The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord Bloomsbury Publishing Plc (UK & ANZ)

This YA novel is an optimistic, but moving and well-written story which doesn't shy away from serious issues, such as divorce and Alzheimer's disease. I was a bit surprised that I enjoyed every minute of it and didn't want to finish it, even though I am much older than Paige, the heroine, and she was much more mature and also cleverer than I was at her age. She is so likable, that I doubt that any reader could dislike her!

At the beginning of the book, Paige, a young high-school student, is known as the Girl Whose Boyfriend Drowned, and she feels that everyone pities her. She suffers from bad dreams, but she also thinks that she is ready to date again, so she makes a plan. This plan, of course, includes Ryan Chase, the boy she has had a crush on for a long time, but what are her feelings about his cousin Max, who actually reads Jane Austen?.Paige has great friends, but she has to cope with seeing her beloved grandmother declining, applying to college, and the puzzling sight of her divorced parents dating...each other.

I think that most 15 year-olds would find it easy to identify with Paige's problems, and her positive and resilient attitude toward life. Most of the characters are easy to like, and I enjoyed reading how Paige gains sinner strength in the novel. Emery Lord writes about Paige's grandmother's disease especially well.

It's a minor point, but I was delighted to find a main character who actually dislikes The Rocky Horror Show! I hate what I've seen of it, and I have never watched the movie - I won't watch it any time soon.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.


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