Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Walker Books | Hardcover, 342 pages
April 15th, 2014
Young  Adult | Romance
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Smitten. Absolutely smitten. This book is everything you need to spend your day in the lazy comfort of your pyjamas with a cup of tea or coffee. It is mindless entertainment at its finest; while managing to squeeze your heart in small painful increments. To be perfectly honest, it took me a while to decide on what kind of rating I should give this book. This is one of those instances when the rating came with some heavy deliberation. While I didn’t rate it begrudgingly, the book made me question the folly of defining my reading experience by a number. Come to think of it, I’ve been doing plenty of that lately.

Open Road Summer is a story about a couple of friends smarting from their recent respective broken hearts. Reagan just got rid of the cancer that was her ex-boyfriend, while Dee got unceremoniously dumped by her childhood sweetheart. This summer, they decided that they will try to heal each other through the salve of their friendship; because boys will come and go, but their bond is stronger than most. Reagan just didn’t anticipate Matt Finch to crash their Boys Suck party.

Reagan is an admirable girl who saw the truth of how she was ruining her life by acting out. Before it was too late, she realized exactly how fruitless her actions were. The only person that she was hurting was really the only person she would protect with her own life, and that’s Dee. Because even with her run-ins with the law, or the obvious cry for help, there are a lot things her father didn’t know about her – not the way Dee knows her anyway. Reagan is far from perfect: she’s rough, unapologetic, and immature in some ways. But her staunch loyalty knows no bounds.

I love their friendship; it’s the kind that even some siblings fail to achieve. They leave the judging for other people outside of their two-person circle. I also love the contrast between characters, and how it worked so flawlessly. It was not contrived in anyway. Dee is the complete opposite of Reagan. Where Reagan is balls-out fierce, Dee is the quiet sufferer. But try to dictate her life and she’ll tell you exactly where you should go. I really felt for Dee and Jimmy. I wish there was a book about them before this. I think a prequel of how their relationship started, and its eventual end would be just the perfect preamble for this book.

Open Road Summer is perfect in the way it’s meant to be written. Readers will fall in love with this story of friendship, broken hearts, and new beginnings. I suspect Emery Lord have found a niche in the annals of contemporary romance. It’s hard to believe this  is her first novel.