Friday, May 2, 2014

BR: Open Road Summer

by Emery Lord

I can’t believe I’m writing a review, I swear it is really only because Goodreads is down at the moment and I had a lot of thoughts.

Summary (goodreads):

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.

My Thoughts

I’m not exactly sure what drew me to the book initially, maybe it was the Taylor Swift-ness, the promise of female friendships, or the very specific vibe set by the cover, but I borrowed it from the library and gave it a shot. And was very disappointed.

So like, 70% of it is an “it’s not you, it’s me” type of deal. Because while it certainly has many redeeming qualities I’ll discuss later, the biggest deal was that I just didn’t have the patience to deal with Reagan, the main character and narrator. It boiled down to me not giving a shit about her, to put it bluntly, so while her life escapades might be exciting (but I liked Dee’s more), I just wasn’t into it at all. The only reason I finished was because I’ve already read like 200 pages and I wanted to know how it would end.

I found the writing clunky and not to my taste, I remember a few years ago when first-person POV was my favourite because it made everything feel so much more intimate, so I’m not sure if this is an isolated case or I’ve “grown out of it”, but Reagan’s narration seemed really expositional and I just felt like I was constantly hit over the head with things I ought to know, like, I get it—you’re ~edgy~, please, do bring it up every 10 pages just in case I forgot. I can appreciate the how Reagan’s a girl with flaws, but it manifests in a way that I just find super annoying and shallow, her bitchy act and hate for other females was just grating and incessant.

Another thing— I felt absolutely nada for Matt, the love interest. So. Boring. Well, I'll give him a few points because I really like Bob Dylan and guys who are nice to their moms. BUT... boringly charming is how I’d describe it, the type of cookie-cutter love interest that just feels unrealistic, unattainable, and an amalgamation of what an ideal boy should be like. Bleh. And because of that, scenes between Reagan and Matt always fell into either the forced-sassy territory, or eye-rolling because of the “cuteness that unfortunately I did not find cute” area.

The bright spot was the friendship between Reagan and Dee, which I found hit most of the right notes and was more interesting to read about. The music lyrics were also cute in the rhyming department.

Rating in HP Terms: Poor
Recommended for: I dunno, One Direction fans? People looking for books about friendship?
Acknowledgements: 2.5/5

6.8/10 – because I had originally rated it a wee bit higher but writing this just made me realize that I really didn’t enjoy this book that much at all. The characters weren’t my thing, the narration was really not my thing, and the bright spots didn’t make the read feel worthwhile. So yeah, sorry for a mini-rant, blame the fact that goodreads is down. But some last words from this old hack—it’s a decent summer read and it’s got a pleasant vibe if you’re in the mood, so if that sounds like your thing, give it a shot.

source: library
author website / twitter