Sunday, July 14, 2013

How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 7th 2013
Pages: 307
Source: ALA Annual 2013
Genre: Contemporary, Romance

First she lost her heart. Then she lost her mind. And now she’s on a road trip to win back her ex. This debut novel’s packed with drama and romance!

Rosie’s always been impulsive. She didn’t intend to set her cheating ex-boyfriend’s car on fire. And she never thought her attempts to make amends could be considered stalking. So when she’s served with a temporary restraining order on the first day of summer vacation, she’s heartbroken—and furious.

To put distance between Rosie and her ex, Rosie’s parents send her on a cross-country road trip with responsible, reliable neighbor Matty and his two friends. Forget freedom of the road, Rosie wants to hitchhike home and win back her ex. But her determination starts to dwindle with each passing mile. Because Rosie’s spark of anger? It may have just ignited a romance with someone new…

Most of the reviews I have heard about this book have been very positive, so I went into this one with some fairly high expectations. I tend to love road trip books so I pretty much knew I was going to at least like this book. Even though this book might not have been a favorite of mine, I still really enjoyed it.

First of all -just reading the back of this book makes it something you just have to read. The main character, Rosie, gets into some legal trouble after she accidentally sets her ex-boyfriend's car on fire. Desperate to get Rosie to see straight again her parents send her on a road trip with her best friend Matty and two other guys to bring the oldest of the two to his new college. Just reading the description draws you in.

I think that it goes without saying that the best part about this book was the fact that it was a road trip story. I think that of all of the road trip books I have read in the past, this trip might have had some of the funnest stops, many of them where totally random and hilarious, and others were just plain fun.

This book wasn't exactly the strongest character wise. The Rosie was often extremely spontaneous and really didn't think through what she was doing, which got her into this mess in the first place. Rosie did begin to grow as a character on this trip which started to get her away from her impulsiveness. Other than her attitude it was hard to find much else that gave Rosie a personality. I wanted there to be more of a story to her but there just wasn't. The same thing happened to all the other characters on the road trip. There would be one or two brief descriptions about the character and then that was all we got to cling to for that character, like a brief on their home life or a description on how clueless they seemed about looks, and then that was it.

The romance in this book was also kind of hard to get into. For most of the book Rosie is still hung up on her ex despite everything that she had done to him and vice versa. After the book was about half way through she started to not care about him anymore and then all of a sudden either she was crushing on half of the people in the car, and the other half was crushing on her and it just got really weird.

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