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Sunday, April 7, 2013

The Twins on "Thursday": How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Doktorski

"The Twins on Thursday" is reserved for the Twins' joint reviews. It is a special feature of our blog that discusses books that we either both like, dislike, or have mixed feelings about. This is also the day where we post reviews for books (and ARCs/Galleys) that have been sent to us by authors/galley sites/publishing houses. And because we don't believe much in uniformity, we'll be trying to mix things up a bit by adding random stuff in relation to our review (well, mostly for books we purchased anyway).

Title: How My Summer Went Up in Flames
Author: Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Format Acquired: eARC
Publication Date: May 7, 2013
Publishing House: Simon Pulse
ISBN: 9781442459403
Source of Copy: Edelweiss


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...

(Image, summary, and information courtesy of Goodreads;


First things first - Rosie set her ex-boyfriend's car on fire by accident, okay? But of course no one believes her, not especially when she frequently sends him text messages and stops by her ex's job to watch him. She just wants to know why he broke up with her. But when she's slapped with what could be a permanent restraining order, her best friend Matty decides to invite her along to a roadtrip with some of his other friends. Her parents agree that a change of scenery would be good for her. Plus, Rosie won't be able to see (Read: stalk) her jerk ex. Coming with them on the roadtrip is Matty's friend Spencer, and his brother, Logan. On this trip, Rosie discovers that aside from the fact that she's better off without Joey, change can be good - if she's willing to accept it.

Rosie is surprisingly lovable. All her insecurities and feelings of inadequacy just made us want to hug her and tell her that everything will sort itself out. Her banter with her new friends was also downright enjoyable. 

Rosie's romance with Logan was not something that was forced, and we just had to give kudos to that. Both came into their own feelings in their own time, and because of that, there was none of that weird awkwardness typical YA protagonists face after having a romantic interlude. Spencer, Matty, Avery, and Lilliana (So that's basically everyone then, except the cheating fink, Joey.) were awesome, and almost made us wish that we could hang out with them as well. That road trip they took? We would definitely jump on the chance to have one just like that. 

Oh, we've been on road trips before and have always enjoyed long drives. They provide chances to forget all your problems and just focus on yourself and having fun. Rosie's road trip was something of that sort. She got to visit different states - the scenes were very well described - and her foray into Dollywood was highly amusing. This road trip also served as an escape for Rosie, to keep her far away from her ex, but the trip was also a time for Rosie to think about everything she's done and the grief she must have put her parents' through thanks to her antics. Rosie's burgeoning acceptance of her identity without Joey made us feel like we were finally getting a long lost best friend back from her dark cave of despair.

What truly made her summer unforgettable was that she realized that the changes that were happening to her were for the better; life really doesn't end after a bad break-up and you can find love and friendship in the oddest of places.

How My Summer Went Up in Flames is basically one of the best light-hearted contemporary reads out there. While Rosie's impulsiveness and obsessiveness were quite annoying at the start, it was hard not to grow to love her and the rest of the gang. If you're thinking of picking up a light book to get away from it all, get this one and it'll be almost as if you went on a road trip as well. 

How My Summer Went Up in Flames is expected to hit bookstores in May 2013.



  1. Got this from Edelweiss and it's lined up for a late-April reading but it might just go up the pile with your rave. Thank you!

  2. I thought this sounded really interesting and you've made me want to read it more! I don't know how it could beat my love for Amy and Roger's Epic Detour road trip though!