Review: The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord

The Map from Here to There by Emery Lord cover shows a cluttered dresser top beneath a cracked mirror

The Map From Here to There
Emery Lord
Bloomsbury YA
Published January 7, 2020

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About The Map From Here to There

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 on Goodreads

My Review

This is the first book I’ve read by Emery Lord, though her books have been on my “must try this” list for a long time. I thought the writing was great– Paige is a sweet sort of people-pleaser who’s just beginning to assert her own desires and goals, so it was a great moment to step into her life.

I loved all the script-writing stuff. Though I know nothing about that process, it felt believable and Paige’s enthusiasm for it was contagious. I absolutely bought in and needed her to get into a great college program where she could continue to pursue that dream.

Especially in the early chapters, the narrative referred back to things that had happened before, and kept thinking, wait, why isn’t that a novel? Why aren’t I reading that other story, because it sounds really compelling.

And then I had a duh moment. There IS a book telling that previous story. It’s called THE START OF ME AND YOU. So now I need to read that one!

For the most part, I followed the story just fine without having read the first book. The only things I found confusing were the backstories of Paige’s friends. There are several to keep straight, and I didn’t always have them right. I think I would have been more on the ball there if I’d read THE START OF ME AND YOU first.

But overall, I liked THE MAP FROM HERE TO THERE. The writing was strong but accessible. I never felt like Paige was being pretentious or that the writing didn’t suit her voice. And, as I mentioned above, her passion for script-writing absolutely came through. I felt it as I was reading. Same with her anxiety and her confusion and frustration with her feelings. I thought she was super relatable.

If you liked STARFISH by Akemi Dawn Bowman or THIS ADVENTURE ENDS by Emma Mills, definitely add THE MAP FROM HERE TO THERE to your list.

The Map From Here to There on Amazon

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 14 up.

One of Paige’s best friends is a lesbian.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used infrequently.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kissing between boy and girl. Kissing between two girls. In a couple scenes, Paige experiments with contact beyond kissing — the details are kept vague.

Spiritual Content

Violent Content
Brief description of a car accident.

Drug Content
A couple scenes show teens (including Paige) drinking alcohol.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of THE MAP FROM HERE TO THERE in exchange for my honest review.

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About Kasey

Reads things. Writes things. Fluent in sarcasm. Willful optimist. Cat companion, chocolate connoisseur, coffee drinker. There are some who call me Mom.

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