Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Emery Lord
Walker Books
Publication Date: April 15, 2014

From the back cover:

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.

I picked up OPEN ROAD SUMMER because the premise combined road trips and country music, both of which I love. I didn’t have a whole of expectation for the book. I’d hoped to find a fun story with a cute romance, and OPEN ROAD SUMMER delivered on that score. It also delivers on unique, layered characters and wonderful emotional depth.

Reagan is an extremely flawed heroine, which I found refreshing, even when she wasn’t all that likeable. She’s made mistakes and throughout the book, she makes a whole lot more, but mistakes are a part of growing up (heck, they’re even a part of adulthood!) and so all of Reagan’s faults just make the story that much more real. Matt is the perfect counterpart for her to fall in love with, a boy with hidden depths and vulnerabilities that show through his weathered rock-star armor. The ups and downs of their romance provide a great backdrop to the real gem of OPEN ROAD SUMMER, and that is, the friendship between Reagan and Dee (Lilah).

It’s rare to find a book that centers so much on the relationship between friends and Emery Lord manages to capture Reagan and Dee’s friendship perfectly. They laugh, they cry, they fight like only life-long friends can, and it is through their friendship that readers really see the healing for the hurts in both Reagan and Dee’s pasts.

OPEN ROAD SUMMER is a wonderful debut by Emery Lord. I’m looking forward to see future releases from this bright new talent!



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