Published by Bloomsbury on March 31st 2015
Genres: Realistic Fiction
Following her pitch-perfect debut Open Road Summer, Emery Lord pens another gorgeous story of best friends, new love, & second chances.
Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it’s never too late for second chances.
It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
The unfiltered thoughts, feelings, wonderings and ramblings as I read ‘The Start of Me and You’
- I hope this isn’t some sappy, predictable completely cliche high school love story
- I do need a nice quick easy read to get over my ‘Golden Son’ book depression, maybe I could use a little cheese…but only a little!
- Oh I like the cover, there is water and I love a summer beach romance – guilty pleasure!
- Yeeeeeesssss this is a stand alone book, I can’t afford to start another series. I am already way over committed, my TBR shelf is massive!
1st half of book
- Oh it nice and short, this is coming to the beach with me
- I am currently reading in my tent, this is the life!
- Oakhurst, Indiana – Is this a real place? I shall Google
- Are these kids in High School?! Why are they drinking ice coffee? I am 25 years old and I still don’t drink coffee
- Hmmm is this one of those ‘Introducing the love interest is way hot and way cool and OMG he notices me’ books?
- The boyfriend drowns, that’s awful – water is my biggest fear, tugging on my fear strings right now
- Please don’t use the drowning in some cliche way… Please!
- Making plans in a planner – Girl after my own heart!
- The sister’s name is Cameron, unique and different. I like it
- Just laughed out loud – J. Crew boys are generic
- Ugh seating arrangements have put them together and Paige has become a mute – Cliche
- I like the teacher, brilliant sense of humour
- Oh goodness…two boys…family members…love triangle is beginning – NO! I AM TOO FAR INVESTED TO TURN BACK – LET IT BE KNOWN I AM MAD RIGHT NOW
- Oh no Paige wants Ryan, can she not see Max is ticking all her nerdy, grammar girl boxes?
- Side note: Ryan did show positivity in the face of sadness in the middle of the supermarket, so he still has some brownie points in his favour
- Is the QuizBowl the Super Bowl of quizzes? I want an example question so that I can understand how daunting this event is
- Oh Cameron you just lost point, you little annoying, pain in the butt sibling. Then you couldn’t even admit you were wrong #Selfish
- Was that little friend fight necessary?!?
- Max doesn’t come across as good looking, how is she meant to pick him over Ryan – Yes I know, completely shallow. I need more charm and wit and less dorky
- Ooooooooh a swim metaphor, well that backfired
- Oh no, Ryan asked about Tessa – she is playing hard to get, claims she doesn’t care, so predictable, she definitely cares
- Silly silly girl, why did you like to your bestie?! Now you can’t get mad at her she decides to pursue him – which she will because if I haven’t stated it enough, this book is so unbelievably predictable. I would like a plot twist please
- Friendship cuddles are the best kind of cuddles – cue to the warm fuzzies
- Max just earned some major brownie points, when other boys his age would be trying to hook up, he is being the utmost gentleman and supportive friend. What a rarity
I have hit the halfway mark of the book, because I am halfway I am going to finish it. Goodreads has this rated at 4.06, which in all my past experience means it’s good. I am hoping for something left field to happen because right now it is full of teenage cliches and I feel like I could predict the end game for every character.
2nd half of the book:
- Cue the hospital scene
- Of course Max told Tessa…he is damn thoughtful
- Am I meant to not like Paige’s mum? She annoys me, way to overbearing. Can’t you see you have an amazing well rounded child? Let that leash about a bit please mumma bear
- I like Paige’s dad he seems super mellow and cruisey
- It’s nice that the author chose to make Clark (Max’s bully) turn into someone humble and quiet while dealing with the loss of his close friend. It would have been so cliche to have him turn into a monster with no empathy
- I feel like a book loving traitor for having never read any of Jane Austen’s work, which means I don’t get the references and jokes – I would really like to understand in more depth the characters they refer too
- He doesn’t miss Coventry because he has you – Duh!
- I love the beginner’s mind concept – I feel like it’s such a positive way to enter all situations, how could you ever be let down?! Brilliant
- Kisses on the cheek…lame…welcome to the friend zone – Awkward
- He dressed up as Harry Potter every Halloween. Ugh Max marry me! Team Max!
- I wish all guys had such sound and knowledgeable advice like Max.
- I really hope Paige gets into the screen writing programme and her mum isn’t a total overprotective monster
- Oh god please don’t crash Tessa’s car
- Phew home safe – thanks for not taking the book there and making it always a friendship drama
- Another drowning metaphor – geez Max think about
- Paige let it go! He clearly likes Tessa. I hate awkward and embarrassing moments in real life, on screen and in books. I can feel one coming on and I am already cringing in anticipation
- I love Paige’s grandma
- I love Tessa and Paige’s friendship. It is full of support and kindness. Every girl needs a bestie like that. Tessa seems like the kinda girl that would kick ass for you!
- There is a shift in the force…Ryan is taking a backseat to Max, finally…hopefully
- I don’t get why a Paige still has the goal in her planner (Date RC) when she knows her feelings towards Max have changed. I feel panicked one of them is going to find it and then hello awkward moment
- Good on Max. Instead of Paige having to face her fear in front of all her peers so can do it in front of Max – Who obviously cares very deeply for her
- Oh no!
- Awe that was harsh Paige. Not fair and really cruel, he isn’t going to like you after that one. He had the best intentions and you just build a giant castle around yourself – let people in!
- Hahaha silly Paige. Mums don’t miss a thing and chlorine has an extremely strong smell
- OMG My heart melted when Clark called Paige in memory of Aaron’s birthday
- A sharing moment in the car – love it
- I am surprise Paige’s friends aren’t going to support her at the QuizBowl, even if Paige assures them its going to be boring, seems out of character for them
- That’s more like it, I knew they had to be there for support
- I feel like Tessa is about to get all up in Paige’s grill about the Max situation. The other girls are defending Paige and Tessa is saying nothing
- She got in! Woop
- She is finally over her Ryan crush, thank God!
- Ok Max come back into the picture now, you two need to talk
- I don’t understand why Max could possible want or need space from Paige – They were both idiots and she has apologised, ugh teenagers
- Sister Bonding! – I should celebrate this given the circumstances, but I feel like a new chapter is beginning for Paige
- “It doesn’t matter how we became friends” – Oh no did he see her planner?! How does he know? Paige he knows!
- Of course everyone wants you to be happy Paige – people aren’t sadists
- I love Post Secret
- Love her secret
- Love his secret
- Chase him, find him, tell him!
- Kiss time
- The End
After reading feels:
This book was a very easy read. Overall it was extremely predictable and full of a lot of high school cliches, which at times I struggled with but at other stages of the book it worked. This is a book I would recommend if you wanted something quick that didn’t require much thinking to take on holiday. I liked the characters and the overall growth of Paige and her friends.
I am still surprised this is rated so highly on Goodreads. I gave it a 3, I couldn’t give it a 4 because there was no theme, message, character or plot line that stuck out as being poignant or original. Even with the deaths and dealing with loss I struggled to connect with the characters or feel anything. For a book that was meant to touch on serious issues it felt very light.
“It means trying to approach new experiences with no preexisting judgments. You always go in as a beginner, even if you’re not. That way, you’re open to anything that happens”
“There are only two kinds of people: best friends and everyone else”
“Knowing what happens is different from knowing how it happens. And the getting there is the best part.”
“It had taken so long to glue the share of my heart back together, and I just couldn’t afford to give any pieces away”
“Paige Elizabeth, you are allowed to be sad, but you are not allowed to be a defeatist” – Grandma