Brimming with heartfelt relationships and authentic high-school dynamics The Start of Me and You proves that it's never too late for second chances.
It's been a year since it happened-when Paige Hancock's first boyfriend died in an accident. After shutting out the world for two years, Paige is finally ready for a second chance at high school. . .and she has a plan. First: Get her old crush, Ryan Chase, to date her-the perfect way to convince everyone she's back to normal. Next: Join a club-simple, it's high school after all. But when Ryan's sweet, nerdy cousin, Max, moves to town and recruits Paige for the Quiz Bowl team (of all things!) her perfect plan is thrown for a serious loop. Will Paige be able to face her fears and finally open herself up to the life she was meant to live?
4 Out Of 5 Stars
Paige has had a terrible Sophomore year of high school. Since her boyfriend drown, she is looked at with pity, becoming "the girl who's boyfriend died" in her small town, instead of being Paige. Paige is sad about losing her boyfriend, but really she feels guilt because she barely knew him before he died and she does not want to be stuck as that girl. For her junior year of school, Paige has set about to change, making herself a list of things to accomplish. A few things on her list are easy, like be social and rejoin an extracurricular activity, but others are hard like dating (mainly her long term crush Ryan) and overcoming her biggest fear: to swim.
This was a sweet heartfelt story about a girl learning who she really was and what she really wants, not just what is expected of her. With the help of her best friends and her beloved Grandmother who has dementia, Paige figures out her plan may not be what she wants. This was a coming of age story with a bid dash or romance thrown in.
Paige was kind of a push over in the start of the story, never speaking up for herself, just letting people dictate to her what she should do and feel. The reader meets Paige after tragedy strikes, so maybe she use to be a different kind of person, especially with all the Type A personality comments. Paige sees English and writing as way to escape the assumptions about her, but nobody knows her secret goal to get her manuscript selected and escape to NY for the summer internship. I liked Paige, flaws and insecurities in all, but what is not to like in a girl who watches reruns of Friends (one of my favorite comfort shows) for comfort? Paige has had some rough times and they are not over in the slightest, since I went on a roller coaster of feels right along with her.
I saw from the get go who her potential love interest should have been, regardless of where her brain was taking her. I don't want to give anything away, but the build of their relationship was absolutely perfect, with them becoming the best of friends and him slipping beneath her skin without her even noticing it. The moment at the birthday party where Paige realizes that she had feelings for him made me want to jump for joy. I liked that her original love interest Ryan was not made into a jerk or someone not worthy of boyfriend material, but instead he is still a great character and friend, just not who she wants. I loved Max from the get go. He was always himself and never apologized for it. He was way more put together than popular boy Ryan in my opinion. But really, I was sold on him when he admitted his love for Firefly (my absolute favorite!)
I had a lump in my throat and was all choked up for the last few chapters of the book because I was so wrapped up in the emotions of Paige. This book did make me tear up which does not usually happen so beware of the emotional content if you are looking for a light fun read. Some really terrible things happened but at the same time some pretty great things happened too. I was completely caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this book since I started with no expectations going into it. I will most certainly check out more from this author in the future.
I received this title from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.