It’s kind of crazy when everyone in your timeline loves a book.
Like REALLY loves a book.
Normally, I would wait until later in the year to get to it. Wait for all the hubbub to die down. But with Magan texting me friendship quotes and after watching her vlog (a lot of times, I miss her), I knew I had to make it a priority. So on a weekend when I really needed to love a book, I brought Open Road Summer along. I expected to love the romantic interest a lot, sure, but I did not expect to fall head over heels for the friendship in this book. We should all be so lucky to know a connection like the one that Reagan and Dee share. It’s honest, it’s not always easy, but there is extreme loyalty — whether in action or silence — and they just get each other. It was the biggest highlight of Open Road Summer for me. (Seriously, all the quotes I wrote down were about Reagan and Dee and I just… cried so much during some of their scenes. I thought the book was incredibly powerful and well-done in so many ways.)
So it was an extra bonus that country music was everywhere in this book. While it wasn’t always this way, country is my favorite genre of music. It makes me feel full and happy, and I just love the way that the songs tell a story. It’s been about 10 years now (ahh) that country music has provided the soundtrack to many late writing nights, annoying commutes, brutal workouts, and even a few songs at my wedding. Not everyone in my life feels the same way about country, sadly, so I’m happy that I’ve met smart people like Cassie and Ellice throughout my book blogging who love it too! Since the three of us adored ORS so much, we teamed up to create a country soundtrack that reflects moments and feelings in the book.
For me, I tried to focus on songs and musicians that don’t necessarily get a ton of play. (You know me with my “under the radar” everything.) And, truthfully, I thought soundtracking ORS would be so difficult or distracting but with so many emotions and great moments, it just felt like fun. Here are a few of my own contributions (and why I picked them):
“I Break Everything I Touch” by Jason Aldean: There’s a great song called “I Break Things” by Erika Jo but unfortunately it’s not available on Spotify. But I think Jason and Erika’s songs describe exactly how Reagan was feeling in the beginning of ORS. She just couldn’t get anything to work out right.
“Famous in a Small Town” by Miranda Lambert: I used to love to sing this song in my car and I had to use it when thinking of how Dee’s life has changed since being a regular high school kid.
“Homemade Love” by Jessica Harp: Jessica Harp used to be in The Wreckers with Michelle Branch (oh my god, was that almost 10 years ago?!), and that’s how I got into her. It’s her only album but this song popped into my head as soon as I heard Dee and Jimmy’s backstory.
If you know country even a little bit, you could probably think of about twenty songs right off the bat to explain Reagan and Matt’s relationship. These were my top picks:
- “Stop Drop + Roll” by Dan + Shay: their car ride.
- “Cool Thing” by Rascal Flatts: just them meeting each other in the first place.
- “There’s Where It Is” by Carrie Underwood: two people who did a lot of work to get to this point.
Jo Dee Messina’s “Was This My Life?” is so Matt’s life philosophy after what he’s faced in life. “Oh, we just get one ride around the sun / In this dream of time, it goes so fast.”
I think Ellice + Cassie will agree that the biggest challenge was finding a good friendship song. We need some female country singers to get on this! Perhaps the song to best fit Reagan and Dee’s friendship is “You Find Out Who Your Friends Are” by Tracey Lawrence.
When the water’s high / When the weather’s not so fair / When the well runs dry / Who’s gonna be there? /
You find out who your friends are.
On that note, that’s enough from me! Time for you to get listening!
We sincerely hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed putting it together! Be sure to head over to Cassie’s blog for a special guest + Ellice for more chatter about our playlist collaboration efforts! Hooray!