How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Simon Pulse on May 7, 2013
Date Finished: August 13, 2013
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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!Before I get really into this, I want to set something straight. She isn't road tripping to win back her ex - to get away from him, because not only is he a horrible, cheating, liar, but he also gave Rosie a restraining order... And on top of that, I don't think she's really trying to win him back. I would call it more of trying to make amends because she kind of set fire to his car.
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…
When I read the first chapters of this book, I began to dread reading it. I thought 'oh, here is one of those books again with the really unique plot line but a horrible way to execute it.' But I was wrong.
Though it was a start that I didn't find very good at all, the book really began to get better and better the more you read. Kind of like when you go up the first drop of the roller coaster and there's not much happening, but once you get going down the drop, the ride just gets better from there.
Enough metaphors, let's get down to characters. Rosie, the main character. At first, she was annoying and I hated her. But as I learned more and more about her, I loved her sarcasm, her sisterly ways with Matty and most of all, that through every action - good or bad - she had her heart in it and good intention.
Unfortunately, though I loved each character because of the attachment that happens while reading a book, I found a lot of them easily forgettable once you put the book down and never pick it up again. I don't think I'll be remembering them, and if I do, it's the small gestures that made me smile that they did. I really believe that they were 2D and though each was original, they fell flat as characters - and just that.
Though this book had it's issues, which caused me to knock off one star, I enjoyed it. The plot was solid, and though the experiences Rosie had didn't include drama or major romance, they were still interesting and I felt like I was there with her, experiencing these things for myself. On top of that, the drama with Joey, Rosie's ex, was amazingly interesting. Each time he popped into a scene (not really, since it's a road trip) I was actually going OMGOMGOMGOMG. Something about court, restraining order, ex-boyfriend drama is crazy interesting.
There are tons of things I could say about this book, but they would all involve plot spoilers, though not terribly spoiling, but I feel better if you read them for yourself and felt your heart warm like I did. Though I don't believe I'll be reading this book again anytime soon, I did enjoy it as one of those lighthearted, cute reads and it's definitely a good, easy book to read when you need a little getaway.
Now, my favorite quote, which I love and plan to incorporate it into my life:
"...sometimes when you don't know what to do, it's okay to do nothing."
I love that quote.