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May 14, 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
Publication date: May 7, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Contemporary/Road Trip)
Source: Edelweiss
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
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 was a bundle of joy. I had SO much fun reading this book, laughing with the characters, yelling at the main protagonist (more about that later), witnessing all the sight seeing they got to see, and basically solidifying my love for road trip books. Why aren't authors writing more road trip books? Don't they know the book would become an instant success among contemporary lovers? Like many readers, I have yet to read a road trip novel that I didn't enjoy. Of course How My Summer Went Up in Flames might have won itself merit points at the beginning for being a road trip novel, but the characters and the plot (at least second half of it) are what made me love this book and devour it in a single day. 
Rosie, a couple of weeks after breaking up with her cheating ex-boyfriend, finds herself the culprit of a burnt car belonging to said ex-boyfriend and the holder of a temporary Restraining Order (TRO) her ex-boyfriend took against her. Her parents decide for her to go on the road trip her neighbor, Matty, who she has known all her life and is a year younger, and his friend Spencer and Spencer's older brother Logan were taking to Logan's university, cross country. At the beginning, I was SO annoyed with Rosie and her desperation. It really left a sour taste in my mouth. She broke her TRO several times and couldn't stop thinking about that douche. Where is your self respect girl?! I was so happy when she finally went on the road trip and the whole obsession over her ex-boyfriend started to diminish. 
The dialogue in this novel was stolen by Matty and Spencer, mostly Spencer and all his adorableness. That guy is a nerd to the max but oh so sweet, caring, and funny. As for Logan, he is the hot guy who is also a nerd; basically every girl's dream guy, looks AND brains? who can say no? However his moodiness and sneering and dislike for Rosie crashing his road trip was obvious. Yup, you guessed it. He is the love interest. I loved Logan, when he learned to loosen up he was as cute as Spencer; These two brothers charmed me to the extreme! Doktorski's writing flowed easily, with a ton of dialogue and a ton of playfulness you expect from road trip books. This is a book to pick up when you want a smile on your face and a ton of free time for the day because once I started this book, I could barely put it down. I honestly would recommend all contemporary and road trip fans to read it because this road trip book is full of all the ingredients that make us readers love contemporary novels! 


  1. Juhina, this just sounds like the perfect summer read. I love a book that makes you smile, wonderful review!

  2. OMG! She burnt his car? That's one of the funniest scenarios I've read! This sounds like such a fun summer read and I'm definitely looking forward to it. Plus, it has road trip! I like it already! Great review, Juhina :)

  3. YES. Authors DO need to write more roadtrip books! This one sounds fantastical and although I'm not QUITE sure that I'll like Rosie's character, I know the boys in this book sound yummilicious (LOGAN holllaaa). I'm so happy to see you loved this one, it looks like the perfect summer read! Beautiful review, Juhina. :)

  4. This one does sound fun! I don't think I've read a road tip novel before. Definitely a couple of books with a long car ride, but it wasn't the focus. I may need to check this one out!

  5. Yay so glad you loved this Juhina, I've had my eye on this book for sometime now, I simply adore road trip books, but the mixed reviews had me in two minds about giving it a try. But the road trip does sound like a lot of fun and the secondary characters sound fantastic! I think I will have to get myself a copy a lot sooner! Lovely review! :)

  6. I have such a love-hate relationship with road trip books, but this one sounds abolsutely delightful! I love that the dialogue was so sweet and nerdy. I think I'd enjoy that very much.
    Thanks for the lovely review, Juhina!

  7. You are so right about road trip novels, Juhina! I mean, I haven't even read that many (must change that!), but they're always great. And this one sounds exceptional! I know I would love the brothers and the dialogue. This was actually the first review I've read for this one so it was very enlightening, thank you!

  8. Great review. I really enjoyed this book to.

  9. Yep, I kind of loved Matty and Spencer best. Had so much fun with this one! Glad you loved it, too!

  10. I had a smile on my face just reading your review Juhina :) I think I'll have to pick this one up, it sounds like the kind of romance I'd enjoy. And I haven't read any road trip books yet. Great review.

  11. Awww, both Spencer and Logan sound GREAT! And I <3 road trips! I might have to pick this book up! Thanks for the great review!

  12. I have this one too, Juhina and now I'm so excited to pick it up!! I love road trip books and this sounds amazing! I'll be sure to be patient with Rosie at the beginning. Lovely review! :)

  13. Ahh, I could never get enough of road trip books! While I've never actually been on one, it sounds like so much fun. Rosie sounds slightly crazy actually, but I'm glad she gets better as the story continues. I'll pick this one up if I'm in need for a light, fun read :)