Open Road Summer

First Lines: The fans scream for her, but they don’t really know the girl on the magazine covers–the girl with the guitar and the easy smile.  Her given name is Delilah, and they think she goes by Lilah.  But anyone who really knows my best friend calls her Dee.

This was on my to-read list for a while, but I have this weird thing about reading books in the season they’re set in.  So I passed on this all winter because, well, it wasn’t summer.  And then I recently read Emery Lord’s second book, so it was kind of mandatory that I read this.

After breaking up with her boyfriend, Reagan decides to go on a cross-country tour with her best friend and country superstar Lilah Montgomery.  Reagan is ready for a fresh start and loads of girl time.  But when Matt Finch joins the tour, the opening act with the boy-next-door charm, Reagan knows the girl time she wanted is gone.  And Matt’s to blame.  Only…the longer she’s around Matt, the harder it is to deny his charm.  This summer is going to be full of ups and downs for Reagan and Lilah, so will these risks prove worth it?

This book was beautiful, especially when you consider that this is a debut novel.  It’s about friendship most specifically, but it also touches on other themes of fame and love.  But it was so cool that this focused so much on friendship because I think that as we get older, the less we have solid friendships like the one between Dee and Reagan.  I mean, it was inspiring.

But even though it’s about friendship, there’s also a lot here about love and being vulnerable, which Reagan despises.  I thought Matt handled everything so well, and it certainly amped up the humor.  (Matt and I would get along swimmingly in real life, I think.  …I may be nursing a crush on him.)

Let’s talk about Reagan.  I truly believe this girl is my spirit animal.  Reagan is a bad girl.  She fights with her stepmom, she gets in trouble with the cops, and she is never seen in shoes that aren’t stilettos.  She is the self-professed “devil” on Dee’s shoulder.  I loved that she was willing to characterize herself this way because I found it to be so different from how I interpreted her character.  Because what I saw was her sweet side, the side that was there for Dee whenever Dee called.  But she was definitely a troublemaker, and it was great juxtaposed with Dee’s sweet girly-girl personality.

And the MUSIC!  As a country music fan, I loved that this was the focus.  But there’s just something about books that focus on music, you know?  They have a different feel to them, something artsy and real.  Boy, did this ever have it.  There are like, 6 songs in this book with full lyrics that Emery Lord wrote.  (Well, I guess they’re poems technically.)  But it was also incredibly fun to read about the music industry, even when things weren’t going well for Dee.

Overall, it’s a must-read for your summer list if you haven’t already read it.  It’s amazing and cute and touching.

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