Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Book Review: Open Road Summer

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.

Everyone’s raving about this book. Typically when that happens, I’m leery. I know how overhyped a lot of books are, and they turn out to be mediocre. Open Road Summer would’ve been a perfect beach read, if it wasn’t for the fact that Reagan was a raging, insecure bitch. I’ve never read a story where the protagonist was so hateful towards everyone, then uses her past as an excuse. Get over it, darlin’. We all have pasts, but that doesn’t mean you have to be rude to everyone (her stepmom, Dee’s publicist, Matt’s best friend), or call girls “sluts,” “whores,” or “trashy,” just because they flirt with a guy you like. Did she ever stop and think that these girls are just having a good time and excited to meet a famous guy? Nope. They were all just trying to get in his pants.

Apart from listening to Reagan whine about, and relive, her past throughout the entire book, it was definitely fun about being on tour with a couple of famous people. In my opinion, it was intriguing to see what happens on the bus, backstage, in the dressing rooms, etc., during a tour. I feel like those are gray areas in the real world. We know they exist, but we don’t often get full access to see how musicians live while on the road.

I also enjoyed Lilah (Dee) and Matt Finch. Dee wasn’t afraid to stand up to Reagan, when needed, but she was also a sweetheart. She had real issues going on with an ex-boyfriend, and she was a multidimensional character. And Matt Finch… What girl wouldn’t want their own Matt Finch? He’s charming, sarcastic and witty, and a romantic at heart. He’s also been through a lot, but he doesn’t let that hold him back or bring him down. If anything, his past fuels his future. I liked and respected him. Even though he was a fictional character, he felt real to me.

Overall, if you’re looking for a summer read, you want to travel vicariously with famous people, and can handle a snarky main character who gripes about everything, then I recommend picking this up. Or you could just read it because of Matt Finch. Seriously.
**ARC courtesy of publisher via NetGalley

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