Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Pub. Date: April 15, 2014
Rec. Age Level: 14+
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In Emery Lord's debut, OPEN ROAD SUMMER, Reagan begins the summer with the simple plan of spending the entire summer with her best friend, Dee. Reagan and Dee have been best friends for years, sticking with one another through think and thin and life changes big and small. Dee has been there for Reagan through drunken nights, hangovers, high school gossip, bad breakups, and family drama. And, though Dee has a significantly less drama filled high school experience, Reagan has been her rock through her recent break up with her long time boyfriend... and her recent rise to country music stardom. Dee is none other than Lilah Montgomery - the rising star every girl wants to be and every guy wants to date - but she's just Dee to Reagan. Reagan needs to get out of town for awhile and Dee's first nationwide tour provides the perfect opportunity: the open road, her best friend, and miles and miles between Reagan and her problems.
When scandalous pictures of Dee are leaked to the tabloids, threatening Lilah Montgomery's wholesome image and dredging up the emotional baggage of Dee's recent breakup, the record label adds Matt Finch, teen heartthrob and fellow musician, to the tour as the opening act. Matt's sudden addition distracts the media, turning the attention from the scandal to speculations about a potential relationship between Lilah and Matt. Reagan is simultaneously attracted and annoyed by the talented, confident, wounded Matt Finch. Even though she knows she has no business being interested in the guy who is keeping Dee safe from media scandal, she finds that little by little, Matt Finch is breaking down her defenses and making her feel things she'd rather pretend she's immune to.
The simple summer Reagan has planned has suddenly become a lot more complicated.
This book makes my heart happy! How can you not love a book filled with music, tension-filled romance, best friends, and roadtripping? PLUS a snarky, not-so-secretly damaged main character, a best friend dealing with the negative consequences of fame, and a love interest that's swoonworthy (not only because he's gorgeous, but because he's smart, talented, passionate, and a genuinely good guy)? This book is obviously a guaranteed win!
If you love books by Morgan Matson, Deb Caletti, Sarah Dessen, Simone Elkeles, Katie McGarry, or any other must-read contemporary YA author, I guarantee you'll devour OPEN ROAD SUMMER and immediately begin looking for the release date of Emery Lord's next book.