Title: Open Road Summer
Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Walker Children's
About: 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.
(Full disclosure - this review is from the archives. I think I read this book in 2014 and I found this written in my notebook, but never posted. I stand by it and it makes me want to read this book again so I'm posting it.)
I had been hearing good things about this one from many different corners of the internet, so when my sister offered it up to me I jumped right on it. So, Reagan is best friends with Dee - who you probably know better as Lilah Montgomery, country music's little darling. It's very easy to make the Taylor Swift comparisons with Lilah - diary like songs, J.Crew wardrobe, etc etc. Anyway, Reagan hops on Dee's summer tour to get away from some bad stuff going on in her own life and spend some much needed time with her bestie. Then Matt Finch joins the tour and Reagan finds herself unwilling to keep her distance. The best thing is that these kids are actually kids. Even though 2/3 of them are famous pop stars. They have parents! They have curfew! And rules!
There is very little I love more in this world than fictional kids who are actually constrained by the things real kids are.
Reagan and Matt are awesome. Slow burn actual lead up to a relationship awesome. They're just done so well. He is the boy next door who isn't a doormat. He has his own shit that he's going though and, oh, wait...he's also a popstar? Perfect. And Reagan doesn't want to get hurt. She is prickly and has walls up and armor on and anything else she can think of to throw in between her and other people so she doesn't get invested. She prefers tiny outfits and and tall shoes because she knows the kind of attention that'll get her and it's easier than anything real. But you also see her with her best friend who has this giant heart, so you know she must have a softer side too. I totally loved her.
I felt like this book was made for me. It had so many of my favorite things - pop stars, an insanely well written romance, a great set of best friends, and kids being actual kids. I will definitely be looking for more from Emery Lord in the future.