The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord

Posted January 15, 2020 by Sara | Novel Novice 0 Comments

A romantic story about growing up, and figuring out what comes next in life, The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord is sure to become a YA classic.

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.

I love a book that tackles the “what happens after happily ever after” question, and The Map from Here to There does it so beautifully. Especially given a teen protagonist, when their future is so up in the air, happy endings feel good in the moment — but realistically, especially as an adult reader, you wonder … yeah, but for how long is that gonna last?

The first Emery Lord book I ever read was The Start of Me and You, which I absolutely adored & I’ve been a huge fan of hers ever since.

But I did not realize that The Map from Here to There was actually a SEQUEL to that book until last week, when a friend posted about it.

Ya’ll, I’d already read The Map from Here to There and I never made the connection. It’s hilarious (and yes, please, laugh all you want) — BUT this does prove the point that you can actually read and enjoy this book completely as a standalone!

All that aside, here are some of the things I loved about this book:

1. The way it tackles the fears and anxieties about life after high school. This sort of “transitional” time between high school and whatever comes next has long fascinated me, and I loved seeing it tackled so thoughtfully here.

2. Fertility issues! Most teenagers don’t think about their fertility, but one of Paige’s friends is facing the possibility that she may not be able to have kids. Having just gone through two years of fertility treatments myself, one of the things I’ve been most angry about is the fact that this possibility was NEVER EVER brought up to me by any of my doctors, even when I showed signs of having PCOS (Poly Cycstic Ovarian Syndrome, a condition which can make it hard to conceive) as early as high school and college. This was a smaller part of the book as a whole, but I SO SO SO appreciated it being brought up in a book for teens.

3. Realistic teenage romance. I love the happy endings in YA romances, but the more practical side of me always thinks, “Mm, yeah, this probably won’t last though.” So it felt very refreshing to see Paige and Max tackling the questions of where their relationship could possibly go after graduating high school.

There’s more, I’m sure — because I really just adored this book from start to finish. A charming, romantic YA that feels both light and fresh, while tackling serious and significant teenage issues. It’s the whole package. Look for it in stores now.

Sara | Novel Novice
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