Open Road Summer by Emery Lord


A cliched, romantic story about a girl who finds love when she's trying to do anything but.

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is trying her best at new way of life--and trying to remove her rebellious tendencies. So she decides to join her country music star best friend Dee, who is also nursing a broken heart, on her tour across the country. It's just supposed to be two girls getting over heartache, and having much needed best friend time.

But when a photo of Dee and her ex-boyfriend is leaked to the press, her agent decides she needs something to draw attention away from the scandal. Enter Matt Finch, boy-next-door solo artist, who joins the tour as its opening act. And Reagan can't help but be drawn to him, despite her vow to avoid boys and trouble. This summer might be more than Reagan ever planned for...


I liked the idea of the book a lot. Two girls who try to get over their exes by spending time with each other--and along the way they learn to love again. Sounds nice and fluffy. But that's not exactly what I got. What I got was a moody girl that was hell-bent on changing who she was, who was looking for any excuse to rebel or run away. As the plot continued, it found every romance novel cliche along the way, from the love interest's best friend who has feelings for him, to a girl who just needs to find a tame guy to tame her. I was bored and unexcited by the plot progression, and I rolled my eyes at least twice.


I liked Dee, Reagan's best friend, but I didn't feel like she had a lot of depth. The author tried to give her some, with memories that Reagan relived, and Dee's broken heart, but I didn't feel very attached to her. I liked Reagan too, but she was the exact same protagonist I've read twenty times before. Broken, surly, jealous, care-free, etc. I wanted something more than the stereotypical "bad girl" with a broken heart. But that's what I got. And while I do like that character, it's been overdone. Matt Finch was probably my favorite. He was a guy who had lost someone very close to him, and was trying to heal. He loved fully--or at least, he was willing to. He was open and never willing to be anyone but himself, and I really enjoyed that. But again, been there done that. I would have liked to see a little more variance.


The relationship between Matt and Reagan was, for the most part, very amusing and adorable. It hit all of the high points very elegantly. But the low points were very cliche. The part of the novel where the characters break up before reuniting at the end, was of course, begun by a kiss. A kiss by Matt's best friend, that Matt didn't reciprocate. But of course, Reagan walked in and saw the kiss and stormed out and never listened to what he had to say and blah, blah, blah. I've read that scene at least ten times before! Let's try for some more originality, people. Let's have a different event be the catalyst. But Dee and Reagan's relationship was very sweet. It was obvious that they cared for each other so much, and that they were most likely going to be best friends for the rest of their lives.


I was pleasantly surprised by the writing. While the plot, or the romance, was a little overdone, the writing was pretty exceptional. Usually, when the plot is cliche, so is the writing. But that was not the case. Emery Lord is a pretty talented writer.

In the end, I enjoyed this book, but I wanted more. I wanted to be swept away, and I wanted some originality. But I didn't get it.

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