Review Detail

4.6 3
Young Adult Fiction 8089
The Start of Me and Emery Lord
Overall rating
Writing Style
This novel is first and foremost about grief. Lord does a phenomenal job at showcasing the struggle that people go through when trying to move past such a defining moment in life, and how detrimental it is to handle it with the utmost care. Paige’s grief has manifested itself in an intense fear of water and drowning, nightmares, and isolation. She has isolated herself from a social life in high school and has alienated herself from herself. That sounds a bit confusing, but she has started to also define herself as the girl with a dead boyfriend, rather than moving past it. That is what is so brilliant about Lord’s portrayal of Paige. Paige wants more than anything to get out of that rut and begin to define herself again. It provides an excellent narrative arc that also allows the reader to struggle along with Paige.
Paige has an amazing support system throughout The Start of Me and You. Her three best friends, Tessa, Kayleigh, and Morgan are the absolute best example of how friends can really help you through the toughest times. No lie, it really made me miss my two best friends from high school, because we are scattered through the east coast now! All of the girls were also well written as individuals that function as a part of a whole unit. I loved that these characters could stand on their own with their differences, but they worked better as a friend group. Paige isn’t the only one who has problems, but they continually step up to help one another through anything.
As for the two main male characters, Max and Ryan, I think that Lord concocted a very interesting juxtaposition between them, especially since they are best friends. Ryan is described as being bright blonde and blue eyed, while Max has darker hair, green eyes, and glasses. Ryan is the hot guy jock and Max is the adorable, gangly nerd. The novel immediately sets up Ryan as the main love interest for Paige, but Lord does a good job of displaying how Paige and Ryan would not fit, regardless of how stubborn Paige is in her crush. While Max sneaks up on Paige and her heart, it was clear to me from the beginning that she would end up with him, but that did not deter me at all. As Max says in the story, “Knowing what happens is different from knowing how it happens. And the getting there is the best part.”
Lord really outdid herself with the relationship between Paige and her Grandmother. Not only was Grammy struggling with the early stages of Alzheimer’s, but she suffers from two strokes as well. Paige is extremely close to Grammy and considers her the only person she can share secrets with. They have such excellent conversations, and the dialogue in these scenes is on point. Lord made me cry a number of times during the scenes with Grammy, as it really reminded me of my relationship with my Mawmaw, who passed on a few years ago.
This novel really hit home with me, and I hope everyone will pick up a copy and read it.
5 Stars
Good Points
Wow. Brilliant. Wonderfully real. Emotional. I firmly believe that Emery Lord struck gold with this novel. I cannot even think about this story without it bringing tears to my eyes.
Why Yes, I did make Max's PostSecret
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