Publishing Info: April 15, 2014 by Bloomsbury Publishing
Genres: Contemporary, Music, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: April 11, 2014
Related Posts: The Start of Me and You, When We Collided
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.
I don’t even like country music but somehow I end up falling in love with books about them. I was in the middle of a few super heavy books and wanted to start something light to combat the book hangover I was about to have… OPEN ROAD SUMMER was the perfect feel-good book but… well, it also gave me a book hangover because it was just SO good!! I had heard SO many good things about this book from my fellow lovely blogger friends before I had started so as I usually am, I was a tiiiny but scared that the hype of it so far would make me not love it as much. Thank GOODNESS that wasn’t an issue. Really from start to finish, I enjoyed every aspect of OPEN ROAD SUMMER. From the characters to the plot to the places the book could have gone but thankfully didn’t… And every scene just felt so incredible and magical. I was pretty much swooning the whole time — and that was even before I got to read about Matt Finch!
OPEN ROAD SUMMER follows Reagan as she spends the summer with her best friend Dee. And oh yeah, Dee just happens to be country superstar Lilah Montgomery and spending the summer together entails a 24 city concert tour. But this summer is exactly what Reagan needs to step away from her life and the decisions she needs to reconsider and try to start the next year with a clean slate. I really liked Reagan and I appreciated that she was really trying to turn her life around. She’s had some hard times in her life with her mother leaving their family when she was young and as much as she loves her dad, she isn’t a huge fan of her stepmom and they really just don’t get along.
I absolutely loved the celebrity and music super star aspect of this story which is not something I really would have ever expected. I really felt like I got an insight into the “normal” side of the celebrity life. I feel like celebrities are so built up in our minds that we often forget that they’re just normal people and it was really interesting to see the other side of that. Dee (to her friends, Lilah to her fans) loves what she does but that doesn’t mean she leads an easy life. She works hard to maintain a good, clean image to appeal to children and adults alike, so when a misleading scandal hits the news, Dee’s publicist decides to invite long-time friend and all-around good guy Matt Finch to open for Dee on tour.
Oh, Matt Finch. Count me in the Matt Finch fanclub for sure. I was nervous when we first met him, hearing that he had such a clean reputation and he didn’t even like lying even when helping out a friend — I was worried he would turn out to be a little too good for my tastes but don’t worry! There are many, many facets to Matt Finch and he easily had me swooning. Major swoons, guys. Major swoons. He and Reagan had such fantastic chemistry and don’t EVEN get me started on the forbidden romance aspect. It just KILLS me. See, part of the deal with Matt coming on tour is that he is supposed to be leading the press into thinking that he and Dee/Lilah are dating to help combat the bad press and rumors going around. Matt and Reagan have amazing chemistry but they can’t allow themselves to date because, well, Matt is supposed to come off as Lilah’s new love interest. AHHH. The tension. I died.
Okay, I don’t want to give away the whole story, but it’s so hard to write all the things about this book and not just GUSH. I absolutely loved it with very, very minor issues involving Reagan’s former path of rebelling and self-destruction. Overall, I really loved the characters, loved the romance, and loved the entire feel of the book. Each scene just really felt so genuine and I really felt like I was experiencing it as well. It’s everything I could possibly imagine that the perfect summer would be like! Great friendships, great romances, great adventures. I could honestly gush about this book so much more, but I’ll leave you to go pick it up yourself… (Which I hope you’re doing as soon as you finish reading this. GO! It’s okay. I’ll wait.)
“The View from Goodreads” is a new featured section in my reviews that I decided to incorporate! I tend to update my Goodreads status a LOT when I read — reactions, feelings, notes — so I thought it would be fun to share the sort of “reading process”! All status updates are spoiler-free (no specific plot points will be revealed) but will contain reactions to certain pages and/or characters!
Reagan O’Neill // Character Obsessions: Shoes, boys, making a clean start.
I loved Reagan. She has so much going on in her life and got this new opportunity to turn her life around and it says so much that she took it. She didn’t have the easiest life but she also didn’t make it easy for herself and it was so awesome to watch her figure everything out and take control over her life again. Not to mention she made a GREAT choice to end up liking Matt <3
Delilah Montgomery // Character Obsessions: Music, her guitar, Jimmy, a good image.
I also loved Dee! She is SUCH a great friend to Reagan and she’s sort of like that friend who’s kind of like a mom. She’s always looking out for Reagan and tries to steer her to make good decisions but supports her even when she makes the wrong ones. They rarely fight and have such a wonderful friendship. The fame never goes to her head and she’s just a really good person.
Matt Finch // Character Obsessions: Music, his mom, his friends, Reagan.
I thought about just writing “SWOOOOOON” but I guess I should put some real words in here. Matt Finch is the good guy that girls hope exist but deep down think will they will never meet. Of course he has some flaws (what guy doesn’t) but please, they’re minor because Matt Finch is a ball of amazing. (Yeah, I can’t do it. SWOOOOOOON.)
Kept Me Hooked On: Music-themed books. I don’t even like country music and somehow books involving country music JUST GET ME. I just really loved the tour aspect, the song-writing aspect — just so many parts involving the music and how it played such a big role in the book in so many ways.
Left Me Wanting More: MATT FINCH. Just always more Matt, right? Right.
I looooooved it. So much. I instantly pre-ordered as soon as I was finished with my egalley because I NEEDED this one for my shelves.
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(Click the cover to see my review!)