03 July 2014

BOOK REVIEW: How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

Published: 7th May 2013 | Simon Pulse
Genre: Young Adult | Contemporary
Format: Kindle

Overall: ½

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Summary: 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…

Review: I have been avoiding a lot of YA lately as I've fallen (very deeply) into the genre that is NA. But books about summer road trips are by far my favorite genre (yes, I think it's its own genre. Deal.); so I knew I had to pick this book up. Knowing that I wasn't very into the YA scene I was weary of what I'd read. I figured there'd be a lot of juvenile dialogue and shenanigans....but this ended up being a fun and funny book from start to finish. I never found myself bored. In fact, there were times I could not bring myself to stop reading even when it was 4am! I haven't read a book like that in a very long time.

Rosie has the inability to think before she speaks or acts--she's impulsive--and because of that comedy ensues, as well as igniting her boyfriends car. Then she's forced (but really, who wouldn't want to go on a road trip 'cross country?) to take a road trip with her reliable neighbor, and best friend, Matty and his two nerdy (or not really?) comrades, until her TRO (temporary restraining order) court date. Along the way she learns to let go of the past and find a future that looks a little brighter as well as meeting a few people along the way that give her a new way to look at life.

I loved each character throughout the book and I was probably the minority in saying that Matty wasn't my favorite character. In fact I think he was last. It was that "friend forever I think I like you" character that I was over. Spencer and Logan were my favorite of the bunch. Though at times Logan's weirdness was a bit too much, and it is justified, throughout, why he seems so stiff.
The adventure across the country had me yearning to go on a trip myself. And then they make it to Arizona. Now, I've never been there myself, but I've always had this weird secret fascination with it. The desert like state, the colors the idea of Native American culture still living freely there... I want to go, and after reading of their time I now know that I need to go!

This book isn't heavy in the romance department, which I am just fine with, but you do get lovey dovey times and cute boys. And honestly, what more could you ask for? Road trip? Sure. A douchey ex-boyfriend who gets what he deserves? Check. Fun times with a possible bucket list started by the time you're done? Double check. Comedy that comes out of no where and causes you to snort like a pig? Why not.
So, why didn't I give it a full five stars? The ending... It was too abrupt and didn't feel like an ending at all. I wanted more. At least another paragraph. Anything.
I cannot wait to read her second book, Famous Last Words. A great great debut from Ms Doktorski!

Characters: ½


  1. Great review, I absolutely cannot wait to read this one !

    1. BTW, just checked out your blog... and it is gorgeous!! New follower. You have me inspired to completely change mine...again. =]

  2. I was pleasantly surprised. I am trying not to download her other book so I can get through my "review" pile before I get back to my "for fun" pile.
    If you read, let me know what you think!!
    And thanks for stopping by and commenting!



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