Young Adult Debut Promotion: How My Summer Went Up In Flames by Jennifer Doktorski

Young Adult Debut Promotions (YADP) is a post I do to help out debut authors, and to get them noticed.  My posts will definitely include a feature of the book, a feature of the author, and a giveaway, with an interview, guest post, or excerpt optional.  If you would like more information about YADP click here and scroll down until you come to the section talking about it.

Today I am featuring...

Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
And she will be doing an interview, excerpt, and giveaway!  And the giveaway is going to be extra special because it will also be a birthday celebration!

How My Summer Went Up In Flames
by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski
Pages: 320
Release Date: May 7, 2013
by Simon Pulse (an imprint of Simon & Schuster)

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…

*A copy was provided by Simon & Schuster for review purposes*

*There is one spoiler but I've marked it clearly and made the font color white to blend in with the background. If you want to see the spoiler just highlight where the text would be and it will show up

What a hilarious, fun read!  I don’t think I’ve laughed as much as I did reading this book in a long time.  The writing was so engaging and hilarious, and the idea was so awesome you can’t help but like this book.  I’m very impressed that Doktorski managed to keep my attention through the entire book, especially because the main setting was a maroon Taurus.  I really loved how all the events lined up, and it made for a really fun read.  There was a bit towards the end of the book that was kind of boring, but other than that this book held my attention.

One thing that I had an issue with in this book was Rosie.  To me, she was kind of selfish.  I mean, I absolutely loved her because of her spunk and personality, but some of her actions I didn’t really like that much.  But, other than that, she and the other characters were awesome.  I really enjoyed the romance ([SPOILER:Even though I kind of wanted her to like Matty])Logan was a super sexy character, full of charm and muscles, and I really loved him.  I also really, really, REALLY loved Matty.  He was such a nice guy, and he was so cute and adorable.  Spencer was also a really great character.  I really loved his personality and how he always said and did the right thing at the right time.  Awesome, awesome cast.

This is such a cute, funny read, and even thought I had a few issues with Rosie, in the end I think that if she was a real person, she and I would be best friends.  Her spunk and attitude really made this story the epic and fun book that it is.

4 pink flowers

Favorite Quotes:

“It will keep you out of trouble for nine days.  You can’t stalk anyone in New Jersey while traveling seventy-five miles per hour in a vehicle headed west.”
I pretend to think about this for a second.
“Right.  Sure, I’ll go.”
~Page 9

“Tomorrow, we’ll hit the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, walk around a bit, have lunch at Jack’s Bar-B-Que, and be on the road to Graceland by twelve thirty.”
“Sounds like a plan,” Matty says.
“Sounds like watching pain dry while someone plays a banjo,” I say.
~Page 81

When I open my eyes the next morning, Matty is staring down at me, his head propped up on his hand. “Morning, sunshine,” he says.  “You fart in your sleep.”
~Page 85

Finally.  After three days and fifteen hundred miles of nonstop testosterone, a sympathetic face.
~Page 139

Avery pipes up.  “Okaaay.  Well, now that we got that out of the way, Rosie and I are going to get mani-pedis.”
“Huh? Says Spencer.
“Nail stuff,” Logan says.
~Page 154

Logan sees them too and at that point, he bends down and flings Avery over his shoulder.  Matty sizes me up, hesitates, and grabs my hand instead.
~Page 167

Then comes the clippity-clop of a horse coming up quicky behind me.  I watch the butt of Lucca pass on my left. I’m mulling over a way to surreptitiously get a pic of Lucca’sWrangler butt on horseback when the guys finally join us.
~Page 200

"I'm tired of surprises.  Lately, things aren't turning out the way I planned."
“Good or bad, nothing ever does,” Spencer says.
“Fortune cookie?”
“Nah.”  He shakes his head.  “All me.”
~Page 226


1. Why did you decide to become a writer?
I’ve always enjoyed telling stories, especially the kind that make people laugh, but I don’t think I decided to become a writer until I was in college. I started off as a journalist and later as a freelance writer for magazines, but it took me a while to gain the confidence to pursue my dream of writing fiction.
2. Who were your biggest influences?
Growing up, I loved Judy Blume, S.E. Hinton, Irma Bombeck, and Stephen King (Still do!). I also loved the classics, especially Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. More recently, Meg Cabot, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Ockler, Ann Brashares, Jennifer Weiner, Tom Perrotta, and Richard Russo to name a few. 
3. Where do you like to write?
At home in my office at my desk. Sometimes I write on the couch on my laptop. I’ve tried to write at the library or a coffee shop, but I get too distracted.
4. Do you have a special routine you like to do before you write?
Well, first I like to drink lots of coffee. Then, I like to work out or run. Running especially helps to free up my mind and I usually get some of my best ideas on the treadmill or while jogging around the neighborhood. I fill my iPhone with songs that remind me of my characters or setting and I think about the plot.
5. When and how did you get the idea for How My Summer Went Up in Flames?
I got the idea for this story about three years ago, shortly after I sold my first novel. For me, the story began with the phrase, “girl on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order.” I knew that had to be in the opening sentence. From there, I started to think of “Why?” What type of girl would find herself in that predicament? I found Rosie’s voice in that opening sentence and the rest just flowed from there. I don’t think Rosie was the first girl to lose her mind after she loses her heart. For the backdrop, I drew on two different personal experiences. I once took a life-changing cross-country road trip in a celery green Oldsmobile. Another time, I traveled to a college bowl game—the sole girl among three guy friends. 
6. Is there another book in the works? If so, what can we expect?
Famous Last Words will be published on July 2, 2013 by Christy Ottaviano Books, Henry Holt and Company (BFYR). Currently, I’m writing a third novel that’s completely unrelated to the first two, and ideas for sequels to both books are bubbling in my head.

1. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?
Milk chocolate.
2. Cats or dogs?
3. Hardcover, paperback or ebook?
I enjoy all three but if I had to pick, hardcover.


1. Movie?
That’s a tough one. I love movies as much as books. I just re-watched Almost Famous, so I’m going to go with that. I can also watch Shakespeare in Love over and over again. Oh, and Once.
2. Ice cream flavor?
Vanilla (soft-serve with caramel topping).
3. Animal?
Dog or dolphin. Dog may squeak out dolphin since I can’t actually have the latter as a pet.
4. Book?
Another tough one! It’s hard to choose. To Kill a Mockingbird is certainly one of my favorites.
5. Actor and actress?
Mark Ruffalo and not just for his role as Dr. Bruce Banner/The Hulk.
6. Fictional character?
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird


I close my eyes and replay the scene of Joey walking into that party with his arm around that girl. I was beyond pissed. My first instinct was to get in her face. I know it takes two to tango and all that, but I blamed her for going after my boyfriend. When Joey leaned down and tenderly kissed the top of her head, something inside me broke. I bolted from the party as all my hurt and anger bubbled to the surface. I had to do something. It was just after one in the morning when I pulled up in front of Joey’s house. His Mustang was in the driveway, so I knew he was home from the party. I used his Valentine’s Day card to start the fire; the one with the surfing penguin on the front that said, “For One Cool Girlfriend.” It was sosatisfying to click the Scripto lighter and send my Valentine up in flames. As it burned, I stared as the ocean wave, the yellow surfboard, the penguin’s feet, disappeared. Then I dropped the card on my Joey Box and got back in my car. I had no idea things would go so wrong.


~There will be 4 winners
~Giveaway ends on May 23, 2013 @ 12:00 A.M.
~This giveaway is US/CAN

Originally I was going to giveaway all the books that came out today but since I couldn't find many I asked Jennifer if she would be willing to add a few copies to her giveaway and, since she's awesome, she agreed. So!  The first 3 winners of this giveaway will recieve a finished copy of How My Summer Went Up In Flames, and the 4th winner will recieve an Amazon gift card.  Sound good?  Good :)

Get to know Jennifer:


(Don't judge, but this is my improvised bio that I, Emily wrote.  I couldn't find her official one)

Jennifer is a debut author who's first book, How My Summer Went Up In Flames, came out May 7 from Simon Pulse.  Jennifer also has a second book called Famous Last Words coming soon (July 2, Henry Holt).  She also has an awesome sense of humor.




  1. I love dolphins! I've collected them since I was a teen and can fill up two whole bookcases with my stuff. Thanks for taking the time to share a little more about yourself and I'm looking forward to reading your book.

  2. Lovely interview! I'm very excited to read your book, it looks very interesting.

  3. Ooh, I loved that excerpt! Want more...

    I also loved how the author got the idea... “girl on the receiving end of a temporary restraining order.” :)

  4. I have this coming up for review next! I simply adore the cover! Thanks for the giveaway, Jennifer! Happy birthday, Emily!

  5. Hey I just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY! :) I heard you mention it in one of your post! So I just want to drop by and tell you that! Have Fun! :)

  6. Looking forward to reading "How My Summer Went Up In Flames." "To Kill a Mockingbird" is one of my favorites too, Jennifer.

    Happy birthday, Emily!

  7. I can't wait to read this one! It sounds like a quick favorite for me!

  8. This sounds like a really great, cute summer read for me! It now has a spot on my summer TBR list. Thanks for your review and the giveaway also!

  9. I want to read this for summer :D Thanks Jennifer for offering these copys for grab. :D

  10. Sounds like we're a lot alike, Jennifer! I love classics as well and I'd definitely get distracted if I tried to write whilst in a library, haha. Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. I don't know why, but I absolutely love road trip books, so this one sounds like a perfect read for me! :D

  12. Sounds like a great summer read for by the pool. Thanks for the giveaway.

  13. Hahaha, I was definitely rooting for Matty, or even Spencer, over Logan. The nerdy ones for the win. :-p

  14. I hope to win so I can read this!!

  15. This book looks amazing! I can't wait to get a copy to read!


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