The Start of Me and You Review

Saturday, 22 July 2017

By: Emery Lord
Rating: 5/5
Source: W H Smith book bundle
Can you plan happiness? 
It's been a year since Paige's first boyfriend died in a swimming accident and it's time she rejoined the real world. So she makes a plan: 
1. Date a boy (long-standing crush Ryan Chase seems like the perfect choice. 
2. Attend parties (with best friends by your side: doable) 
3. Join a club (simple enough, right?)
 4. Travel (might as well dream big) 
5. Swim (terrifying, impossible). 
But when she meets Ryan's sweet (but so nerdy) cousin, Max, he opens her world and Paige's plans start to change... Is it too late for a second chance at life? 

Paige has spent the last year of her life as the girlfriend of the guy who drowned. As you can imagine, this doesn't make the process of moving on any easier. Every time she laughs, she feels guilty for being happy again and when she's sad, she knows that it's not what Aaron would want. Between 'the look' from people who know what happened, Paige's recurring nightmare where she's drowning and a fear of going swimming, Paige feels like her life has come to a stand still since Aaron died. It's time for things to start again. 

The easy things to tick off the list are attending a party, which Paige gets out of the way early on in the book, she joins the Quizbowl as a club and makes new friends Max, Malcom and Lauren and then there's just the task of dating longtime crush Ryan, who seems to be crushing on her best friend, because the other two items on the list seem impossible. Befriending Quizbowl team captain and Ryan's nerdy cousin, Max, seems like the best to move forward with her bucket list. 

Ryan is the obvious choice, handsome, charming and he knows what it's like to be on the receiving end of pity from when his sister had cancer. Seems like the perfect choice of boyfriend, right? Paige thinks so. They have some really nice encounters, Ryan seems like a really nice guy even though we know from the blurb that it's Max we'll be rooting for soon enough. 

Max is just lovely. Cult Sci-Fi, quizzing and airplanes are his thing and while he isn't the obvious choice for nerd-in-denial Paige, he ends up being as good a friend to her as any of the girls she's known for years. (side-note: He'd be my first choice Firefly is one of the greatest TV shows of all time, I'll debate that all day).

When Paige needs someone to talk to about family problems, she is feeling very pessimistic about history repeating itself and Max comes out with; "But knowing what happens isn't the same as knowing how it happens. Getting there is the best part." And this is probably my favourite quote from the whole book. (If you ordered the Zoella Book Club bundle then you might have gotten this quote on a book mark). 

The girls are Tessa, the best friend, Morgan and Kayleigh. Even though Paige feels guilty for always lumping her problems onto them, they never complain or miss a beat in coming to her aid. They are the group of friends everyone needs in high school and this book made me miss the super close group I had back then. 

I thought this book was going to be really sad, and it was in parts, but for the most part it told a very positive tale about life after the death of a loved one. There is a lot of self discovery, mourning and moving on in this book and I would recommend it to anyone who needs a reminder that good things can come after tragedy. 

The hardest part for me was reading about Paige's grief. She wasn't so much mourning the boyfriend she lost, they had only been together two months. She was mourning the chance at love, the loss of a young life, the knowledge that she would never fully know Aaron Rosenthal. 
I've lost someone I cared about, someone I only knew for a few months and I constantly ask, would we have ever gotten together properly? Would he have liked my family? Would my family have liked him? Would he have gone to university, it's hard knowing you'll never know the answers. I think that is what Paige was mourning. 

Bonus* Another quote that really spoke to me was; "I used to think it took me so long, because on some level, I wasn't quite ready to be with max. but now I don't think i was quite ready to be me." It's okay if you aren't ready right away, some people are here to show us that one day we can be ready for something new. 

1 comment

  1. Great review! This book sounds fantastic! I have never read any of Emery Lord's books before, but I've heard great things about them.


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