"Fortunately, I speak Passive-Aggressive Bitch as a second language."
--Emery Lord, Open Road Summer
Publisher: Walker Children's
Publication Date: April 15th, 2014
Source: Hardcover provided via publisher thanks to Rachel at hello, chelly
Ok y'all. I'm doing something a little different with this review by breaking down what I loved by using a Taylor Swift song for each header...because I could not get Taylor Swift songs out of my head while reading and for like a week after! There are so many that reminded me of what was going on in the plot and how Dee's song lyrics sound. SO a HUGE thank you to Rachel at hello, chelly for literally being my friend and asking Bloomsbury to send me this book as a part of their 'My Open Road Summer' promotion. Without further ado...what I loved...
Reagan and Dee's friendship was by and far my favorite part of the book. I love reading about friendships like this in stories. Their complete trust in one another and willingness to go to bat for one another time and again is beautiful. I always get a little misty-eyed when I read stories about friendships like this because it is an amazing thing to be able to find somebody in this world that loves you for you and will do anything for you. Especially when you make poor decisions. Dee and Reagan's friendship is nowhere near one-sided as you might assume with Dee being famous. Dee picks Reagan up when she makes bad decisions. And Reagan defends Dee with all she has. I love love LOVE them.
I mean, how can we not talk about Matt Finch? This is boy is 50 shades of adorable and I was literally grinning like an idiot every time he spoke. He is so witty and charming, OMG IS HE CHARMING! I loved his personality and how he just wouldn't let Reagan go or give her a break at all. Their wit and banter was just amazing.
I'm Only Me When I'm With You
Reagan made some poor decisions in response to being hurt and left behind. I loved her characterization and how she found a home and a place to be herself with Dee...and maybe Matt...you'll have to read to find out. I loved that even when things were bad she had a place to belong with Dee. Their friendship truly is one for the books.
Everything Has Changed
The relationship growth between Reagan and Matt was just a perfect summer romance. I loved that she started with her fortress built up around her and Matt fought his way through brick by brick. She learns so much about herself and letting go and it didn't all have to do with Matt. There is a line at towards the end of the book that I just LOVED because it's all about personal growth and finding acceptance in yourself before you can let other people in. *sigh*
As my chosen quote at the top will tell you, I was fallin in friendship love with Reagan. Her astute and blunt observations about the situations and people around her had me laughing out loud. I've read some criticism about her character and it kind of makes me rage-y. Reagan is every female in existence at one point or another. You're lying to yourself if you haven't had similar thoughts when touched with a little bit of jealousy and a lot of hurt. I won't lie to you, the stuff Reagan thought or said felt like it was coming from my own head at some points. Reagan reminded me a lot of myself when I was in high school and I can tell you from experience she is acting accordingly based on all the hurt she has endured. You can only be put down so much before you learn inherently to always be on the defensive and have your guard up. It really hurts my heart that some people would not get that from her character. She is a hurt young woman trying to have a little self-preservation after a history of being kicked when she's down. Team Reagan. Sorry not sorry.
The growth of all the characters, not just Reagan, had me loving this book hard. We all make mistakes, we all try to move on, and we all try to live out our dreams. The support of those you love around you can inspire you to do amazing things.
I loved reading this book. The characters had me fully invested the story and I really did not want to put the book down. It was a perfect summer read and had me smiling while reading. And if in the dead of winter you need a little sunshine and pick me up, read this book. Perfect for all seasons.