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  • ★★★★★-5

Review: The Start of Me & You by Emery Lord (Spoiler-Alert)

** spoiler alert ** I think I've loved you since that first day. Where do I even begin? This truly exceeded every one of my expectations. I was expecting to like it, but in that more reluctant sort of way. The way in which you recognize how cheesey it is, but love it anyway. That is not what ended up happening. At. All. I truly loved everything that this book had to offer. Too many YA romances turn into a story about the love interest, rather than the main character. This was not the case in The Start of Me and You. I felt connected to Paige in so many ways, and the book truly delved deep into her life and not just the lives of her love interests. It focused on her dealing with school, grief, friends (an amazing friend group btw! Everyone needs friends that will abandon all plans to wallow over tubs of ice cream together :D ), and more. I really related to Paige and was thoroughly impressed by how well the author was able to write realistic situations and evoke feelings through that. The moment that really stood out to me is when she is trying to think of something to say to Ryan at the football game, and after finding out they both like mustard, she thinks saying "Hot dogs are so good" would be a totally normal thing to say as small talk. I felt the pure terror she felt after saying that. Like why would that even come out of your mouth? It's something I would say because I don't understand how small talk works and for some reason this really struck a chord and made me so internally embarrassed that I had to put the book down for a minute to process. Another aspect about this story that I loved in particular was that it chronicled the start of relationship between Paige and a normal boy. Not the most popular boy in school, not the neighbor she's known for years, not the teen idol. A regular boy who just so happens to be special in his own ways. Max Watson. So adorable. He's a nerd, but also socially competent. Sure, he gets made fun of occasionally, but once you get to know him, he's pretty great. I was rooting for him from the first page I met him, and I'm glad he turned out to be just as cool as I thought he would be :P P.S. him in the scene from Chapter 17 killed me I also was incredibly entertained by the 'two love interests' plotline. It wasn't a love triangle because she only liked one person at a time, but knowing that she would end up with who she didn't think all along was really fun. Additionally, some other fun things I liked about this book were QuizBowl and the amazing nerdy references made throughout. I love trivia so getting an occasional joke about literature or Bernoulli's equation was incredibly satisfying. Under all of this fun there was also a serious tone. The depiction of grief and relief for Paige and others in the book was very important and added an even greater depth to the significance of the story. I may still be stumbling through these steps, but at least I'm stumbling forward. What I'm trying to say here is that this book was great. I'm currently reading the sequel which comes out on January 7th (thank you NetGalley and Bloomsbury!!), and I'm even MORE excited about it because it's about senior year of high school, which I am currently experiencing. I'm a teensy bit apprehensive because I like romances about people forming their relationship, and tend not to like already established ones because they get too mushy and gross. Maybe I'm just soulless lol. Anywayyyy I can't wait to keep reading!

Song I was reminded of while reading: Naked

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