RELEASED: June 29, 2017
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
GENRE: YA Contemporary
GOODREADS RATING: 4.11
TRIGGERS: Grief, fear of drowning, mention of past drowning freak accident, loss of loved one, Alzheimer’s
Can you plan happiness?
It’s been a year since Paige’s first boyfriend died in a swimming accident and it’s time she rejoined the real world.
So she makes a plan:
1. Date a boy (long-standing crush Ryan Chase seems like the perfect choice)
2. Attend parties (with best friends by your side: doable)
3. Join a club (simple enough, right?)
4. Travel (might as well dream big)
5. Swim (terrifying. Impossible)
But when she meets Ryan’s sweet but so nerdy cousin, Max, he opens up her world and Paige’s plans start to change. Is it too late for a second chance at life?
I started this book at a time where I wasn’t feeling an ARC I was reading, and couldn’t pick up a physical book. So I went on Scribd and looked for a book I had on my physical shelf, just to be able to tick one off. The Start of Me and You is what popped up first – or should I say, it’s the first fluffy contemporary I came across. I was in the mood for fluff, so.. Let’s see whether it gave me what I needed!
I got drawn in so quickly! When I started it, I read 80 pages in one hour and a half which is.. crazy! The writing is fluent, the story is grabbing and.. I loved the characters.
There’s only one POV, but Paige has three close friends, all with different characteristics which made their conversations fun to read. You could see how they supported one another, even though they’re so obviously very different – character-wise and hobby-wise.
Knowing what happens is different from knowing how it happens. And the getting there is the best part.
Paige struggles with a lot of things at once. Not only is she still grieving the boyfriend she lost a year ago, she’s also struggling with her divorced parents dating one another again. She’s trying to move on from everything that happened in a way that is both admirable and frustrating. But more about the latter later on.
Then there’s Max, the person she unexpectedly connects with. I loved him from the start. It’s so obvious how caring and thoughtful he is. I usually fall for the dark and broody [sorry not sorry], but this time geekiness prevailed! That and his sass, straightforwardness and funny jokes. I do wish there’d been a bit more of his story but.. I guess that might’ve been too much.
Another thing I really liked, is the nerdy side of this book. Paige’s interest in script writing, all the movies and music mentioned. The way it’s not seen as a bad thing – like, admit it, real life sometimes makes it out to be – was applause-worthy.
Last, but not least, are the letters exchanged at the end of the story. Those don’t only show a queer side character [who’s closeted during the main story], but it also shows how Paige and her love interest get along after everything happened.
In friendship we are all debtors. We all owe each other for a thousand small kindnesses, for little moments of grace in the chaos.
Like I said.. Sometimes things with Paige were a bit frustrating. I guess that’s because I couldn’t really connect with her at first. The story starts with her setting up this “dating-plan”, which I found very shallow and it took me a while to get over it. Especially since she stubbornly hold on to it while it was so obviously not going to work out the way she’d hoped.
The Start of Me and You gave me the fluff I wanted, gave me fun conversations, beautiful moments and.. all in all I really enjoyed reading it once I got over Paige’s shallowness at the start.
Have you ever started with disliking a character you ended up liking anyway?
What’s your biggest fear?