Going into The Start of Me and You I expected a story that was all romance. I expected a read like The Sea of Tranquility. One that was 75% romance heavy, and 25% everything else. I’m not putting down SoT, it was good and I picked up The Start of Me and You wanting something similar. I was excited for what I thought I was getting, and I ended up getting something more!
There was a romance, and it was wonderful! I loved how healthy Max and Paige’s friendship was, which paved the way for a strong relationship. They were really sweet with each other, healthy teasing while they built up each other’s confidence. Reading both of them falling in love was was definitely one of the best parts of the story.
However, I gave The Start of Me and You 4 1/2 stars because of the amazing friendship Paige and her best friends had. Healthy female friendships don’t really have representation in Young Adult, and it’s so sad. The sportive way that Kayleigh, Tessa, Morgan and Paige protected and comforted each other was really beautiful. Tessa and Paige in particular were total friendship goals.
When it all closes in, there are only two kinds of people: best friends and everyone else.
In fact, all of the different connections in The Start of Me and You were strong and healthy. Paige’s parental relationships were just as well written and well developed as the friendships. Her life wasn’t perfect, but the problems weren’t contrived and ridiculous. For instance, I thought it was a wonderful writing choice to have Paige’s parents already divorced, rather than a story of parents who are going to get divorced. It gave the story a unique and different spin. I also thought it was a nice change that Paige’s crush Ryan was as handsome, funny and kind as she thought he was. It’s easy to write off a relationship by making the guy, or girl, a jerk. In The Start of Me and You Ryan and Paige were two good people who didn’t have much chemistry. They were truly just friends. Yay for all the healthy friendships!
I search for books like this. I covet books that don’t glorify bad relationships. The Start of Me and You was all of that AND romantic! I loved it!