[Blog Tour] Book Review | The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

 

Being a huge Emery Lord fan, I am thrilled to be part of the Canadian blog tour for Emery Lord’s latest book, The Names They Gave Us which is now out in stores.

To help celebrate its releases and as a part of the tour each of us bloggers on the Canadian blog tour got to ask Emery a question. So be sure to stop by the other blogs on the blog tour to see what everyone asked her and to see her answers.

My question for Emery was …

Your books always make me think of summer. Since this one takes place at a summer camp, what books are on your summer camp reading list?

Below is her answer …

“There’s a Fourth of July scene in the book that came to me while listening to Ryan Bingham’s  SUNRISE. But my most summer of all records is Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA. All 12 songs, start to finish. It feels like everything summer is, full of longing and possibility and moments of glory.”

I don’t know about you guys, but those songs definitely give me the summer feels.

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Authour:names
Emery Lord
Format:
ARC, 384 pages
Publication date:
May 16th 2017
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
So basically, The Names They Gave Us pretty much confirms that I’ll read and enjoy anything that Emery Lord writes. Just like with her previous book, I also went back and forth on whatever or not I’d read this one as I tend to stay away from any book with religious themes. However, I love the way it was portrayed in this book as it was done in a respectful, non-judgemental and not preachy manner.

The Names They Gave Us follows Lucy Hansson, whose summer plans fall apart when she learns that her mother’s cancer is back. On top of that, her boyfriend has decided that they need a “pause” and her parents, her making her attend what she refers to as “the hippie camp” instead of their bible camp. These events cause her to get out of her comfort zone and eventually find her own “people”.

As with Emery Lord’s other novels, the prose is gorgeous and Emery Lord truly has a talent for setting the scene and the showcasing emotion in her characters. And of course true to form, the friendships that she writes are just perfect (in particular the friendship that forms between Anna and Lucy), it kind of made me feel like I missed out on something special, having never been to an overnight summer camp. I also felt that Lucy came off as an authentic person as she had her flaws and was incredibly relatable.

While not a perfect novel (there were some parts where the pacing seemed off and the ending felt slightly abrupt, especially after the major reveal), The Names They Gave Us is lively and powerful coming of age story about love, loss, family, friendship and the magic of summer. A must read for fans of contemporary YA fiction, those who can’t wait for summer to get here and even for those who are nostalgic about their summer camp days.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | When We Collided by Emery Lord


collidedAuthour:

Emery Lord
Format:
Advance Reader Copy, 344 pages
Publication date:
April 19th 2016
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:
I adored Emery Lord’s last two novels, with Open Road Summer being my favourite. However, I was initially reluctant to pick up When We Collided seeing as the synopsis clearly indicated that it won’t be as light-hearted as her last two books. Ultimately I read a bit of it in the fall before returning to other review books that had impending release dates. Yet I couldn’t get When We Collided out of my head thus with a bit of nudging from Brittany over at This is the Story of My(Reading) Life I finished reading the book in October despite it not releasing until April of the following year.

As previously mentioned, When We Collided has a slightly different feel to it compared to the last two Emery Lord books. The story is told from the dual POVs of Jonah Daniels and Vivi Alexander and it addresses various difficult yet imperative topics such as mental illness, death and dysfunctional family dynamics. As always. Emery Lord’s prose is her greatest strength since the novel is filled with numerous meaningful quotes concerning life, existence and relationships that you just feel the urge to write them immediately all down.

Additionally Lord also excels at writing relationships, and while I miss the female friendships that were more predominant in her other books there were instead some excellently written familial relationships in this book. In fact, I ended up falling for the characters that made up the Daniels family just as Vivi did since they were written in such an authentic and endearing manner in the book. Of the two voices, I’ll admit that Vivi is not the easiest character to love or even connect with. Jonah is definitely easier to love as he’s incredibly sweet, understanding and hardworking. However, it’s obvious that despite their differences, and at least for the duration of the summer Vivi and Jonah need each other.

When We Collided is in part a short love story that is clearly not meant to last forever. Nevertheless, even though the love story between Jonah and Vivi was brief it doesn’t mean it wasn’t filled with love. Furthermore, by the novel’s conclusion the experience has left both of them changed for the better which in turn creates a satisfying story…at least that’s how I feel.

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.

Book Review | Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

Authour:open road
Emery Lord
Format:
Hardcover, 344 pages
Publication date:
April 15th 2014
Publisher:
Walker Childrens
Source:
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Review:

“It takes a long time to learn someone. It takes a long time to see a person as a whole spectrum, from worst to best—from the mismanaged heartache that lands them in AA to the pancake dinners, from the hurtful things shouted in a dressing room to the huge-hearted strength that only a best friend can understand. Once you get there, it’s forever.” (p.312)

There are plenty of books where the “nice” girl falls for the not so nice boy – but what about the reverse? One of my favourite things about Emery Lord’s Open Road Summer is that it features Reagan, who is a strong, rough around the edges female protagonist who falls for a Matt Finch, a guy who, while not perfect, is a kind hearted guy.

Reagen O’Neill is just your average girl who has recently gone through a horrible breakup. Fortunately, her friend, Delilah or “Dee”, is a country music superstar who has a 24 city tour, and invites Reagan to come along as both girls could use a distraction from their recent heartbreak. I loved that the friendship between Dee and Reagan was always their first priority and that they were always supportive of each other.

Having read quite a bit of YA books this year, I have to say I have yet to meet a protagonist like Reagan. She is fiercely loyal to those she loves and despite experiencing things that could be deemed as traumatizing, she remains quite honest to whom she is and she never lets herself be seen as a victim. Reagan’s best friend, Dee, is also easy to adore, possesses a quiet strength and a personality that provides a nice balance to Reagan. I love how she is able to love so deeply, even though her career often got in the way. Both girls are people whom I’d love to be friends with in real life.

The only thing I disliked was the following; there was more emphasis on romance rather than friendship near the end of the novel, although there is a nice scene with Reagan and Dee as well. Actually I lied; there is a second thing I disliked about this book – which was that I felt it ended too soon. Even as I turned the last page, I wanted more.

Open Road Summer to me is the epitome of a perfect summer read; it is a touching and sweet story about love, and friendship; and best of all, it features a road trip! I highly recommend this book to fans of YA contemporary as it is so far my favourite YA contemporary read of 2014.

If you like this book, you’ll love: Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.