Release Date: March 31, 2015
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It’s been a year since it happened—when Paige Hancock’s first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school . . . and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her—the perfect way to convince everyone she’s back to normal. Next: Join a club—simple, it’s high school after all. But when Ryan’s sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
Judith was kind enough to lend me her ARC of The Start of Me and You last year in an attempt to ruin my life like she did with Open Road Summer. Thankfully for me, it didn’t work out quite so well, although I was more prepared this time around so that might have had something to do with my lack of tears.
The Start of Me and You wasn’t as brilliant as Open Road Summer, and the reason for this is that it didn’t have that epic friendship that Lord’s previous book had. It was a lot more boy-focussed, in my opinion, which was fine, except I was hoping for something more. Of course, Paige had her own group of friends, but none of them could beat the bond between Reagan and Dee. Maybe I shouldn’t be comparing the two books, but I feel like I have to to explain exactly what this book was missing.
As with Open Road Summer, I wasn’t a giant fan of the love interest in this novel. Paige, in an attempt to find herself after two years of being branded as The Girl Whose Boyfriend Died, tries out various new things, including the Quiz Bowl team. Through this team, and also through a guy called Ryan who she has had a giant crush on for ages, she meets Max, the nerdy love interest.
Max was okay. Just okay. There were times when I really liked him, and other times in which he pushed Paige way too hard and didn’t seem very apologetic for it afterwards. For example, Paige has a fear of water for certain reasons, and Max goes and pushes her into a pool. AND THEN GETS MAD AT HER FOR BEING MAD AT HIM. *seethes*
I did, however, appreciate that Lord didn’t go with the asshat initial love interest route with Ryan. Because that cliché is overdone and I am so over it. Ryan was lovely, he just wasn’t the right guy for Paige.
What really pulled at my heartstrings was the relationship between Paige and her grandmother, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s. I was always closer with my own grandparents growing up, and this relationship between Paige and her grandmother really got to me. I cried. A lot.
Despite my complaints, I really enjoyed The Start of Me and You, and I will probably be rereading it in the summer when I marathon it back-to-back with Open Road Summer. At least, I hope that will happen. These things tend to get away from me.