The summer read that wasn’t: Open Road Summer
Book Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Title & Author: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Genre: Young Adult – Contemporary, Road Trip, Romance
Release Date: April 15, 2014
How I Got the Book: Bought
That Moment When…
…you just don’t get it. I’m saying up front that I didn’t “get” Open Road Summer like the majority of other readers (Goodread-ers and bloggers) who loved it.
I thought it was a perfectly fine book, but I didn’t connect with the characters, the romance or the whole set-up.
Reagan is taking a break from her life – filled with bad boys and even worse decisions – to go on tour with her bestie, Dee, who’s a pop, country crossover sensation (who also has a goody-goody persona…sound like a real life singer we know?). The trouble is, Reagan’s best friend-only time is ruined when Matt Finch joins the tour…and threatens her vow to stay away from trouble this summer.
Touted as a perfect road trip read, I actually couldn’t agree less. To me, a road trip book is a story that is partially about the characters but also very much about the scenery and new places. The majority of Open Road Summer takes place inside a tour bus, hotels rooms and backstage make-up areas.
Not exactly awe-inspiring places.
This wouldn’t have been a big deal had the story been able to make up for the lack of locations. Although Reagan and Dee’s friendship is so sweet and lovely – and something I wish I saw more of in YA – it fell flat to me.
I felt like I was reading the story with a glass wall between myself and the characters. I could see everything they were doing, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t connect with it. I had no favorite characters and was not emotionally invested any of their lives.
Aside from the awesome friendship, the biggest redemptive quality of the book is Matt Finch and his growth through the pages. He’s got some actual depth and has some truly likable qualities.
Because I’m in the clear minority, I think you all are owed a second opinion.
Here are a few:
- “I liked Open Road Summer so much! This book made me smile and swoon, and wish that I had a best friend musician to take me on tour with her in her souped-up bus.” – Lauren, Love is Not A Triangle
- “I loved Open Road Summer fiercely. The romance is sweet and utterly shippable, but, even more, Open Road Summer is a powerful and touching story of friendship.” Christina, A Reader of Fictions
- “Open Road Summer is one of two books I am hereby declaring as THE books you must have in your beach bag this summer if you love contemporary YA.” Jamie, The Perpetual Page-Turner
There. My guilt over not liking this book is assuaged.
Aside from a rare and fun BFF situation, this book was just not for me. I love light, fun summer reads, but I don’t think this one qualifies between the flat characters and total lack of actual scenery. I’m a COMPLETE outlier, so please get find some third opinions if needed. Open Road Summer was just not my cup of tea.