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The Start of Me and You

(The Start of Me and You #1)

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  17,372 ratings  ·  2,535 reviews
It's been one year since it happened...

When Paige Hancock's first boyfriend died in a swimming accident, she shut out almost everyone. Now Paige has decided it's finally time to rejoin the world, and she has a plan. First on the list: go out with Ryan Chase, her longtime and newly single crush. And last on the list: swim. Terrifying, yet possible?

But when Ryan's sweet, ner
Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens (first published March 31st 2015)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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 ·  17,372 ratings  ·  2,535 reviews

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Cristina Monica
Not incredible but considerably more enjoyable than Open Road Summer.

“Okay,’’ he said, leaning closer to me. ‘‘I have a proposition for you.’’ Dear God, let it be marriage, I thought.

Ah, Young Adult romance! It never ceases to make me smile. True, I find most of them YA love-themed books cheesy and predictable to an extreme point, but there’s also something about them that leaves me feeling… good inside. It’s lovely, it’s fluffy, it’s beautiful and there’s a sort of innocent giddy passion co
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
first things first - have you ever seen a cuter cover!?? i am obsessed with the pastel minimalism vibes this is giving me.

and the story inside is just as cute, just as adorable. when i first read this and wrote a quick review, i said ‘there are some things that i would have preferred to happen, but they didnt detract from my overall enjoyment of this book.’ i have literally NO IDEA what i was referring to, because everything about this is perfect the second time around.

i love how this explores
I don't know if this has ever happened to you, but sometimes I'll glance over at the cover of a novel or read the descriptive copy and I'll just know, viscerally, that I'm about to fall in love with literature all over again. It's not that there aren't more beautiful covers or better written descriptive copies out there; it's just a gut-reaction that hasn't led me astray. I felt it, first, in the fourth-grade while browsing through a Scholastic catalog for the upcoming book fair and stumbled upo ...more
Jamie (The Perpetual Page-Turner)
4.5 stars


1. Emery Lord is writing some of the best realistic contemporary YA out there: Tis true! If your jam is contemporary YA, Emery Lord is where it is at. Jump on that bandwagon early because I know Emery Lord’s popularity is just going to grow more and more. I loved her debut Open Road Summer and this sophomore novel solidifies Emery Lord as one of my favorites already.

2. The girl power in this book makes my heart soar: I already wrote a post that was in
5 stars

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Paige is a junior in high school and ever since her boyfriend died the year before, she feels like that’s her identity. The girl with the dead boyfriend. She wants this year to be different. She’s ready to put herself out there and try new things. She wants to join a club, date a guy she’s crushed on for forever, and just live her life to the fullest. This journey doesn’t go as planned for her, but that only makes it that much better.

I love a good coming of age story, and of course,
3.5-4 Stars!!

“The Start of Me and You” was a sweet YA novel about life, family dynamics, friendship, finding yourself and about moving on. This was not necessarily a love story. In my opinion it was more a story about friendship and a coming of age novel.

Paige’s boyfriend Aaron died an year ago in a tragic accident. She still thinks about him trying to come to terms about his death and she still mourns for his life. But she also mourns for herself – her first boy who really notice her drowned i
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
I think my reading slump kept me from enjoying this one as much as I could have and I am le sad.
Sep 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars

MAN DID I LOVE SO MUCH ABOUT THIS. And the bonus chapter I didn't even know existed took everything up a notch. I love everything so much.
This had all my favorite things about a contemporary- a main character who has to work through some crap outside of the romance, friends to lovers (!!!!), a strong friend group, and delayed gratification in the romance department. So much to love.
The plot was pretty fantastic as well and was unique (in my mind) for a contemporary. I also really lov
Apr 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
OMG THIS WAS SO CUTE. One of the cutest young adult contemporaries I've read in SO long. I just...

I keep hugging the book because it was just precious and sweet and uplifting and UGH all the good things in life.

But okay here are five specific reasons why I absolutely LOVED this:

Focus on female friendships. I love that Emery Lord placed such an emphasis on the importance of friendship and specifically how lady friendships are probably the most important sort of relationship a young girl will esta
Tiff at Mostly YA Lit
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, ya, contemps
Review originally posted on Mostly YA Lit:

Hi guys, for my first post for The Start of Em and You Week, I decided to talk about how Paige and her story made me have a kind of revelation - one that's made me more accepting and fearless about my own life. Read on for my thoughts about The Start of Me and You, Emery's latest novel, and for an AMAZING handpainted book tote giveaway!

In the past year, I’ve continu

Emery Lord and I were off to a rocky start. Well, not start exactly. I thought we had thoroughly DTR’d. And that that definition was “you write bad books, I give them one star forever.” But then she had to go and decide to write something I didn’t hate.

Don’t get me wrong. This book wasn’t perfect. Maybe it wasn’t even all that great. But it’s started to get warm out, and when it’s warm out I read up a STORM - mostly contemporaries. This hit the spot.

Oh what a beautiful book this was! I finished reading this not even 5 minutes ago and I have the biggest grin on my face. This was my first Emery Lord book and I'm a big fan already. *Runs out to buy all her current work* Add this to your TBR list if you haven't read it yet!

For over a year, sixteen-year old Paige Hancock, has been known as "the girl whose boyfriend died". She's spent the last year shutting herself off from everything but she's now ready for a new beginning and to start living he
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful, simply beautiful. <£
Where can I find a Max?
Mandy K
Apr 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, contemporary
Full Review

I don't read contemporary that often. I'm more of a fantasy kind of girl, I love being swept up in a new world, surrounded by the impossible. But sometimes, I get a craving. Like hot chocolate, or ice cream, sometimes I crave the comfort of a heartwarming contemporary novel. Today, I woke up with that craving, and this book seemed like just the fix. I sat down, and turned to the first page. 5 hours later I was reading the last line and grinning like a damned fool. If you don't count t
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
It is funny how you can go into a story not expecting anything and end up loving a character so much that they just made the whole book for you.

This is what Max did to this story. He took an ordinary story and breathed life into it. This story wouldn't have been the same without him in it. In fact, I don't even know if I would have liked this story as much as I did if it wasn't for him. I did like the other characters, in fact I adored Ryan and Tessa, Grammy (especially Grammy!), and Paige but M
This was absolute perfection.

There's something special in the way Emery writes the friendship between girls and this book is no exception to the rule. Paige and her friends are awesome. They're all so different, but mesh so well. It's refreshing to read such strong relationships without bitchiness or cattiness.

And Max? Man, I don't even know where to start with this boy. He's smart, he reads, and he debates Pride + Prejudice with Paige. He's goofy and so damn adorable I want to keep him in m
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
I think I underestimated the swoony-ness of Max because I don't remember him being so damn adorable. And I love that the paperback had an exchange of emails from their summer.

I could read Emery's words forever.
Feb 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ahhh! What a cute read! So perfect for this Valentine's Day weekend too!

Although it was predictable I really enjoyed this one. The whole deal with Ryan was a bit annoying bc by the middle, I could totally see Max being the other end of the triangle. (Although there wasn't a triangle) I did love how she went out of her comfort zone though <3

Ryan was adorable and I can see myself crushing on him.
BUT I LOVED what a total nerd Max was! I don't know about you but nerds are underrated in YA literatu
DNF @ 25%

I'm not one to DNF books, especially only around a 100 pages into something, but this book was actually making me miserable. I'm not wasting time on it.
4.5 Stars

I am having a hell of a year when it comes to my success rate with the YA/NA books I’ve read so far.

Although this story covered some sombre themes at times — particularly those themes that dealt with grief and closure in the aftermath of losing a loved one — this was largely a charming and feel-good tale, with plenty of heart and humour to balance out some of the more serious moments the young characters were experiencing in their everyday lives.

Where this story most excelled though was
Kate (GirlReading)
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
It’s safe to say this book was utterly adorable. I instantly warmed each and every character and both the friendships and romance filmed my heart with all the warm fuzzies from start to finish. It was funny, honest and caring and the sensitivity, respect and lack of explosive drama within the romance was refreshingly lovely to read. Overall, with its wonderful friendships, the cutest. freaking. romance, brilliantly explored family dynamics, Gilmore Girls references (always a win) and a fantastic ...more
Aj the Ravenous Reader

I’m sure my words won’t give this book enough credit because my thoughts were still incoherent after reading this book but trust me when I say this is such a good read because it helped me get through my postpartum phase and that’s saying a lot.

I love how it tackled so many meaningful themes about grief, solid friendships, trying something new. I love that the narrative is nerdy and relatable with abundant literature references. I love the natural development of the relationships in the story.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 stars 5 whole stars.


I love the characters.

I love the friendships.

I love the development of relationships.

I love Max.

I love Paige.

I love the writing.

I love the geekiness.

I love the references to anything pop culture.

I love Max.

I love the quiz bowl.

I love the english teacher.

I love the nicknames.

I love Max


Korrina  (OwlCrate)
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about this book! Loved loved loved. What a treasure. I haven't felt this way about a contemporary book in awhile. If you haven't read it yet, do yourself a favour and pick it up. SO GOOD.
The Start of Me and You was one of the few books that I read and actually finished during the months of August and September aka my huge life slump month. I guess I really really liked this book, so much that I read this in one sitting, in fact. Emery Lord's newest novel is a beautifully written story that is bound to leave anyone who reads it with a huge smile on their face. It's got a powerful friendship theme going on, which was probably the strongest element of this book, and of course, a he ...more
I read this book cover to cover THREE TIMES. IN A ROW.

I think that alone says a lot about how much I loved The Start of Me and You. It's possibly my favorite book of 2015. And Emery Lord is DEFINITELY an author I'm watching out for. (As should you.)

Now where can I find a Max Watson??
This review also appears on Swoony Boys Podcast.


Let me start off by saying that I loved this book with the fire of a thousand suns. I get all jumbly inside when trying to articulate all of the things that I loved about it because there were just so. many. feels. If something bad has ever happened to you and you just wish that wasn't the defining thing of your life, this book is for you. If you've ever felt the security in knowing that, no matter what, your BFFs have got your ba
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s not often a contemporary book like THE START OF ME AND YOU comes along. It made me laugh out loud and want to gross sob (sometimes simultaneously). This book has heart.

While it has elements most YA contemporary books do: being cute, humorous, and fun, it also deals with grief and loss, finding oneself, and learning to move on. It makes you think about what it means to truly live.

The pacing is great, while it’s somewhat long for its genre (near 400 pages) it never felt drawn out. When I put
Jen Ryland
Very sweet and touching! This has a different feel than Open Road Summer. It's lighter on the romance, the main character is sweeter, and there's more focus on family. Someone described it to me as "like a Sarah Dessen book" and I agree.

Review soon.
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm overly emotional about everything right now and I just need a second before I spend an hour writing a review of this

but I frickin' loved this
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I'm Emery, and I write books about flawed girls who are really trying, complicated families, friends who show up even when everything's going down in flames, and the moments that change everything.

I don't check my GR inbox, but feel free to get in touch via ways listed on my website!

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The Start of Me and You (2 books)
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