Monday, May 13, 2013

[Review: How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski]

"How My Summer Went Up In Flames"
Author: Jennifer Slavato Doktorski
Pages: 320
Genre: YA Contemporary, Roadtrip
Date Published: May 7th, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format Read: eARC provided by the publisher (via Edelweiss) for honest review


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…

My Thoughts:

This book has rearranged some things and squeezed into a little wedge of my heart.  I have to admit that I'm surprised by this.  When I read the summary (which I think sells the actual book a little short) I thought this was just going to be about a girl and the drama with her ex + drama with the mentioned new guy, but that's not what I got.  And I'm so glad that I squeezed this book into my busy reading schedule this month!  

This book is the kind of contemporary that I love.  It's just weird enough to not be your run of the mill story.  It's funny enough to have you chuckling loudly to yourself in public.  And it's got a lot of heart.  Plus to make it all a little more epic, it's a cross country road trip putting 3 guys and one frustrated girl in one little car.

Right away you know that Rosie is going to be a handful.  She gets served with a temporary restraining order for blowing up her ex boyfriend's car in the first few sentences of the book.  I mean talk about starting off with a bang.  I actually adored Rosie.  Sure she's got her issues and she acts like a fool sometimes (or a majority of the time) but this girl had tons of courage and heart when it comes down to it.  And on top of everything she able to adapt with ease, even if she claims that she doesn't.  She's just a girl trying to find herself in her mixed up adolescent feelings while dealing with some pretty hefty stuff.  Like the cheating ex boyfriend.  Rosie and her story could have gotten old and worn out feeling, but somehow Doktorski really made her coming of age tale stand out to me.  

I LOVE that the road trip consisted of Rosie, her best friend/almost brother/neighbor Matty and his two pals Spencer and Logan all cramming into a little car and heading off on a cross country road trip together!  Covering all the ground in between New Jersey and San Diego.  The places that they went and the adventures that they stumbled upon were awesome and had the feel of an actual road trip with a bunch of guys.  It takes one to know one and I can relate to this road trip on so many levels.  Being the only girl in a car full of nerdy guys can be both the greatest and not so greatest thing in the whole world and Doktorski nails it.  She just gets the vibe that would happen in the car.  From being picked on to being protected and everything in between.  

And the guys.  The guys are wonderful and nerdy and awesome!  I also enjoyed how even though they are all all of those things, each one has his own personality.  It makes things interesting and keeps the tension in the car high at all times, even if it is a relaxed and enjoyable tension!  Logan is surly and strong headed and is the master of ragging on people.  Spencer and Matty both like to keep the peace, but in different ways.  Seriously, you just have to read this book to get to know these guys.

I like that there wasn't a love triangle.  Yes there were moments with all of the guys and Rosie, but this book was more about Rosie figuring her life out, trying to avoid her ex and still make her court date and the guys helped her get to where she needed to be.  I guess that one of the things I liked so much is that this book was both a girl power and a man power book at the same time.  Depicting the importance of healthy relationships with guys and what that can do for you as a girl! 

        4 Unicorns = Almost perfect!


Jenni @ Alluring Reads said...

So happy to see that you liked this one so much! I won a preorder of this one a while back and had no idea that it was out already! It should show up soon! YAY! I can't wait to meet Rosie lol it sounds like her and I will have a good time!

Skye said...

I normally wouldn't pick up this book, but I'm craving contemporary right now so I'll definitely have to grab this one since you liked it so much. Thanks for the excellent review!

Eileen said...

Oh yay I'm so happy that you enjoyed this one! It looks really cute and I also really like the road trip books, even though they get really typical after a while. But it's really great that Rosie stood out with her story, and the road trip aspect was really original, and so were the guys.

Fantastic review, Christianna!

Jessica R said...

I'm so glad you loved this one! I wanted to read it but didn't make it a priority because, like you said, the synopsis isn't amazing or anything. It's awesome to hear that it's even better than that suggests! And it sounds like it'll be fun while a little quirky. Guess now I really have to get to it :)

Rachel said...

I totally agree with you, Christina, the description doesn't do this amazing story justice! This is such a well rounded story with a little of everything! I was cracking up in so many places, too! Excellent review! :)