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.
Ever got your emotions tangled up so much in a book, you didn’t know where to draw the line between your mind and the book? That’s how I felt about Open Road Summer.
Open Road Summer was actually not a book that I meant to read. I saw many praises for it online, particularly on Twitter, which is why I decided I would pass. I didn’t even read the synopsis. I saw the cover with the awfully overexposed sky washing out the couple with that weird tone of a green for the title, and thought, Nah, not gonna read that. I pretty much ignored all the raving henceforth. But then, a brand new copy stared right at me at the library. It basically called out to me, telling me to give it a chance. I couldn’t resist. I had to know what the hype was about.
Fast-forward, I have read Open Road Summer, and I enjoyed it tremendously! All the characters were so down to earth, which made them very likeable. No unnecessary drama, no bitch fests, or anything of that sort. Just Reagan trying to escape from the mess back home, hopping onto her best friend’s tour bus for the summer. Dee, stage name Lilah, and Reagan were to have their best summer together yet. The experiences alone were enough to carry the plot. The story of a solid friendship between two girls whose personalities couldn’t be any more different definitely charmed me.
Girls will move across the country with a boyfriend they’ve known for less than a year, and people think that’s normal because it’s romantic love. But living with your best friend? Or, for Dee, staying close to her parents and brothers? I don’t think that’s weird or codependent. I think it’s basic: if you find people you love, you want to be near them.
This is the kind of book I’ve been looking for. It’s a perfect summer read that portrays the happy side of life, while acknowledging that things aren’t always perfect. In fact, Reagan’s life up to the summer tour was anything but happy. She was always one step away from juvenile delinquency, and wasting her life on people and things that weren’t good for her. Yet Dee stuck by her. For the summer, it was Reagan’s turn to take care of Dee, who had to deal with whatever nonsense that came her way because of her fame.
Other people can’t knock down the walls you’ve built, no matter how much they love you. You have to tear them down yourself because there’s something worth seeing on the other side.
No summer book is complete without the romance, I guess. Even without it, I would’ve liked Open Road Summer a lot. In fact, it’s often the romance that makes a book fall flat for me. That wasn’t the case for Open Road Summer. Matt Finch was so endearing and I couldn’t help but root for him. He was so undeniably sweet without going over the top. Even though he could be rather annoying at times, I couldn’t hold it against him.
All in all, Dee, Reagan and Matt each brought something different to Open Road Summer, making that book a must-read for me.