My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read online a few weeks back that How My Summer Went Up in Flames was Jennifer Salvato Doktorski’s first novel. With her first novel being this good, you can bet that I am going to be looking for more of her books.
We’ll start with a synopsis. Rosie is impulsive and the downsides of that particular personality trait have finally hit her. At first, she feels that everyone is making a big deal out of nothing, after all, its not like she intended to blow up her cheating, now ex boyfriend’s, car! She’s not particularly sad that it happened, he deserved it and if given the chance she’d probably do it again. After all, she misses him and all she was trying to do that night was get some closure, burn some stuff he had given her. Burning his stuff didn’t help her feel better and she got it into her head that if she can only talk to him they can make everything better again. He’s not up for talking, something he makes very clear with a temporary restraining order and a court date that will decide if it’s going to become permanent.That’s how she ends up on a road trip with two strangers and a best friend shes been neglecting over the past few months. He convinced her parents that she would be less likely to get in trouble by violating court orders if she’s traveling across the U.S. in a car with three guys. Matty always was the responsible one and her parents come around to his idea without too much persuasion. What happens after is a unique kind of magic that can only be worked in a cramped car with three nerds, cheap motels and a lot of road food. Where will Rosie and company end up, what will they do and what will happen when their road journey ends and they all must go back to their lives?
I will start by saying that this is a great summer read and it didn’t disappoint me in any way. I have reread it multiple times and always enjoy it; it is an easy 5 stars. It’s almost predictable but has enough variables to keep stringing you along and make you wonder, “what if”. Rosie is completely unlike me and yet I find myself relating to her— understanding and sympathizing with her. Bear in mind, if you are looking for something deep that analyses the inner psyche of the wayward teenager, this book is not for you. It is a light, airy, read— something you would bring with you to the beach. I really enjoyed the secondary characters in this book and although none of them were looked at in detail, we were given snapshots of them, pieces here and there depending on how they related to Rosie. I would love to have a series where each book is told from a different characters perspective!
**The next book I’m going to be reviewing is Saving Wishes by G.J Walker-Smith. Read it with me so we can discuss it or wait to see if its worth the read!