Publisher: Walker & Company on April 15, 2014
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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. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.
I loved this book just as much as I hoped I would. Reagan O’Neill and Lilah “Dee” Montgomery had been friends long before Lilah hit the big time. So the summer before her senior year, Reagan decides to join Dee on tour. After Dee is “involved” in a scandal, her record company ends up adding Matt Finch as her opening act in order to generate speculation about the two of them being an item. It becomes complicated when Reagan and Matt start falling for each other.
The best part of the novel wasn’t the romance. As good as that was, it didn’t hold a candle to the friendship between Reagan and Dee. I can honestly say that they are my favorite pair of friends that I’ve ever read about. They have each others backs through thick and thin. Nothing was going to come between them, which is refreshing to read in a YA book.
Reagan is a troublemaker. She’s the type of girl that rumors are spread about and nasty things written about on bathroom stalls. Her choices in guys has been less than spectacular. After a particularly bad experience with a boy, she decides she’s going to reinvent herself. She’s going to be a New Reagan. By going on tour with Dee, she thinks it will be easier to change.
I loved Reagan. She definitely had her flaws, but that’s what made her so great. No one would describe her as a “good girl”. She had a past full of mistakes that she worked to overcome.
Three words come to mind when I think of Matt Finch: boy next door. He was charming, sweet and loyal. Basically the antithesis of Reagan’s other boyfriends. My one complaint about him is that he was a bit bland.
The romance was a bit complicated. Matt is brought on as the opening act of Dee’s tour in order to make the press believe that they’re in a relationship. Matt and Reagan start developing feelings for each other, but they can’t really date because then the public will know that Matt and Dee aren’t truly together. The romance moved at just the right pace. It was easy to see why the two characters were falling for each other.
I was relieved that there wasn’t a love triangle. The writer could have easily made Dee like Matt too, but thankfully she chose a different route.
Dee was the complete opposite of Reagan. She was nice to everyone, followed the rules, and never got in trouble. That’s why her “scandal” was such a shock to the public. It completely went against her squeaky clean image. Even though the scandal wasn’t true, the damage to her reputation was already done. So her record company decided that the best way to fix it was to flip the attention to something else – like her “relationship” with Matt.
Dee was my favorite character. Despite her being a country superstar, I found her to be realistic and relatable. She was grounded and innocent. In a way, she was the sugar to Reagan’s spice.