31 March 2015

Review: The Start of Me and You

The Start of Me and You
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's something about these teen romances that always get me. A good one can be tremendous, though, and The Start of Me and You is really one of my favorites that I've gotten to read as of late. A fun mix of outcasts, coping with loss, and typical high school drama, it just works on all levels and quickly became one of my favorite reads of all time.

The story is about Paige, who sees her first boyfriend drown and has spent the last year struggling to cope. Starting school in her junior year, she's vowing to do things differently and face her fears, and her friends are helping along with her new classmate who she meets through quiz bowl. Paige has plans, but things don't go the way she expected, as we'd think.

This book just has a ton of heart. Paige is believable, her friends and love interests great, the story itself has a lot of fun little nods and references without being too obscure. I pretty much tore through this one as quickly as I could because I really felt the need to know what was coming up and around. It doesn't rely on any real hokey conventions - there aren't any movie stars, nothing is going out of business - it just ends up being a really believable story with a solid message and a lot of fun along the way.

What is the most important thing with this book, though, is how it mixes the basic romance plots with a lot of realistic, little-discussed topics. The death of someone close who was way too young. The family member melting away in front of you when you need them the most. I related a lot to this book, and had more than my share of moments with it, both while reading it and long after.

Highly, highly recommended. I loved this book. I have become, and will continue to be, a crazy evangelist for how great and awesome and important this book is. Everyone - yes, everyone - should read this, it is absolutely and without a doubt some of the best YA has to offer in terms of the total package without using existing tropes or popular trends as a crutch. It may not have the emotional weight of The Fault in Our Stars or the literary value of Ship Breaker, but when we talk about books that teens need (or, well, all of us), this is what I think of.

Well done. Now go find yourself a copy.

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