Open Road Summer by Emery Lord
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
OPEN ROAD SUMMER's cover describes the book as Taylor Swift meets Sarah Dessen and the description is spot-on.
The story has a fun "beach read" hook. Reagen O'Neill is invited to tag along on a summer concert tour with her bestie, Lilah Montgomery. Except instead of trailing along behind a band. Lilah IS the band. Or rather the arena-headlining teen country star. The tour escapades and glimpses into Lilah's life keep the book from getting weighted down.
That said, Reagen is also using the tour as an escape- from a rebellious past, some bad dating decisions, and a tentative relationship with her stepmother. She's tough on herself and her growth from summer's start to end is what gives this book its Sarah Dessen-esque depth, which is a great counterbalance to the frothy premise. The fact that Reagen's challenged at every step by a quite swoon-worthy Matt Finch (a former boy band member looking for a reinvention of his own, who joins the tour as its new opening act) is the perfect icing on the top of this cake! The two have great chemistry and that, plus the travelogue, plus the music make this a great summer pick!