The Map From Here to There by Emery Lord
Series: The Start of Me and You
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: January 7th, 2020
ARC from Netgalley & Edelweiss
| Book Review |
The Map From Here to There is the follow up to Emery Lord’s wildly popular The Start of Me and You. Fans were clamoring when they found out they were going to get more of Paige and Max, and with good reason. It was a long road of self discovery and learning to be vulnerable to find their way together. This, in all likelihood, should be a shoo-in of a good read for me. Yeah…not so much. Fair warning – there was little I found to like about this book, so this will be a rant review. There will be people, I’m sure, who will say that I’m not the ‘target’ audience for this book. I would argue that as a huge fan of the first story, I’m an excellent candidate to read this book. Whether I had a positive experience reading it or not.
So you know that nice relationship glow that lasts for a little while right after you get together? Yeah. There was none of that here. And quite frankly, this book almost felt insulting. It was like the author was afraid I’d think Paige and Max were going to live happily ever after, so there was a desperate need to show me otherwise. Even if she had to pull Paige and Max out of character to take me there. Not at all reminiscent of the heroine I came to know and love in the first book, Paige just came of as judgey and jealous. All of the growth in first book was killed in this one; I read another review that said all of the progress made in the first book was undone, and I couldn’t agree more.
So I’m not going to go over every aspect of this book, but I will touch on the reasons it was such a miss for me. For one, there was the appearance of a character named Hunter that felt like a half-assed attempt at a love triangle, and it felt so contrived. Max spent most of this book confused, and who could blame him? It was so weird and all on Paige, until the end where something had to be pinned on him, so another contrived situation rears its ugly head.
Though it covered some serious topics, the first book had a hopefulness and lightness to it that I thoroughly enjoyed, and I expected that here. If you’re also looking for that in this installment, you’re going to be sorely disappointed. It was just misery, not very good angst, and you guessed it – all things contrived. This book basically felt like a young woman who didn’t have enough drama in her life and felt the need to create some. EVERYTHING was blown out of proportion, and while I can give a teenager a break and say that can be indicative of their age or inexperience, it didn’t feel inline with Paige’s character from The Start of Me and You.
I will say that at around 75% of this book, things did start happening that felt monumental and authentic, but was so over Paige that I couldn’t even give the plot line the benefit of the doubt.
In the end, The Map From Here to There felt disjointed and unplanned, and aside from Max, there was nothing to enjoy. I’m sure you’ll see this book crop up again – in my most disappointing reads of 2020.
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