ARC Review | The Map from Here to There

Title: The Map from Here to There (The Start of Me and You #2)

Author: Emery Lord

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA

Release date: January 7, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

It’s senior year, and Paige Hancock is finally living her best life. She has a fun summer job, great friends, and a super charming boyfriend who totally gets her. But senior year also means big decisions. Weighing “the rest of her life,” Paige feels her anxiety begin to pervade every decision she makes. Everything is exactly how she always wanted it to be–how can she leave it all behind next year? In her head, she knows there is so much more to experience after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Review:

Thank you to the publisher & NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

Wow, this was everything I needed! Just like the first book, this one hit me right in the feels. I’m not sure I can fully explain how much I love these characters and this story, but I am going to try my hardest!

The Map from Here to There is a direct sequel to The Start of Me and You. This picks up right where the first book left off. We get to see all of the characters we know and love during their senior year of high school. This book is very much about making decisions on what to do after graduation. Where to go to college, what to major in, what career path to choose…those questions are a major part of this story.

I really enjoy Emery Lord’s writing. She makes it so easy to fall into the pages. I was so invested in the story that I didn’t want it to end! If it was at all possible, I would love to see these characters continue on. There are still questions I need answered!!

So many times in Young Adult books, the main character’s parents or family in general is absent from the story. With this book though, Paige’s family is a big focus and I really appreciated that! At times they may have drove me mad, but for the most part they were fantastic. Paige’s dad was just the sweetest and he was so proud of her. I particularly loved the scenes where Paige would talk to her mom about what was going on in her life. They would discuss friend trouble, boys and mental health. Those scenes were beautiful and made my heart happy.

The friendships are absolutely incredible. They are all so supportive toward one another. Definitely one of my favorite friend groups of all time! I also really loved the relationship between Paige and her coworker, Hunter. He was there for her when she really needed an outside opinion. Plus their banter was 10/10 amazing! 

Then there is the romance…ugh my heart. In this book we get to see what it’s like after the curtain is drawn, after the happily ever after. We are there while Paige and Max navigate a brand new relationship. The ups, the downs and the cuteness…it’s all there. It’s definitely a roller coaster of emotions for the two, but I was rooting for them since the beginning!

I am so happy that the author touched more upon Paige’s passion for screen writing. I am a huge nerd and I love behind the scenes of TV and movies so I was geeking out a little bit. It was fun to see Paige and her friend Maeve have brainstorming sessions on what storylines they would create for projects in the future.

The Map from Here to There features wonderful mental health representation. Paige struggles with anxiety and it is something that plays a very big role in all of her decisions though out the book. I also want to mention that endometriosis and infertility were also talked about. Shout out to the author for including those topics in a YA! 

Basically I loved this book!  It was a realistic look at all the struggles a senior in high school goes through. If you liked The Start of Me and You, then you will definitely love this! If you haven’t picked up the first book yet, I HIGHLY recommend you do so!

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