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

Posted June 13, 2013 by Lori in Books, Reviews / 3 Comments Tags:

Book Review: How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato DoktorskiHow My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Published by Simon and Schuster on 2013-05-07
Genres: Contemporary, Friendship, Love & Romance, Road Trip, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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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!

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…

How My Summer Went Up in Flames is the perfect summer book. It’s fun, it has some romance, it’s fast, and it’s all about a road trip. It’s also a perfect book if you’re looking for a break from some of the heavier stuff because it never digs too deep into the serious issues. If you liked Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson or Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill, I think you’ll enjoy this book as well.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames starts with Rosie being served with a temporary restraining order. We find out that she has recently been dumped by her boyfriend that she was in love with because he was cheating on her. When Rosie saw Joey and his new girlfriend/the girl he cheated on her with, she can’t help but take some action. One thing leads to another and Joey’s car ends up on fire. When Rosie tries to contact him, he ignores her. He files for the TRO and a court date is set. Ignoring the TRO, Rosie finds a way to drive by his house and tries to contact him by phone. With all of this in mind, as well as Rosie’s hurting heart, her best friend and neighbor, Matty, gets Rosie to join him and his two friends on a nine-day road trip to get her out of town and away from Joey. Not everyone is excited about the road trip, though, but several hundred miles might just help Rosie see things a little more clearly.

Everything about this book was adorable (except the cheating ex-boyfriend). Rosie was a great MC with an impulsive, sarcastic personality, and the road trip boys were a great combination of friend and potential boyfriend. There was a lot of country music on the radio, a lot of nerdiness from the boys, a very strict itinerary, and a side trip to Dollywood. Eventually, the boys warm up to Rosie and Rosie is surprised to find them as new friends somewhere along the way. She also meets a mysterious cowboy and ends up in a bar fight. And we get some growth out of her along the way as she learns what’s important, what she wants for her future, and how big the world really is.

I do wish Rosie could have realized earlier how much of a jerk her ex was instead of blowing off everyone who ever mentioned it. I do know that a broken heart can mask a lot of reality, though. I really felt bad about everything she went through. Also, there were mentions along the way about some deeper stuff, like an alcoholic father and rumors about Rosie’s virginity, but there is never really any solution or depth to the problems. So if you’re looking for a book that actually deals with some problems, this one isn’t for you.

This book was really adorable and fun and fast and light. It was the perfect summer romance. It doesn’t deal well with the more serious issues it brings up, but it does do road trips and heartache well. Plus, there’s fun music, cute boys, an impulsive and sarcastic MC, new friends, and a few kisses. If you’re headed to the beach or pool for the summer, this is the perfect book to take along with you. It’s not too deep or emotional, easy to pick up and put down, and already out in paperback!

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