Monday 18 November 2013

A Review for How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Posted by Donna
Release Date: May 7th, 2013
Finished Date: November 11th, 2013
Publishers: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA, Contemporary 
Source: For Review
Format: eBook
Pages: 320
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…

The Review: “I know women are supposed to stand on their own and all. I get that. But every once in a while it doesn't hurt to wish for a fairy godmother, a little magic, and a happy ending.” 

I’ve been eager to read How My Summer Went Up in Flames since I first received it for review, mainly because I’m yet to find that road trip book that I could totally fall in love with. I was hoping that Jennifer Salvato Doktorski debut novel would be it, and while it wasn't, I certainly enjoyed reading it.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames starts with Rosie, a teenage girl who recently had a temporary restraining order put against her after she torched her ex-boyfriend; Joey’s car, when she discovered he was cheating on her. Rosie can’t quite get her head around all the trouble she is in, and still doesn’t abide by the law when she’s caught kind of stalking Joey. So, the only way her parents know how to deal with her is to send her on a road trip with her next door neighbour Matt and his friends, hoping she will discover herself along the way.

As I said before, I definitely enjoyed reading this story, it's an ideal read if you've just broke up from school for the summer and you're looking for that read that can take you the places you've always wanted to see. How My Summer Went Up in Flames certainly delivered with that aspect, with my favourite part being where the characters where visiting the Grand Canyon. I'd love to go there one day!

Rosie was a fun character - one who has her issues, but hey, what seventeen-year-old girl doesn't? I felt some of her reactions were way over the top but that's Rosie. I enjoyed how she started finding herself along the way of the trip, I didn't like how much she kept pining over Joey, but him cheating on her was the plot of the story. Now I loved Avery! I wouldn't mind reading a book all about her. And then we have the guys; Matty, Logan and Spencer. I really liked them all. Rosie didn't end up with the guy I thought she would but still, it was still interesting to see her figure things out.

The story itself was enjoyable at a good pace, there was enough entertainment through-out and enough laughs to keep the humour going. What I felt lacked and really did affect my overall rating of this book, was the romance. It definitely fell short and there just wasn't as much as I would have liked. At one stage you have no idea who the main character Rosie's love interest really is, because she has moments with all the three guys she's on the trip with. To me, that's too much, especially since the romance isn't the key factor of the story - it's all about the road trip and Rosie finding herself. I sometimes felt that Rosie was put into these moments with the guys just to fill the story....and the guy she kind of ends up with, she doesn't really get a lot of swoon-worthy moments with him, and I need that swoon in the story.

In all, even despite the minor issues I had with this story, I still enjoyed it. It's one I'd recommend to any road trip fan because they may enjoy it even more than me.


Lisa @ The Garden of Books said...

I like the sound of this book, since I love finding yourself and road trip books. However, I think that Rosie would drive me absolutely bonkers. I really don't think I could handle her as a character.

Stephanie @Once Upon a Chapter said...

This sounds like a book I'd enjoy when I need something light to cleanse the palate.

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