[528]: The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Bloomsbury | Hardcover, 384 pp. | March 31st, 2015 | Young Adult Fiction | Romance | Rating: 1 out of 5 Stars

When a book gets a 1-star rating on the blog, it generally means that I had to physically force myself to finish it, and that I was close to abandoning ship. I also had to take breaks from it because it was either, really awful or boring as f*ck (pardon my language). Well, this was a combination of all three.

I’m obviously at odds with everyone who read this book. One paltry star for an author that I’ve considered  money in her genre? Say it ain’t so! But yeah. Here’s where we’re at. This was the most boring thing I’ve ever read in a long time. What happened to the gritty  writing of Open Road Summer? While I agree that these are two different story lines altogether, I have to say that I don’t even recognize the writing. Plebeian, pedestrian, dull are just three of the words that come to mind when I think about this book.

Nothing ever happened. It was an endless banal account of Paige Hancock’s life. She has the personality of an unsalted rice cake and when she started becoming interesting, she was all over the place. She’s convinced that Ryan is the next best thing since sliced bread, but it didn’t take a long time before she realizes his cousin is more worth it. She tells me she’s grieving over her boyfriend who drowned and died, but she herself couldn’t even bring herself to feel that she should be grieving. In fact, she feels guilty when people felt sorry for her. Sometimes, she’ll talk about how they weren’t even together long enough to warrant the sympathy afforded to grieving widows, only to turn around and fall apart when something reminds her of Aaron. Sorry. But, make up your mind, will ya? I mean, you were together for two months. I get it. Death is hard, especially if the deceased was close to you, but come on, now. Tell me something endearing about Aaron so I can convince myself that you’re not being over dramatic. I apologize for being cold and callous, but Paige has the flare for the dramatics.

Case in point: Her parents were previously divorced. But now, they’re dating each other. You’d think Paige will be over the moon with this news?  Noooo. She doesn’t think they should be together. Because they were apparently awful together. Whatever. Why can’t you just be happy for them?I don’t know. She might’ve caught at a time when I’m all out of empathy.

There really isn’t much to talk about this book. It’s pages upon pages of kids basically just being high school kids. The thing that disappointed me the most is that I thought Emery Lord is beyond using fillers. Because once you get your characters involved in a rousing game of Spin the Bottle/Eleven Minutes in Heaven, you know you’ve run out of things to write about. Which is sad, because this is only her second book. Before reading this, I was convinced that Emery Lord is well on her way to usurping Sarah Dessen as the big thing in contemporary fiction. This book, however, tells me that she’s got a few thousand miles to go yet.

On a side note: I really love this picture. Shame, the book was awful.


  • Ugh…this sounds really bad! Thank you for the warning, I will be giving this book a wide berth. Fantastic review though! 🙂

  • Before I clicked on this review I told myself from what I had seen of this novel so far it sounded like a typical romance I was not going to enjoy. I told myself if Joy likes it, then in the end maybe it was not as bad as you think. But you didn’t 🙁 So I think I am going to skip over this one.

  • It is a shame you really had to force yourself to read this one. I hate it when nothing really happens. Good on you for sticking it out!

    Naomi @ Naomi’s Reading Palace

    • Thanks, Naomi. I hate not finishing a book, so I had to. :/

  • Aw man 🙁 On one side, the picture is BEAUTIFUL but heh. The book itself sounds overly dramatic and I could never read an MC like Paige. And to think that this was almost at the top of my TBR. Bye, bye book. You be going down to the bottom, sucker.


    • Thanks, Rhea. Since you still have it in your TBR, I’ll wait patiently for your review. Lol.

  • Crap. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to read this and everyone bombarded me with threats that I NEED IT. it sounds interesting but Paige sounds like such a mess so I’m like NAH. I don’t like too much drama and this book seems like it’s got enough and then some more. Awesome.

    Your picture is beautiful, though, so at least you got something out of it. lel.

    • Thanks, Nova. I was in your shoes. I mean, if you go on GR, you can see the barrage of 4 and 5 star reviews for this book. And I thought, hey. How could that be wrong, yes? Unfortunately, I didn’t account for the fact that I can be cynical at times. Long story short, 1 star.

  • This hurts. But in other news – you took a gorgeous photo of this book!

  • I can’t stop laughing Joy, not that you had to endure this, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen you so animated about a book you so strongly disliked before. I think you’ve made an excellent point, if this is only her second book, and she seems to have run out of ideas already. that’s a really worry because it makes her sound more like a one trick pony. Read one YA teen high school trope, read them all. Sorry you had to endure this one Joy, get stuck back into one of your sassy suspense novels, that’ll help push this one from your thoughts. Wonderful review nonetheless <3

    • Good idea, Kelly. 🙂 Read what I know and love and avoid what I hate. Life would be infinitely simpler.

  • Hmmm, your review got me thinking. There’s been quite a few books that I’ve dragged myself through to read, not impressed, found it boring but still ended up with 3 stars because I found some semblance of enjoyment there. Interesting! Too bad this one was really boring, high school typical drama and an unimpressive MC. You must be super disappointed Joy. Hope your next read is better!

    • Thanks, Jeann. It was almost a shock to me, to be honest. I kind of wan to re-read Open Road Summer to see what made me love that book in the first place. Have I grown that much in the last year or so?

  • So sad when you read a book and absolutely nothing happens. Very frustrating!

  • Thanks for the heads up! And I love the picture.

  • 1 star, what a shame. On to the next one, right?

  • I love the cover but I’ve heard so many mixed reviews that I’m conflicted. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it girl! Great post anyways! Also the unsalted rice cake comparison was great XD!
    XO, Mal

  • That sucks that you didn’t like this one! I had to laugh that you compared her personality to that of an unsalted rice cake. Ha. Hope your next read is better!

  • Ahh I’m sorry you didn’t like it. But thanks for the heads up because these are exactly the types of books I want to avoid when reading contemporary! I will keep my eye out for Open Road Summer though!

    • Open Road Summer was worlds away from this book. Yes, good luck!

  • Your photography skills are brilliant Joy! See, this is probably a reason why I don’t read all that many contemporaries – it becomes quite tedious to get through when the same tropes are being used over and over again. Paige sounds as dry as cardboard, and you have no idea how much I laughed when you said: “She has the personality of an unsalted rice cake”. BUAHAHAHA! Sorry you hated it so much, hope your next read is much better! xx

    • See, I don’t mind contemporaries. I actually prefer them than fantasies. But I guess I don’t have the patience for these type of stories. Where it didn’t quite reach out to me, the reader. It tried so hard to be something its not, which in this case, was a book about a grieving girl. But it was almost baseless to me.

  • It’s always a shame when you love an author’s previous works, but you despise their latest book. *sighs* But thank you for sharing this review Joy – your honesty is much appreciated. This didn’t seem like it would be for me at first glance, but now that you’ve shared your thoughts I think I’m going to give it a definite miss; which is a shame because it sounds like it had a lot of potential. 🙁 Thanks for sharing, and I hope your next read is better! <3

  • That picture is delicious though. R x

  • So many people have been pushing me to pick this up, but I was always hesitant. YA has been a hit or miss for me lately, especially the cutesy, fluffy, main character a pain in the ass, YA so after reading your review I’m definitely going to pass. I’m not really interested in reading about an inconsistent character. I mean, are you grieving your boyfriend or 2 months or nah? Top that with the story being boring, and you have a big fat DNF from Tika. I don’t have much patience these days with books. I like to blame my 2 year old for my harshness lol. Btw ” She has the personality of an unsalted rice cake ” made me giggle lol. Rice cakes are pretty gross 🙂

    • Trust me, looking back, I wish I DNF’d this. It was a waste of my valuable reading time. Sigh.

  • I do agree, that is a beautiful picture! I love your photography. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for you Joy, especially since you had high expectations because of the author. That feelings sucks because you’re not only frustrated with the book, but disappointed with the author. I hope you next book will be better! Lovely review!

    • Thanks, Amir. In my defence, I took the picture before I read the entire book. So I guess the picture didn’t quite match my experience at the time. Lol.

  • RO

    When I saw that “1” rating, I knew we were in for an entertaining review, which I totally loved!(lol) Like everyone else, I agree that the cover is amazing, but would have to pass on a boring read. Hugs…

    • Thanks, Ro. I try. Lol. But seriously, I’m wondering if my own way of hyping this book up killed it for me.

  • Oh no, sorry to hear that this wasn’t for you

  • Oh no… Now I’m kind of glad I didn’t buy it? Lol… I really enjoyed Open Road Summer too so I’m sad to see this one didn’t work out 🙁 I totally get the dramatic thing. Some characters can just be so blahhhh. Thanks for the review Joy <3

    • I think you’re better off borrowing a copy from the library? Anyway, give it a chance. You might fare better than I did.

  • Ah, I remember reading this one too and being really disappointed with it. Too bad it wasn’t better, I really like this author normally.
    Great honest review Joy, I hope you have a nice weekend!

    • Right? And that’s why I wanted to read this one right away because of my previous experience with her novel. It was just. Ugh.

  • I actually put Open Road Summer down after a few pages–it just wasn’t my thing at the time. Also, Paige sounds like an incredibly inconsistent character, one that I’m not interested in reading about, thank you very much. I definitely agree about the party game scenes being fillers–reading those make my head split open. If they’re going to add these scenes, they should pick more uncommon games.

    Fantastic review, Joy!

    • Ugh. They’re the bane of my existence! I mean that’s a sure way of me disliking a book. It’s so…childish. And I know I’m reading a book geared toward the younger audience, but come on, I feel like you’ve run out of things to write about when you start doing this.

      • I’m probably part of the younger audience, and to be honest teens my age don’t even do this where we live. :/

        • Lol! That is hilarious. Take note, authors.

  • Aww! Sorry you didn’t love this one, Joy. It’s such a shame, but not everyone has the same tastes which makes the bookish community awesome. I hope you pick up something amazing soon.

    • Thanks, Nick. I get worried when a book gets all the love and I could barely give two cares about it. It makes me wonder if there’s something wrong with me. lol.

  • Oh, sobs. I’m so sorry that this book was so awful o.O It does not sound good. Sigh. I never wanted to read it, lol, and now I shall stay far far far away from it 🙂 But.. it looks so pretty. HOW MEAN. Ugh. Your review is lovely, as always, Joy. <3 I love that you are honest about books you don't like, hih 🙂

    • It’s a non-Carina book, for sure. It’s not your type of thing to read. You might want to steer clear. Lol.

  • Oh noooooooo! I’m so sorry to see you didn’t like enjoy this one. 🙁 I hope your next read is more enjoyable for you!

    • Thanks, Lisa. I know a lot have immensely enjoyed this, but it just didn’t click with me. <3

  • Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    Oy! A one star rating from you and ‘a combination of all three’ pretty much guarantee that I’ll keep away from this one. I’m not as strong as you, and I’m becoming more and more selective, so I’d likely have given up in your place.
    Also, I am sometimes all out of empathy myself, so I get it.

    • sadly, I bought in to the hype. I don’t know. I’m just all out of it when I read this one. I really should go by your playbook and be selective from now on.

  • I’m with you on this one, the writing was quite dull and this was a boring read. I actually DNF it :/ It’s a shame about that gorgeous cover though, I think it would appeal more to younger teens as Christy has said.

    • I should’ve done the same time actually. But I kept hoping against hope that it was going to improve. Besides, it was an Emery Lord book. I was expecting more from it.

  • Christy

    Okay, l actually agree with you one some of those points, and I wasn’t exactly feeling the YA vibe. However, I read it as if I were reading it for a younger teen, and loved it for that. Would I want to read it again? No. But would I suggest this for younger girls? Absolutely. And yes, that’s a beautiful picture!

    • How do you do it? How do you switch off that part of your brain that tells you that you have to be a bit more understanding and patient with the book that you’re reading because it was written for people that are not your age? I mean, I guess there’s a part of me that can be generous sometimes, but this book was just so ridiculously childish. I just couldn’t.

  • It has been a long long long time since I read a 1. I just dnf them these days.
    Too bad about this one

    • I just left a comment on your DNF post. That sounds like a good idea, actually.

  • that’s true that it’s a beautiful cover there. I’m sorry that the book wasn’t for you but I understand why that too.