The Map from Here to There
Series: The Start of Me and You, #2
Author: Emery Lord
Publication Date: January 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ½
Acclaimed author Emery Lord crafts a gorgeous story of friendship and identity, daring to ask: What happens after happily ever after?
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?
Emery Lord’s award-winning storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life’s most important questions.
The Map from Here to There is the sequel to Emery Lord’s beloved The Start of Me and You. It begins at the end of summer before Paige’s senior year of high school. Paige is excited for Max to return from Italy and for them to start their relationship and senior year together. The only thing standing the way of Paige’s happiness is the pressure of choosing a college and what that means for her new relationship with Max.
I’m just going to be blatantly honest with you all. I did not love this book as much as The Start of Me and You. It had some of the things I loved from that book: Paige and Max, Emery Lord’s addictive writing and the feels it gave me, all the friendships, the families, new characters to like, dealing with mental health issues. All of that should have been a recipe for success, but this was a case of the first book ending perfectly and the second book trying to mess with everything. I loved that the story was valid and very realistic, but Paige’s anxiety made me anxious and sad, and her actions made me irritated. I just wanted to love it and I didn’t love the feelings it gave me. I had to push myself to through parts of the middle to get me back to the things that made me love the first book so much.
BUT (and that’s a big but) I recognize that The Map from Here to There wasn’t written for me. I’m not a teenager. I can see a ton of value in this book for a teenager. It deals with a multitude of issues relating to senior year, picking colleges, relationships that might change with choices made for the future. It also does a good job portraying stress, anxiety, and being overwhelmed by the future. So while it wasn’t my favorite read, I see a need for it. I see younger people connecting with and enjoying it more than I did and absolutely loving it.