‘The Map From Here to There’ is a Really Good Novel


The Map From Here to There STORY | Falling in love wasn’t in the plans for Paige Hancock. At least not with her quiz bowl and study partner, Max. But they did. Now, summer is here, and on the cusp of their senior year, Max is returning from vacation just as Paige, their friends and Max prepare a “to do” list to live out these final school days together.

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The happily ever after Paige and Max hope for challenges them as they try to make time for each other, and their friends, school, quiz bowl (Max), an internship (Paige), and the choice of where to attend colleges. Does Max stay in state? Will Paige choose a miles (upon miles!) away screen writing program? As pressure mounts, the pair have to ask themselves and each other, what is it they want from their future?

REVIEW | This is THE YA novel I’ve been anticipating for as long as I can remember. (Well, since its announcement anyway.) I remember thinking the first novel (The Start of Me and You) the perfect novel in its genre. It has bookish adorableness, a romance easy to cheer on, characters to genuinely like, some complex emotional scars and in general, it’s just lovely. But the thing is, I thought it was a standalone. Learning a sequel would be in the future made me a little more giddy.

the map from here to there

Giving away my feelings, I’ll say right up front, Emery Lord hits the right cadence for this sequel. True it’s been five years since the first novel released, but ‘Map’ picks up just it leaves off, and she doesn’t miss a beat. The Map from Here to There is spectacular. Max and Paige “feel” exactly the same in this sequel; both, wonderful people to hang out with. Their struggles frustrate just because we want them to realize just how good they are together; and heavens but do they jump on the struggle bus (more than once). It’s not always dramatic, but it hurts a reader that much because, YA or not, this couple just “feels” iconic.

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As the plot presses further on, these trials don’t fade. Some magnify while others sit in a corner. But what’s most important is how Paige and Max fight through to resolve (some of) these complications. SPOILER! The truth is, as we all can, the greatest trouble lies in these characters minds. They overthink things (#relate); they fight anxiety which then becomes fear; and in turn, they take this out on each other. The first-person (Paige) POV makes this all the more clear, and will certainly break your book-loving heart. END SPOILER!

Though this novel doesn’t end precisely in the way I desperately wished it would (both for me, as a reader, and these characters), I liked it far too much to be critical. It’s a joy to read, and in the reading, I discovered that I missed these characters more than I thought. The Map from Here to There is everything a GOOD sequel should be, and then some.

‘The Map From Here to There’ is a Really Good Novel. A book review of the #YALit novel from best-selling author Emery Lord. #Bookworm #MustRead @Bloomsbury Click To Tweet

Content: there’s some suggestive content regarding sex, and some profanity [an F-word or two], but for secular YA fiction, it’s cleaner than most.

‘The Map From Here to There’ is a Really Good Novel. A review of the 2020 YA novel by Emery Lord, published with Bloomsbury. Text © Rissi JC

Author: Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 2020
Source: Publisher provided ARC – thank you, Bloomsbury!
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary YA Romance
Find the Book Elsewhere: Goodreads
Rating: ★★★★★

Sincere thanks to Bloomsbury for kindly sending a copy of this novel in consideration of review; all opinions are my own.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I reaaaally want to know a spoiler before read this one, PAIGE and MAX END UP TOGETHER? IF NOT I DON’T WILL READ

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