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Monday, June 3, 2013

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

Posted by Irish in Review2 Comments

Title: How My Summer Went Up in Flames (Goodreads)
Publisher: Simon Pulse

Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 07 May 13
Series or Standalone: Standalone
ISBN: 1442459409
Format: Ebook (ARC)
Pages: 320

The author on the web:

Place(s) Traveled to: Chestnutville, New Jersey // Pennsylvania // Luray, Virginia // Sky Line Drive (Virginia) // Knoxville, Tennessee // Pigeon Forge, Tennessee // Nashville, Tennessee //Memphis, Tennesse // Arkansas // Dallas, Texas //Amarillo, Texas // Roswell, New Mexico // Albuquerque, New Mexico // Williams, Arizona // Tempe, Arizona // San, Diego, California // El Paso, Texas

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

First Line: I wasn’t always the kind of girl who wakes up on the first day of summer vacation to find herself on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order.

Rosie is not have a good start to her summer. First she breaks up with her boyfriend, after she learns he cheated on her, then she overreacts just a tad, and before you know it his car has been torched, she’s been served a TRO  (that’s temporary restraining order) and she’s being shipped out of state on a road trip with three boys. One is her BFF and next door neighbor and the other two are friends of his from school, Logan and his brother Spencer. If I’m honest, I will tell you that I didn’t know too much about How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski other than that it was a road trip book. Which was all I really needed to know because I love a good road trip novel. 
I was pretty surprised by how entertaining that I found the beginning of the book. I enjoyed Rosie’s voice and her take on things though I did think that she was a bit too obsessed with her ex. But when you are a teen and your heart is breaking from your first love you do tend to overreact a bit. Feelings seem so much grander when you are young. The highs are astronomical and the lows are lower then you ever thought possible. So while I may not have liked that aspect of Rosie’s personality it was realistic teen behavior. 

As for the other characters, I enjoyed them all, with the exception of Joey who really was just a douche. Rosie’s parents were hilarious. Her mom was just over the top, always in contact, and we’ve all had friends with a mom like that. I liked how close Rosie was to her family and even though her parents weren’t always on the page they were never absentee. Matty was the best friend, next door neighbor and I feared that How My Summer Went Up in Flames would be your typical contemporary where the neighbor boy has yearned for years and in the end gets the girl. Not that I don’t like those stories, but it can be a bit of cliche. Luckily though that doesn’t happen. Logan and Spencer add some tension and humor to the story with Spencer’s itinerary and Logan’s deep love of country music…both of which Rosie doesn’t like all that much. 

How My Summer Went Up in Flames isn’t a perfect book and there were parts that dragged a bit and the ending seemed a little rushed. I wish that more could have been seen for the romance aspect of the story line but at the same time I’m glad that there was no insta-love. Especially given the fact that Rosie was getting over a bad break up. I also don’t claim to know a lot about the law but it seemed that some of the TRO violations that Rosie was hit with at that end were not justified. And while I’m glad that there were consequences to her actions it did seem a little extreme. I also liked how Rosie was very confident in herself. She liked food and wasn’t ashamed to eat it. She didn’t cave and eat a salad when those around her did and chose instead to go for that fatty greasy burger and fries.
Sidenote: Just had to say that like Rosie, I was mightily disappointed when the inside of the spaceship McDonald’s in Roswell looked just like every other McDonald’s in the US. The outside is just so crazy looking you’d think that they’d have continued that into the interior. Roswell is an interesting town and it was fun to see it in a book. My sister lives not to far from there and we spend some time there as its bigger than her town…plus its where the airport I fly into is.

If you are looking for a serious in depth something or other than this isn’t the book for you. But if you are looking for something light hearted to take with you to the beach then you might want to consider How My Summer Went Up in Flames. Its a quick read with many laugh out loud moments. I just wish that it contained some of those heart achy moments that I love. But even without them I did enjoy this story and look forward to seeing what else Doktorski writes next.

2 Responses to “Review: How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski”

  1. Vivien

    While it’s slightly disappointing to hear this wasn’t a heavier novel, I’m still really eager to read it. Knowing it’s lighter/fluffier will help. I adore the cover/font used.

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    […] Payne 5. The Collector (Dante Walker, Book 1) by Victoria Scott 6. Five Summers by Una LaMarche 7. How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski 8. His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregor 9. Nantucket Blue by Leila Howland 10. All of You […]