Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How My Summer Went Up in Flames

Book:  How My Summer Went Up in Flames
Author:  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Date:  Available now
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A

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…

Initial impression
Girlfriend’s got some sass!  I like it!

Cover story
I like this cover.  A lot.  It captures the whole road trip motif and also captures Rosie perfectly with that gas can. The cover is funny and light-hearted, just like the novel.

What’s the Story?
So, Rosie is a Jersey girl.  She’s not the skanky kind like Snookie (who isn’t even from New Jersey, btw), but the spunky kind!  Girlfriend has some spirit and after her boyfriend dumps her, she accidentally sets his car on fire.  And she might have been continuously calling and texting him and sometimes showing up where he is.  Just a little.

All of this results in a restraining order for dear Rosie.  Now, her best friend and neighbor Matty is going on a trip with 2 of his friends to drop off Logan, the older friend, at college in Colorado.  So they have a whole road trip planned from New Jersey to Colorado and Matty suggests that Rosie go with them so that she doesn’t get in any more trouble before her court date.

Rosie is not so open to this idea at first, but eventually comes around.  Spencer and Logan are both sort of geeky, but Logan is, of course, very nice to look at!  So off they all go on the summer road trip!

This book has what many road trip novels have:  mishaps and mayhem, fights, heart to heart talks, unplanned stops, etc.  But somehow, this novel had a certain je ne sais quoi.  For one thing, the writing was phenomenal!  This did not read like a first time author’s book.  I was really able to relate to Rosie, even though I’ve never set an ex-boyfriend’s car on fire.  But let’s admit it—there are some that we all would have liked to have done that to, right??

Rosie’s sass just makes you love her.  I loved to watch her giving those boys some lip.  Not just any girl can survive a cross country road trip with 3 teenaged boys, but Rosie held her own and then some with them.  I was cheering for her the entire way!

The ending was somewhat predictable, but like on any good road trip, you may know where you are headed, but getting there is at least half the fun!  And the getting there in this novel was REALLY fun!  This is definitely one of my all time favorite road trip novels.  If you’re going on a road trip this summer, I definitely recommend picking this one up to take with you for the ride!

The Soundtrack

Smile by Lily Allen

I’m on Top of the World by Imagine Dragons

Kiss Me Slowly by Parachute

Paper Doll by John Mayer

Send Me on My Way by Rusted Root

Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (you can’t have a book about a Jersey girl on a road trip without the Boss, right?)

Jersey Girl by Tom Waits

Wagon Wheel by Old Crow Medicine Show

The Final Grade
My final grade for this book is an A.  It has everything a good road trip novel should have and just a little bit more.  This book will make you want to jump in your car and head on your own road trip….maybe all the way to New Jersey!

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