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Start Here

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  59 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Two teens go on a life-changing sailing trip as they deal with the grief of losing their best friend in this heartwrenching, hopeful novel from the author of Something Like Normal and In a Perfect World.

Willa and Taylor were supposed to spend the summer after high school sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend, Finley. But Finley died before graduation, leavin
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Simon Pulse
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  59 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Heyyy guys! I'm hosting a Giveaway for a signed arc and a fun package! Check it out on my instagram HERE!
Jaime Arkin
I’m not going to lie, I was super worried that when I started this book it was going to be another book that had me in tears because of the death of the main character. I’m happy to say that didn’t happen.

Don’t get me wrong, there are some super emotional spots here, especially in the beginning when you meet Finley, but it didn’t completely gut me.

Start Here is a coming of age story of two young girls trying to figure out who they are and who they can become without the one person who held the
Colleen's Conclusions
Start Here by Trish Doller is perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Jen Malone. It had the same friendships and traveling vibes and it's the PERFECT book to read in the summer or if you're just on vacation.

I really enjoyed reading this book and was glad that I have the new Nook Glowlight Plus because PDF's look GREAT on it. At least two out of three PDF's have looked like an actual book.

I wish we could have gotten to know Finley a bit better, though I get that she died and we couldn't really get
Andi (Andi's ABCs)
This review was originally posted on Andi's ABCs

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. It’s safe to say I’m a Trish Doller fan girl. I don’t think she could write anything that I won’t love. My love started with Something Like Normal, her debut, and has only grown. So when I heard about Start Here I was so excited. There is something I love about a good friendship book and mixing one of my favorite
Claire (bookscoffeeandrepeat)
Start Here is a young adult contemporary novel that includes elements that can be seen throughout John Green, Sarah Dessen, and Morgan Matson's novels. It had friendships, romance, and "summery" vibes that readers of YA literature can enjoy.

This book's a light-hearted read that can include some heavy topics, albeit it does not seem obvious judging by the cover. Grief's a subject that the characters go through and I enjoyed reading both perspectives from the two main characters, Willa and Taylor.
Ginger at
Reading a Trish Doller book never gets old. Each new story she has to tell will always find a special place in my heart. This one is no exception.

Start Here is a book about friendship, grief, letting go, & forging your own path. As three teenage girls made a promise to sail part of the Great Loop, just after high school, life decides to sway their plans. After one dies, the other two grapple with keeping that promise. What begins as a “we have to do this for our dead best friend”, morphs in
Willa, Taylor, and Finley were inseparable friends, though Finley was the glue holding the trio together. When they were young, they made a promise to sail from their home in Ohio through the Great Loop and down to the Florida Keys to celebrate the end of high school. Unfortunately, Finley dies from leukemia before she gets to take the trip but leaves Willa and Taylor with a set of clues for their trip that will honor her memory, as well as allow the two of them to bond outside of their relation ...more
Kelly Hager
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've loved Trish Doller since I read Something Like Normal, but all of her books have been amazing. This one, though? This is my favorite.

I love books about friendship or grief or travel, so one that combines all three? YES, PLEASE. Except that's also not really accurate. Finley is all over this book, but it's also not really a grieving book. And Willa and Taylor have known each other for ages, but they were more friends with Finley than they were friends with each other. 

Willa and Taylor make n
Jul 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Read with Rachel for Friends with ARCs!

3.5 stars. I don’t get to read books that feature travel by boat very often, and I find the idea fascinating (having never done something similar myself, with the exception of ferried), so you can imagine how excited I was to read Start Here. In true Trish Doller form, this was an enjoyable read! The two girls are fun perspectives to read from, and their sailing journey was definitely compelling. I do wish I’d been a touch more emotionally connected with th
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, and as soon as I opened the package, I was really excited. First of all, the cover is absolutely gorgeous -- I took so many pictures for Instagram because I loved the font, the colors, the Polaroid pictures...everything about it! *major heart eyes* And then once I sat down on the beach with this book and started reading it, I found myself sucked into the story of Willa and Taylor's epic adventure. I fin ...more
Natalie (Natflix&Books)
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

While this may look like a breezy summertime read, don’t be fooled by the vibes of this cover. This isn’t a serious issue book, but it does have a weight to it that most summery YA lit does not. This book follows two girls, Willa and Taylor who are friends, but not. They have been in each other’s lives for years but only because of their shared connection through their common bff, Finley, a young woman who recently lost her life to leukemia. Before Finley’s death, the three girls had planned
Soooo goooood! Also soooo saaaad!

♥ I got big The Last Wish of Sasha Cade vibes from this one (if you enjoy ripping your heart out, this one is excellent), as both feature a best friend who dies, but leaves a little instruction for her friends to help ease the pain when she's gone. In Start Here, Finley leaves behind a list of clues, leading them to places she hopes they'll stop along the during their sailing trip from Ohio to Key West. The thing is, not only is Finley dead, but Finley was the gl
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing

**A copy of this novel was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**

Start Here by Trish Doller was everything I would want in a great teen fiction novel and more. She guided me, the reader, through the emotional ups and downs of two teenage girls dealing with the loss of a best friend, rekindling a relationship, past grievances, and new summer love. I cannot praise it enough.

Taylor and Willa are the two main
Brooke Lorren
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Start Here was a beautiful, sweet, emotional book.

What do you do when you lose your best friend? This was something that Taylor and Willa had to find out for themselves, after their mutual best friend, Finley, died of cancer at age 17. When Finley was still healthy, the three of them had decided to sail from their home in Sandusky, Ohio, to Key West, Florida, after they graduated from high school. One of Finley's last wishes was for Willa and Taylor to make the trip together, leaving them kind o
Megan McCaffrey
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
Netgalley gave me this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Start Here is told in chapters from Taylor and Willa’s perspectives. Willa has spent her life studying and is from a lower income family. Taylor comes from a wealthier family and is an inexperienced sailor, averse to risks. Both were only friends because of Finley, who died of leukemia. Finley planned the sailing trip. Embarking on the journey, they must now figure out how to get along.

Though it took me longer to appreciate Taylor, I l
Amanda Shepard (Between-the-Shelves)
Check out my full review at!

Thank you to Simon Pulse for sending me a copy of this book to review! Quite honestly, it is the perfect summer read. Reading about Willa and Taylor's sailing adventures will inspire you to have adventures of your own. Maybe not necessarily this summer, but Willa and Taylor's story is inspiration to live life to the fullest.

The relationship between Willa and Taylor is the best thing about this book. They're two friends drawn together by their l
Kasey Giard
Aug 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
You know that feeling you get when you follow an author and read multiple of their books, and then a new one comes out and you feel like it has a special kind of magic the others (while they were great!) didn’t quite have?

I felt that way reading START HERE. The story seemed to come alive as I read it. I connected with the characters immediately. The “trapped on a sailboat with your frenemy to honor your best friend’s dying wish” plot was amazing and unique. I loved all the sailing stuff!

I sobbed
Danielle Tebo
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book has so much heart and is the perfect summer read.

Full of adventure and friendship, but more than anything, this book is about strength and forgiveness. It is about believing in yourself and the people around you when you are in your deepest feelings.

I loved that each of the girls has her own transformation during their adventures. This journey made me love each girl for her own reasons.

I started out relating the most to Willa and thinking I was going to resent Taylor. The strength s
I received this as an eARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

After Willa and Taylor's best friend dies of a terminal illness, the glue of their friendship is also lost. The two can't stand each other, but each promised Finley that they would sail from Ohio to Key West before leaving for college. In honor of their friend, Willa and Taylor attempt to put their baggage aside and complete their promise. The small boat leaves no room for unaddressed feelings, both Willa and Taylor wi
Aug 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love a good road trip! I love a good road trip novel. But Start Here by Trish Doller kicked it up a notch with a sailing trip! When Finley dies of cancer her two best friends Willa and Taylor decide to go on the sailing trip they had all planned to go on after graduation. Willa and Taylor were never as close as they each were with Finley. Now they need to figure out their friendship without Finley.

I loved this book. It was great YA with a twist on road trips. There were some love interests bu
I’m a huge fan of Trish Doller, so I was beyond excited to get into her new book. From that cover, I was sort of expecting a sort of fluffy contemp, but don’t be fooled.

I really liked Willa, but Taylor took some time to get invested in. Both girls are dealing with Finley’s death and I really appreciated getting both of their POVs.

Plot wise, it did take me some time to get settled. As the story progresses and the trip gets closer to being complete, I was all in. And the growth of both Willa and
Jun 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Willa and Taylor were ready to spend their summer sailing from Ohio to Key West with their best friend Finley. But Finley dies before graduation and the girls have to decided if they still want to take the trip. It's their best friends last request but their friendship is strained. They decided to take the once in a life time trip and find themselves along the way. They are tested mentally, physically and emotionally b
Jul 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: teen
Perfect teen summer read all about friendship and grief and first loves and sailing. I couldn't put this down both because I loved Taylor and Willa as narrators and because the sailing adventure was captivating and nerve-wracking all at once. Everything about this slice-of-life story was well executed and one that's worthy to read well into the night!
Megan Oneail
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was provided with an eARC of this book in exchange for a fair review.
I started this book intending to read a little before bed. Fast forward to 1am and I was turning the very last page!! So completely unputdownable. Taylor and Willa were fabulous and layered MCs and their adventure is wonderful. I cant recommend this enough!
Forever Young Adult
Graded By: Rosemary
Cover Story: Scrapbook
BFF Charm: Eventually x2
Swoonworthy Scale: 5
Talky Talk: She Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Sailing, Scavenger Hunts
Relationship Status: Summer Summer Summertime

Read the full book report here.
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was the perfect summer read and now one of my favorite Trish Doller books. A perfect blend of heartbreaking and hopeful, this book will make you want to sail off on your own adventure asap. Full review to come over at The Young Folks.
Jun 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-mt-bookpile
Two semi-friends, held together only by their relationship with their now dead friend Finley, embark on a sailing trip the three of them planned as a post-high school graduation event. There's predicable drama in their relationship and their voyage, but what elevates this is the ending realization that "best friends" aren't always forever.

ARC provided by publisher.
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I could hear the wind and waves sailing with Willa and Taylor while they struggled to salvage their friendship. Sometimes you just need to read about women supporting each other and finding their own ways in the world. 🦀 🏴☠ ⛵ 🌮 🚲 ❤ ☀ ⛈ ...more
Bickering Book Reviews
For a more in-depth review watch:

Fans of Doller’s previous book will not be disappointed however new readers my not warm up to the characters.

We received eARCs of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. I could not put it down the entire time I was reading it. It is a very good book about friendship with very minimal romance.
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