First Lines: Of all the places to have something memorable happen to you, Oakhurst, Indiana, had to be one of the worst. Our town was too big for people to know everything about you, but just small enough for them to clench down on one defining moment like teeth clamped on prey. Won the spelling bee in fourth grade? You are Dictionary Girl forever.
Having never read anything by Emery Lord (and this is only her 2nd novel), I just didn’t know what to expect. …Except for the fact that everyone seems to be raving over her. This looked cute (and I’d had my eye on it for a while), so I snagged it as soon as I had the chance.
A year ago, Paige’s life changed drastically when her first boyfriend, Aaron, drowned in a freak accident at 15. For a whole year, Paige shut down in an attempt to deny what had happened. But now Paige thinks she’s ready to start living again, and she has a plan. Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her, join a new club… When Ryan’s sweet but nerdy cousin Max invites Paige to join the Quizbowl team, he throws Paige’s careful plan for a loop. Will Paige be able to open up and face her fears?
This was super cute. It was a lot like the kinds of books I’ve come to expect from authors like Sarah Dessen, Morgan Matson, and Susane Colasanti. There are a lot of problems that the main character(s) need to work through, but it’s a book with a lot of heart.
I really liked Paige and the other main characters. I completely understood why Paige was as reserved as she suddenly became. I know how much it hurt to go through a breakup and be reminded all the time of that person, but to have them die and everyone in town looks at you all sad? That was be horrific. So I enjoyed right from the get-go watching her try to break out of that.
And the other main characters were really cool, from Ryan and Max to Paige’s best friends. They were all funny and loyal and just always there. I think that’s a very underrated trait in a friend. Anyway, they all had their quirks, but they were sweet.
Max. Can I just say that I love nerds? The nerdier they are (and Max is up there), the cuter they are to me. I love how open and lovable nerds are. Now I’ll stop being a nerd about Max’s nerdiness.
I liked how many angles there were to the plot. Like it wasn’t just about Paige trying to find love or get over her fears. She’s trying to discover what it’s like to live again. She’s trying to be a good friend when her friends need her. She’s dealing with her divorced parents dating again and other very serious family issues that had me tearing up as I finished the book.
There were lots of cute scenes with pieces of humor in it, but there’s heart here as well. I loved that combination of sweetness and sentimentality. This was a great read and I will definitely be looking for Emery Lord more in the future.