Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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

How My Summer Went Up in Flames
by  Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  May 7, 2013
Source:  Publisher/Edelweiss

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…

My Thoughts:  After dating for almost a year, Rosie finds out her boyfriend Joey has cheated on her and she is furious.  So furious, in fact that she takes all the things he has given her and burns them in his driveway.   What she didn't count on was Joey's car catching on fire.  She goes into stalker mode to try to talk to him and make things right.  Of course, she doesn't see herself in this way, so she is shocked when the police present her with a temporary restraining order, and even more shocked when she finds out she has to go to court in a few weeks.  Matty, her neighbor who has been more like a part of the family all his life, comes up with the perfect solution.  He is going on a road trip to Arizona (they are currently in New Jersey) with his friend Spencer and Spencer's brother Logan, who is going to college there.  His suggestion is that Rosie come along with them to keep her out of trouble until her court date.  Rosie is totally opposed to his and her parents are completely for it.  Thus, the road trip commences and Rosie soon finds out she is in for the summer of her life.  

Logan is a total hottie, but he also is a jerk and sort of mean, at least in the beginning.  Despite all this, Rosie still finds herself attracted to him, and his jerkdom may just be a cover for his own attraction to Rosie.  Spencer is 16 years old, as is Matty, and both are kind of nerds, but also wind up being so much fun.  Rosie really finds a good friend in Spencer and winds up in some precarious situations on his behalf.  Matty is like her best friend, brother, and maybe more, or maybe not, which is something that is also considered on this road trip.   They also meet Avery in Texas, who is a "friend" of Logan's and she quickly becomes a best-friend to Rosie.  

I really enjoyed watching Rosie's character grow and change on the course of the road trip.  When she arrives back home, she is not the same Rosie that left two weeks prior.  I loved all the guys to, even Logan when I got to know him.  They were all really great and the bond they all formed on the road trip was one that they will remember for life.  There are also some really hilarious things that take place.  After her court date regarding her TRO with Joey the Jerk, Rosie, by her own choice, is ready to make retribution and ends up doing some things she would have never considered prior to the trip, and one of the guys winds up winning her heart, but which one will it be?  You'll have to read the book to find out.  I love road trip books and How My Summer Went Up in Flames was fun, entertaining, and a really great read that I totally enjoyed.  


In addition to writing for teens, I’m a freelance writer who has written articles and essays for national publications including, Cosmopolitan. I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer even though I often referred to my college major in English as “PreLaw” because it held the promise that I might actually find work someday.
As it turns out, I did find work. My first paid writing gig was as an editorial assistant for the North Jersey Herald & News, where, in addition to developing a life-long passion for coffee and news, I wrote obituaries for eight months. I’ve also worked as a speech writer, bank teller, ghostwriter, bookkeeper in a lampshade factory, pet shop clerk, and music zine editor.
My debut young adult novel, HOW MY SUMMER WENT UP IN FLAMES, will be published by Simon Pulse in May 2013. My second YA novel, FAMOUS LAST WORDS, about a teen obit writer will be published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers in July 2013.


  1. This sounds like a cute read, I am glad you enjoyed it!

  2. I've been wondering about this one. I like a good road trip book too but sometimes they fall flat. Sounds like this one maybe worth the read!

  3. I really want to read this one! I love road trip books and a trip like that with a bunch of boys has got to have hilarious situations! I cant wait to read this!

    1. This is a really fun book. I think you would like it.

  4. great review! I also had my review up yesterday and I loved it too!! Rosie was annoying at the beginning but later on she was great, and the boys are awesome!

    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

    1. Thanks. I am headed to your blog now to check it out.

  5. I have been so curious about this book. It sounds fantastic! I love road trip stories too, and am glad you liked this one!

  6. This sounds hilarious and you really have me wanting to read it! Awesome review!!

    1. Sounds great! I also love when parents are actually present and in the picture. I like road trip books. I really should read more of them.

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