, he doesn’t stand up and ask for help or support when he needs it because he is such a helper. When his feelings get hurt, they get hurt deep. As much as he has cause to be upset, he takes it a bit further than need be because of all of the things he kept inside.
This is a coming-of-age story that’s not your typical coming-of-age story. The characters (and reader) learn a lot along the way, but as the reader I didn’t feel like any lessons were being shoved down my throat. Everything really happens organically and naturally. (Now I seem to be repeating myself, but it’s so true!)
I’m not sure if all editions of this book have the same content, but in the Kindle edition I read there is some bonus content after the main story is over. Do not miss it! It’s a lot of fun and witty and gives some cool insights about this group of friends.
I’ll definitely be seeking out more from this author. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and its characters.