25 May 2013

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

How My Summer Went Up in Flames by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Source: Bought
Goodreads Stars: DNF
Rating: DNF

Pages Read: ~100 (31%)

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… - Goodreads

In the past, I never used to post reviews of books that I didn't finish. I didn't feel like I could write enough about them for the post to be considered a review. But I have changed my mind, and decided to give this a try. Please don't class this as an "official" review, more of my jumbled thoughts on the book and why I wasn't able to finish it.

My issue with How My Summer Went Up in Flames is the main character, Rosie. I'm pretty sure most of you readers out there wouldn't be able to get into a book with a horrible main character. If I can't connect with the protagonist, there is little hope for me. Which is why I couldn't finish this one.

Rosie is absolutely horrible. She constantly whines about things, and is completely negative all the time. Surely she could have found something to be positive about? But nope, she was a complete downer and it grated on my mood. There is nothing likeable about Rosie at all.

In fact, I'm pretty sure Rosie was completely off her rocker. She lied about a lot of things for no good reason, she was spiteful and vicious, and she stalked her ex-boyfriend and set fire to his car. And then she stalked him some more even after she was issued with a restraining order. Even at a third of the way through, there was nothing happening with her character. She wasn't growing, there weren't any incidents which hinted that she was going to change later on, and overall her character development didn't seem very promising. I would have liked at least a ray of hope, other than other readers promising that she gets better.

And last but not least, another issue I had with Rosie was that she used the words "slut" and "ho" to describe the girl that her ex-boyfriend, Joey, is now dating. Every. Single. Time the girl was mentioned. Sure, Joey cheated on Rosie with this girl, but I didn't see Rosie going around calling Joey names. Of course.

In summary, Rosie is a nutjob and one of the most terrible characters I have ever read about. I wish I could look past her idiocy flaws and see her grow, but she disgusted me too much in the beginning. Which is a shame, because I love road trips!


  1. [im]IMG URL[/im] I have noticed a disturbing trend in some chick lit/YA/romance genre novels to romanticize stalking, destruction of property, invasion of privacy...I don't really get it. I know some bloggers do not review if they do not like books or can't be positive of them but I think it gives readers of your blog a more balanced view of your opinion of books if you review both sides. It helps your blog readers get a sense of what your reviews mean...this is what "I" think is bad or what "I" think is good. I think just putting up reviews of all your 4 star and above reads doesn't allow readers to really get a good feel for your judgment on books. That is just my opinion. Thanks for the review - a book to avoid.

  2. According to the synopsis this book is my kind of book. Road trip coming of age kind of thing. But if the main character is a monster I don't know that I can read this book. Maybe someday when I have nothing else to read ;). But if you couldn't finish it...

    Thanks for the review,

    Sara @ Just Another Story

  3. I liked this book, but I am so sorry you didn't enjoy it. It is never fun when that happens.

  4. I've seen a lot of negative reviews for this one. Sorry you didn't enjoy it! I think I'd have the same issues, especially the negativity of Rosie and bitchiness towards her ex's new girl. Not good. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts! :)

  5. Sounds like a horrible MC I can see why you DNF'ed this one.

  6. Rosie did really annoy me at first. But like you've said other people have told you, she does change. The slut/ho thing doesn't really, but she does get a lot more positive. As for the car thing... well... that gets resolved too. I'm sorry you couldn't stick it to the end! It stinks to not enjoy a book that you thought you would.

  7. I keep hearing the same things about Rosie, but many reviewers say she does get better towards the end. This one isn't on my to-read already, and I don't think I'll add it either.

    Angie @ Pinkindle Reads & Reviews

  8. She already sounded crazy in the synopsis. I didn't really have any intention of reading this one anyway. It sucks when you don't get to finish a book though.

  9. Oh man this is a downer!! I really wanted to read this book when I first heard about it because it sounds like the perfect summer book. I mean it has the word summer in the title AND it's about a roadtrip!! BUT... yeah I don't enjoy stalkers or slut-calling. I'll have to think hard about if I really want to read this this summer or not :(

  10. So I'm happy I didn't get this book after all. Rosie would've annoyed the shit out of me! I hate characters like that, with no growth and no real though process. My curiosity over this book is no more. Thanks, dahling, for the awesome DNF "review." :P


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