Thursday, July 18, 2013

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

Title: How My Summer Went Up in Flames
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: May 7th, 2013
Pages: 307 (Paperback)
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Source: Bought
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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.

Breaking up is always hard to do, especially if you're the last person to see it coming.  When Rosie's ex-boyfriend breaks her heart, she acts before thinking and ends up setting his car on fire.  Just because it was an accident doesn't mean that the court will necessarily see it that way.  Until then, her parents decide that it's best for her to join her best friend on a trip across country, where they can easily monitor their every move by the GPS in Rosie's phone.  Most teenagers would be all over this experience, but to Rosie, being stuck in a car with three teenage boys sounds like a summer in hell.

Matty is clearly Rosie's most loyal friend throughout this book.  He proves to be there for her when she needs him most, which is what really matters.  Though Rosie is dealing with a lot, she definitely knows how to have fun along the way.  Road trip stories are some of my favorites, because you know that it will be full of laughs, adventure and a bit of romance along the way.  In this case, there are quite a few options for Rosie to choose from romantically, but only one truly makes sense.

The author creates a light and fun story that I believe many teenage girls will be able to relate to in their own ways.  Rosie is a great main character, because although she constantly has thoughts about going back to make things right with her ex, she stays strong.  After all, what she truly needs is a little distance between her and the problems she left back home.  Instead of being depressed throughout the entire trip, it was nice to see her moving on and forgetting about her broken heart.

The thing I loved most about this journey wasn't the excitement of the adventure or Rosie's growth as a character, but the incredibly geeky boys that she had to share living space with over the span of a week.  I wouldn't have even expected these boys to make me laugh as much as they did, but I quickly found that they were typical boys that I tend to befriend.  Although they tend to pick on Rosie throughout the entire book, they also show that they're willing to do anything to protect her.

Overall, How My Summer Went Up in Flames is a quick and breezy summer read about friendship, adventure and finding your inner strength.  Though the book isn't completely what I expected, I still enjoyed the time I spent with these characters and would recommend it to others who enjoy summer road trip stories.


  1. I'm glad to hear you liked this one! Road trip novels are my favorite and this one looks like a great summer read.

  2. I have been meaning to read this by the end of the summer so I am very happy to know you enjoyed it!

  3. I'm currently starting this one!
    Glad to know that you enjoy the book, Chey, I'm only few pages in and already liking Rosie's voice :D

    Tirta @ I Prefer Reading

  4. Great review! This book has been on my wishlist even before it came out! I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

    It sounds like a really fresh and entertaining book, besides I love the idea of a roadtrip (I'll have to go on a roadtrip someday! haha)

    Joana @ Joana In The Sky With Books

  5. This novel sounds so quirky and I love the cover. The interactions between Rosie and the boys sounds fantastic. Thanks for introducing it to me!