The Map from Here to There

The Map from here to There
The Start of Me and You Book Two
Written by Emery Lord
Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Published March 31st 2020
400 Pages
Thank you to Bloomsbury Australia
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★★★☆
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.

Feeling the weight of the rest of her life Paige starts to panic. 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 life after high school. But in her heart, is it so terrible to want everything to stay the same forever?

Emery Lord's signature storytelling shines with lovable characters and heartfelt exploration of life's most important questions. There will be break ups, make ups, a road trip, and even a wedding. Through it all, can Paige figure out what happens in the after part of happily ever after?
Paige Hancock's world fell apart after her boyfriend Aaron drowned in a tragic accident, her steadfast friends were there to support her through the trauma and anxiety, including Max, Paige's friend and now boyfriend. Paige and Max have just spent the last few months apart, Paige exploring New York City and her dream of one day becoming a screen writer, while Max has been holidaying in Italy. Reuniting before embarking on their final year of school and together with their group of friends, their final year before scattering across the country for collage.

Paige is a planner, she likes to know where she's going before she begins her journey, to schedule her time and organise her life in an orderly manner, so collage applications are especially stressful, the fear of the unknown. Beneath Paige's anxiety is a brave and fiercely determined young woman wanting to pursue her dreams of becoming a screenwriter, although lately she isn't so sure. The eldest daughter of her journalist father and mother, her parents understand the pressure Paige places upon herself and remind her of the importance of caring for herself, even if Paige herself doesn't quite realise how debilitating her anxiety is becoming. Her parents are in a precarious situation, separated but continue to date one another, her mother placing stability and the emotional welfare of Paige and her younger sister before her own needs. Their family unit might be a little unconventional but it works, the Hancock girls giving their blessing for their parents to remarry again.

In her final year, Paige is determined to shake things up, on the cusp of adulthood, deciding on colleges, careers and finding her feet as Paige, not as Max and Paige. Throwing away her planner to become carefree and spontaneous, creating a final year bucket list of all the cheesy and typical teen experiences before college. Paige is a wonderful character as an individual but she seemingly lost her sense of identity within her relationship with Max. Although Max is supportive, Paige needed to be challenged and trusted, Max all but accusing Paige of being unfaithful for spending time with the delightful Hunter Chan, workmate and friend. A double standard considering how often Max speaks to Tessa, Paige's best friend. I didn't dislike Max, I just didn't like who Paige was in her relationship with him.

Although I enjoyed The Map from Here to There, it wasn't nearly as enchanting as The Start of Me and You which was fun, lighthearted and a feel great read. Paige and Max seemed entirely too serious for two teens on the cusp of adulthood. I appreciated that Paige wanted to spread her wings and shake up her routine, Many young adults will relate to the pressure she places upon herself and the daily struggle of balancing her education, life, family, friendships and also working part time.

There's something just so incredibly lovely and gentle about an Emery Lord novel and although I didn't love it as much as The Start of Me and You, still a wonderful, feel great read.

6 comments

  1. When I heard we were finally getting this book, I really thought it would focus on Paige and Max's romance. What can I say, I wanted to bask in that. This ended up being a senior-year book, where the characters have to say goodbye and all that. Once I accepted what this book was and wasn't going to be, I just let myself fall into the story. I found myself really touched and even sobbing. I am still made that Lord didn't disclose a certain piece of info, but I did enjoy the book.

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  2. This one sounds wonderful!
    I'm glad you liked it, Kelly!

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  3. Paige definitely sounds like someone I could relate to, as I also have anxiety - and it was probably a bit worse when I was around Paige's age. Sounds like a good read!

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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  4. I have several of Lord's books on my shelves, but they're all sitting there unread. I really want to get to at least one of them this summer! Lovely review! <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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  5. I've still not read the first book and so I can't believe the next book is out. Sorry to see it didn't hold as much of the charm as the first book, but it does sound like a good story and addresses struggles many teens experience growing up and moving to a new stage of their life after school ends.

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  6. I need to check out the first book, but that cover is gorgeous!! <3

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