Mini Reviews for CHOSEN and THE MAP FROM HERE TO THEREThe Map from Here to There by Emery Lord
Also by this author: When We Collided, The Names They Gave Us
Series: The Start of Me and You #2
Published by Bloomsbury YA on January 7, 2020
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


With The Map from Here to There, Emery Lord delivers a beautifully written and compelling follow-up to her popular novel, The Start of Me and You.  I loved the first novel and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy of the sequel because I really wanted more of Paige and Max’s journey.  The sequel was a little surprising, but in a good way. It’s a much more serious and emotional read than the fun and fluffy one I was expecting.  While there are certainly plenty of fun and fluffy moments with Paige and her friends as they go through their Senior year together, the story focuses more on Paige and her continuing struggles with anxiety and identity. Paige is trying to make big decisions about life and college and really just figure out who she really is and where Max fits into it all.  As Paige considers her options, endless questions just constantly flood her brain and ramp up her anxiety: Will their relationship survive if they go to separate schools? Should a decision about where to go to college be based in any way on what school your friends and/or significant other are going to?

Lord does a wonderful job of continuing Paige’s journey in a realistic and relatable way.  The fear and uncertainty about life after high school is certainly an almost universal experience.  I did find myself occasionally frustrated with Paige because of how she was letting all of her uncertainties interfere with the important relationships in her life, but at the same time, I found that was a realistic aspect of what she’s going through as well, so I could forgive her for it.

One of my favorite aspects of the sequel is actually that Paige’s core group of friends were still a big focus of the story. I honestly expected them to take a backseat to Max and Paige so it was great to see this wonderful friend group still in the forefront and to follow their Senior year journeys as well.

The Map from Here to There is overall a very satisfying sequel to The Start of Me and You.  If you weren’t ready to say goodbye to this lovable cast of characters after the first book, I think you’ll be happy with Lord’s continuation of their journeys.  4 STARS



Mini Reviews for CHOSEN and THE MAP FROM HERE TO THEREChosen (Slayer, #2) by Kiersten White
Also by this author: The Guinevere Deception
Series: Slayer #2
Published by Simon Pulse on January 7, 2020
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Pages: 368
Source: Netgalley
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are my own.


Last month I finally sat down and read Slayer, the first book in Kiersten White’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer-inspired series.  I’ve actually never watched an episode of Buffy (hangs head in shame), but even without prior knowledge of Buffy and her world, I still very much enjoyed Slayer.  White does a wonderful job bringing this world to life for me and I loved the characters, especially White’s additions to the Buffy universe.

Nina, the scrappy new Slayer that is the focus of White’s series is such an easy character to root for, so after meeting her in the first book, I was eager to follow her character’s evolution in Chosen, the second book in the series.  Chosen picks up right where Slayer leaves off and while it is just as action-packed as the first book, it is also more of an emotional read. I don’t want to give away any spoilers from the first book for those who haven’t read it yet, so I’ll just say that Nina experiences both loss and betrayal in Slayer and is still dealing with the emotional fallout in Chosen.  Nina is subsequently in kind of a dark place in this second book, but she still has plenty to keep her mind occupied, what with mastering her newly found Slayer abilities, creating demon sanctuaries, and of course, saving the world from yet another impending apocalypse.

My only real gripe about the sequel was Nina’s sister, Artemis.  I actually quite liked Artemis for the most part in the first book, but she frustrated me to no end in Chosen.  Her jealousy of Nina leads her to make some selfish and just plain awful decisions.  I found her disappointing, not just because of how her petty actions impacted Nina so much but also because they had real and potentially deadly consequences and she just couldn’t get past her own jealousy to see that.

Chosen successfully continues the magic of the first book in the series and I hope that White will continue the journey with a third book.  If demons, vampires, and a scrappy heroine trying to save the world from pending doom, all with a side of family drama, appeals to you, I would definitely recommend Kiersten White’s wildly entertaining Slayer series. 4 STARS


About Emery Lord

Hi! I’m Emery. I’m the author of four novels about teenage girls:  OPEN ROAD SUMMER, THE START OF ME & YOU, WHEN WE COLLIDED, and THE NAMES THEY GAVE US.  I was born near a harbor on the East coast and raised near a beach, an ocean, a great lake, and the Ohio River. I’m a longtime Cincinnatian, where we love good beer, good music, and our public library.   I’m married to a scientist who shuts down every wedding dance floor, and we are owned by two rescue dogs.  I believe in the magic of storytelling, Ferris wheels, and you.” – Emery Load, in her own words

About Kiersten White

Kiersten White is the New York Times bestselling author of many books for teens and young readers, including And I Darken, Now I Rise, Bright We Burn, The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein, and Slayer. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, where she perpetually lurks in the shadows. Visit Kiersten online at and follow @KierstenWhite on Twitter.

22 replies
  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I’ve never read anything by Lord despite seeing rave reviews for her work. I think I even own one or two. I love it when an author revisits former characters, though. I enjoy returning to their lives, seeing how they”re doing, checking in with them. It sounds like Lord returned to Paige’s life at a pretty pivotal time.

  2. Jenea's Book Obsession
    Jenea's Book Obsession says:

    Chosen sounds right up my alley, I loved Buffy! My library has the first book so maybe I can at least pick that one up soon. The Map from Here to There is a new one to me and I think it sounds really good too.

  3. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    Skipping your review for Chosen (I just looked at the rating) as I want a total surprise but I’ll be back once I’ve read it! I am already happy that you seem to have loved it Suzanne 😉

  4. Sam@wlabb
    Sam@wlabb says:

    You know I liked Map, though I was surprised Lord chose to go in that direction. I do wish she had revealed a small bit of information there at the end. The open-ended nature of the ending was already a thorn in my side, but to not tell us that little morsel seemed unjust. I gave it five stars, so obviously, I was not that bothered by it.

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      If it’s the detail I’m thinking of, I completely agree with you. I kept going back to see if I had accidentally missed it when I was reading, lol.

  5. Olivia Roach
    Olivia Roach says:

    Everyone seems to be pleasantly surprised with friendship being at the core of the map from here to there and it’s making me want to read the series as I need more books on friendship in my life. And it sounds like Emery knows how to handle serious and emotional themes well. Also happy to hear that Chosen was such a good sequel!

  6. verushka Byrow
    verushka Byrow says:

    I like what you’ve described of Paige’s journey in ‘Map’. It seems like Lord has hit the right mix to make it relatable to many readers. I’m thrilled that the Slayer books are going so well! I think thought I might just stick to Buffy on the show.

  7. Angela
    Angela says:

    I haven’t read The Start of Me and You, but The Map from Here to There sounds fun – I can definitely relate to being a senior in high school and trying to make all these big decisions.

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