Thursday, December 11, 2014

ARC Review: Once Upon A Road Trip (Once Upon A Road Trip #1)

Once Upon A Road Trip (Once Upon A Road Trip #1) by Angela N. Blount

Publisher: Artifice Press, 2013
398 pages, kindle edition
Source: Abbie and Sarah
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Eighteen-year-old Angeli doesn't "fit in." She's never been on a single date, and she lives vicariously through an online world of storytelling. With the pressures of choosing a practical future path bearing down, she needs a drastic change. Too old to run away from home, she opts instead to embark on a solo 2-month road trip. But her freedom is tempered by loneliness - and anxiety tests her resolve as she comes face-to-face with her quirky internet friends.

Aside from contracting mono and repeatedly getting herself lost, Angeli's adventure is mired by more unforeseen glitches - like being detained by Canadian authorities, and a near-death experience at the hands of an overzealous amateur wrestler. Her odyssey is complicated further when she unwittingly earns the affections of two young men. One a privileged martial artist; the other a talented techie with a colorful past.

Bewildered by the emotions they stir, Angeli spurns the idea of a doomed long-distance relationship. But she is unprepared for the determination of her hopeful suitors. In the wake of her refusal, one man will betray her, and the other will prove himself worthy of a place in her future.

Angeli sets off in search of a better understanding of herself, the world, and her place in it. What she finds is an impractical love, with the potential to restore her faith in happy endings.

A true story with an unapologetically honest outlook on life, love, faith, and adventure - Once Upon A Road Trip is a coming-of-age memoir.

My Review:
Pretty much like most people getting ready to graduate high school, Angela is struggling with who she is and what she wants out of life. She is a normal girl who has had relatively normal experiences for those who sit on the outskirts of the high school social norms. She is horrified just by the thought of being trapped in the mundane – doing well, but never quite reaching the stratosphere. Unlike most of her peers, she is intent on doing something about it. Name a months long road trip throughout the US and Canada to determine what she is made of. Crashing with friends, some of who turn out to be foes, and on occasion in her car, she is tested at every turn by fear, by her stuggle to determine who she is and what she wants, and by the unthinkable.

This book does not read like a typcal memoir. Written in third person, it is far more like reading a novel. It is only with the inclusion of parts of her travel journal interspersed thoughout the narrative that the reader catches a glimpse of the internal aspects of Angela’s journey of her self-discovery. Author Angela Blount’s decision to structure her memoir in the way she did is a large part of its charm. The variation allows the reader to experience the story without the intrusion of the author’s internal musings and to make their own determinations of what they think and feel about the goings on before the author inserts her own. Though it could have been more powerful had she provided a more in-depth analysis of her reactions to the events she found herself embroiled in; Blount’s voice is solid and true, and will only strengthen as she continues her life’s journey.

Though the author tends to skirt around some bigger issues, staying safe at an emotional distance away, this book is a powerful story of true self-discovery.

My Rating:

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