Author: Emery Lord
Summary: 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.
Review: If you are looking for a light summer read that relishes in summer time, pick up Open Road Summer by Emery Lord. The story follows the summer of Reagan who has a bit of a bad streak going for her. She joins her best friend and country music star, Lilah Montgomery on tour. To the world she is Lilah Montgomery, to Reagan she is just her best friend Dee. One of the things that I absolutely loved the most about this book was the friendship between these two awesome and so completely different girls. They have a parallel in that they've both had their hearts broken and need the summer to heal, to move on-- but for me, the comparison ends there. Dee is soft, kind and warm and a bit more of a southern belle whereas Reagan is quite stubborn and rough around the edges. Through many points in the book I thought to myself: which of these girls do I like more? I could never choose because although they were both flawed in so many ways, they both touched my heart and were so incredibly real. I know one thing... I could not imagine one without the other. Definitely a package deal.
And you guys, it was incredibly believable. A true portrait of friendship (and I won't lie-- the romance part was pretty great in this book, but I'll get there soon). Unlike many other YA books that I've read they weren't catty girls who stab each other in the back. They weren't perfect either. They were there for each other, they yelled and screamed at each other... and yet you were always pulling for them to patch things up, because how does a girl survive without her best friend?
Early on in the book we are introduced to Matt Finch, a singer who joins in on Dee's tour as the opening act in an attempt to dismiss some tabloid rumors going around about Dee. And although Matt is there for Dee, it's Reagan who has caught his eye which is obvious pretty quickly, almost instantly. Matt is pretty much the boy next door, a wear your heart on your sleeve kind of guy and I won't lie-- I swooned. However, Reagan has had her heart broken and has had it pretty rough lately and she's just the kind of girl who keeps her heart guarded and others at arm's length. This book is very much a journey of self discovery, of trusting and of trying, despite anything else, to love. The writing in this book, the dialogue, and the country music lyrics that are woven into this story made this an absolutely perfect summer read.