Review of Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
Genres & themes: YA, contemporary, romance, music, drama, celebrity, family, friendship, trust.
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars


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.


This story should have been a bit more concentrated on the beautiful, wonderful and admiring friendship that Lilah (famous singer) and Reagan (main character + Lilah’s best friend) share than on the oh so annoying/cheesy/frustrating romance AND drama.

It’s summer and Lilah’s kick off tour around 24 city of the US of A is starting. Reagan is participating as well since these last few months weren’t easy for her. The relationship between her and her latest boyfriend didn’t end up well and she needs to spend more time with Lilah.

I almost got what I expected. I’m though not sure about this little part of the synopsis: ‘they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking.’

Why? There was no epilogue. We don’t know if something happened afterwards that made them incredibly happy (Lilah AND Reagan since they both have their crush/love.) And, there was so much drama. When everything was finally resolved, the story ended so it’s not like the ‘risk worth taking’ part was included/demonstrated. About the ending, it was too heavy, predictable, childish and long.

Reagan…I hate her. I rarely say I hate a character but, seriously. I can’t stand that girl. From the blurb, I knew she wasn’t going to be an easy one but damn never would I have thought that she’ll be:

-Negative (rarely had I witnessed her SMILING/laughing)
-Juvenile (just, go read the few last pages and you’ll see)
-Jealous (she sees girls as a threat without giving them at least a chance)
-Predictable (when you get her attitude, she becomes transparent to you)
-Nonchalant (especially when she’s talking about heavy subjects/life matters)
-Judgemental (it’ll take you much to earn her respect)

I must say I wasn’t expecting that much from this novel and I was right. Really the typical YA contemporary girl-plus-boy-date-it-s-heaven-then-drama-comes- + -backstabbing-then-drama-again… and I won’t say more because I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Despite all those weaknesses, the story IS very beautifully written. It’s a shame that it isn’t more interesting and the romance special because it could have been a HIT. Since it’s a music themed book as well, the story does contain some lovely lyrics that I more than enjoyed reading. Lilah was my favourite character throughout the book since she’s the kind of girl that will listen to you and simply the angel type. You can’t help but like her and I did appreciate her character development.

Also, Matt is cute. He’s Reagan’s love interest and I absolutely think she doesn’t deserve him. So why don’t you come sing a little in my city, lovely? He’s the nice kind of guy but I must admit he can also be boring. I don’t recall him and Reagan talking a lot. They absolutely don’t have the same connection that she and Lilah or Lilah and HER love have.

My verdict is that it’s an OKAY book that could have been much much better (if only we could have kicked Reagan out of the story) and I look forward to reading this author’s other works since I really like her writing.

View all my reviews on Goodreads.


28 thoughts on “Review of Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

  1. Uh-oh, looks like this book has lots of character issue. I admit that I put this on hold because the first chapters didn’t grab my attention for too long. You’re right with Regan, she’s negative and off. “I don’t recall him and Reagan talking a lot.” Spur of the moment kind of romance, eh? 😀 Great review, Lola! 😀


  2. I am sorry you didn’t like this one just a bit more. I planned on reading this during the summer but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe that isn’t such a bad thing now. 😉


  3. Ouch, this kinda of seem painful to read actually. You had me at unnecessary drama which is something I avoid like pledge but when you describe the main character well I was pulling my hair off. I’m so sorry that this one wasn’t as good as you hoped. Great review, Lola 🙂


  4. Sorry to hear that you didn’t enjoy this. I absolutely loved this one and it is still be best book I’ve read so far in 2014. I kind of understood to Reagan, but I guess that’s mostly because she’s so negative/pessimistic, which is what I am too for most of the time. But anyway, it is always interesting to read reviews that do not see things the same way that I do, so thanks for this! 🙂 Hopefully you’ll give Emery Lord a new chance when her new book comes out next year!


    • Really? Oh wow. Glad it was such a great read for you. 😛 Oh ok lol yeah I guess when you can connect with a character it all seems different. ^^ Of course I’ll give her another chance; love her writing! Thank you, Mika! 🙂


  5. Thanks for the fantastic review, Lola! I’m sorry you didn’t love this book, but I can understand why you didn’t. I’m curious as to how I will feel about this book once I get a chance to read it – the cons that you mentioned are things that generally annoy me too.


  6. I’ve read so many conflicting views on this one. I understand your point though, too much teenage drama to handle irks me too. Nice review though 🙂


  7. Looks like a few books have been a MISS!! I hate when I’m on that kinda roll. And I will take a look at what you like a recommend something fabulous. From the sounds of what this book was about…would have been a miss for me too. I hope the next book rocks your world. 😉


  8. Oh no! It sucks whenever you come away from a book hating the main character. But it’s great that you enjoyed the author’s writing. I felt that way about Shiver by Maggie Steifvater. I absolutely loathe the characters in that book, but I LOVED her writing. It was just so beautiful. So I skipped the rest of that series and moved on to some of her other books instead.

    Anyway, great review!


    • Right?? I agree with you at 100%. The writing was pretty. ^^ I actually DNFed Shiver because it didn’t grab my attention but, yeah, the writing brought a special amosphere to the story although I don’t remember if it was pretty or not. Will have to trust your word I guess. 😉 Hahha, great thing to do! I have The Scorpio Races somewhere which I’ll read soon. Thank you, Jesse! 🙂


  9. Reagan sounds like a real charmer. *coughcough* Woah, I’m totally uninterested with her being juvenile and petty and judgy. Like, I let a lot of things slide with books, but I HAVE to want to connect to the characters, and she sounds mildly awful. >_< Sad this one didn't work out so well, but at least the writing was good, eh?!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!


  10. Ooh, it always upsets me when I hate a character. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, they just grate on your brain and you *can’t* like them. This story’s intrigued me because it’s both a music story and a road trip story (two ups in my book) but a difficult character can swing the balance. Think this might be a library get so I can compare! 🙂


  11. Wow! I had heard so many good things about this novel, but what you say about it seems impossible to deny. Reagan seems like a character made up of a lot of the bad traits a person can have. Making the MC vulnerable and imperfect is one thing, but maybe the author took it too far. The MC doesn’t have to be zoo imperfect for a reader to like them.


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