Befriended: Talking Friendship with Author Emery Lord

We’re best friends, Estelle and I. We live miles and miles apart, but there’s seldom been a day in our three year friendship that we haven’t talked about something. Our friendship is the platform from which Rather Be Reading was created. Because of that, we’ve been really wanting to focus on friendship more. Something positive and uplifting. We both find friendship to be such an incredibly important aspect of the books we read. They can often make or break a book. There’s the good, the bad, the ups, the downs… and through all of that, you need a best friend. Someone to hold your hand as you wade through the craziness of life.

Hence the new feature we’re rolling out right now: Befriended.

We’re beginning with one of our very favorite new authors, Emery Lord. We’ve both read Emery’s debut novel, Open Road Summer and fallen madly in love with her incredible writing. (Admittedly, we’ve also watched her awesome author intro video and want to be her BFF, too). Reagan and Dee have this outstanding friendship with years and years of history and love between them. We asked Emery to talk to us a little bit about her personal best friend and in the vein of our themed gift-packs, to create gifts to and from Dee and Reagan. It’s an understatement to say I love how this came out and how much I adore what Emery wrote about her best friend. (Fact: I teared up reading it.)

A big, huge THANK YOU to Emery for helping us introduce our new friendship feature, Befriended. Without further ado, please welcome Emery to Rather Be Reading…

♥

My BFF and I met at church when we were in fourth grade. We were in all the same activities our entire lives and have so many similarities, but we’re different in a lot of ways too. Even little things. I’m a basic-nail polish kind of gal, and she’s great at, like, nail art and Jamberry nails. She went to a small private college for Music Ed; I went to a larger public school for Communications and English. She lives in the suburbs near our hometown; I live in a more urban setting a couple of hours away. She got married in the winter surrounded by cranberry reds and creams, in a strapless dress with her hair up. I got married in the spring, surrounded by peony pinks and tuxedo blacks, in a dress with sheer sleeves and my hair down. I wore her veil.

I wrote about to very different BFFs in Open Road Summer because I wanted to show that you don’t have to have everything in common to be best friends. You just have to show up, emotionally. Everyone understands a relationship like marriage…that I chose my husband to be my family. But my best friend is someone I chose to be my family too. It’s a sisterhood of choice, and it doesn’t matter how far apart we are or how many differing choices we make. What we have in common is 20 years together and so much love and loyalty that we can fill the miles between us. That’s truly all we’ve ever needed.

– – –
From Dee to Reagan
dee to reagan gifts for open road summer by emery lord
  • Arrow Necklace: This is a necklace Dee lets Reagan borrow in Open Road Summer. I think she’d get her one of her very own, since Reagan loves it–and probably write her a cheesy card tying in lyrics to Kacey Musgraves’ song Follow Your Arrow  😉  (which I love).
  • Photo Cube Printer: Reagan’s a photographer, so she’d love this for iPhone photos taken on the go.
  • Vintage 1971 Canon 35mm Camera: Dee’s an antiquer, so she’d absolutely snag this vintage camera for Reagan.
  • Ferris Wheel Photo Frames: Dee would get this both as a way for Reagan to display photos and to tease her a little about Matt Finch and a Ferris Wheel  😉
  • Boots: Reagan loooves shoes and these boots are totally her style.
  • New York Book: Dee is super supportive of Reagan’s ultimate goal of attending NYU. She’d absolutely gift Reagan with NYC-related things to share in her excitement about that.
– – –
From Reagan to Dee

reagan to dee open road summer gift pack by emery lord

  • Bestie iPhone Cases: Reagan would totally get these infinity BFF phone cases for herself and Dee, since they’re in a long-distance friendship/on the phone so much of the time. But, since Reagan would be using the phone case too, she’d pick something a little less frilly  😉
  • Decorative Pillow: Something for Dee’s tour bus or new apartment–Reagan’s sense of humor and something to make Dee laugh.
  • Tennessee Necklace: To remind Dee of home.
  • Floral Weekender: So not Reagan’s personal style, but definitely Dee’s. I think Reagan would get this for Dee to remind her she’s only one packed bag away from a weekend trip home.
  • Every Day Journal: One of the things Dee struggles with is how quickly life seems to be moving–by the time one thing happens, she can barely process it before the next big thing happens. Reagan would buy this one-line-a-day journal to help her remember each day without spending too much time memorializing instead of living–something she’s big on  🙂
  • Dolly Parton Quote: Dolly is one of Dee’s heroes, and Reagan would want to remind Dee that even Dolly has seen herself through the rain!

♥

Thank you so incredibly much to Emery Lord for stopping by RBR 
to help us kick of BEFRIENDED. Friends, please, please read Open Road Summer
as soon as you possibly can. And stay tuned for more friendship-related posts!

Add OPEN ROAD SUMMER to Goodreads | Buy on Amazon | Buy from Barnes & Noble | My Review of ORS

Life in Outer Space (Character Gift Exchange)

There’s nothing better than being completely charmed and surprised by a book.

When I first opened Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (a book I’ve had sitting on my shelf since May — I’m terrible), I had no idea I would fall for it so hard. It’s set in Australia (yay Aussie writers!) and tells the story of Sam and his friends. Sam is a total film enthusiast (kind of a Dawson but not as melodramatic) but sort of flies under the radar at his school. When the worldly and super gorgeous Camilla moves to town and becomes a part of their friendship group, Sam’s boring life transforms into quite the opposite. The friendships, the romance, and Sam’s thoughts (he’s hilarious) made this book so hard to put down. I loved all of it so much.

Since Camilla and Sam are such vibrant characters, I kept asking myself: what would they get each other for the holidays? So this is what you are going to be seeing today. I hope it gives you more insight into these awesome (genuine) characters and inspires you to pick up Keil’s book. (I’m pretty much want to gift this to everyone I know.)

Life in Outer Space Gift Exchange Sam to Camilla

Fujifilm Instax Camera | Bon Voyage Journal | Difference Between White & Saffron Dress

With Camilla moving around so much, she really wants some stability. Early in the book, the author talks about pictures she has up in her room and she’s hoping this is a way to show her dad that she really wants to say in town this time. I kept thinking how much these Instax pictures would look on her wall, especially with the new connections she is making with Sam and his friends.

The journal serves two purposes: Camilla travels a lot to see her mother but she also writes her own songs. I feel like she would be old school about it and write it in a book, instead of on a phone.

And the dress? Sam is too cute and seems to always notice what Camilla is wearing and how her hair looks. (She wears Princess Leia buns at one point, and he basically goes nuts inside.) There’s a yellow sundress that is mentioned a few times in the book, and who ever has enough yellow dresses? (I like the belt!)

Life in Outer Space Gift Exchange Camilla to Sam

Movie Monsters Guitar Strap | Give Empires a Chance T-Shirt | Star Wars Mad Libs |Film Listography | Slasher Movie Book

I feel like Sam would be so fun to shop for if he was my guy (or even just my friend). He wears vintage t-shirts, he loves movies, and during the book, he gets into music. Boys can be so hard to shop for but because his hobbies equate to an endless collection of things. I’m sad though because I saw a shirt called “future screenwriter” in a museum last weekend and I can’t find it online. Boo!

Honestly, I think Camilla is probably one of the most thoughtful and adventurous gift givers and I can only imagine what she would really do for Sam for the holidays.

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Hope you enjoyed this little feature today! If you are looking for a solid YA with a male POV that covers divorce, changing friendships, high school antics, popularity, and being scared shitless of falling in love? Life in Outer Space is where it is at! Be sure to check it out. Promise?

Life in Outer Space on Goodreads | Amazon