Friday, 5 February 2016

Review: Once Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. Blount


Once Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. Blount
Published by Artifice Press 2015
398 Pages

Thank you to Artifice Press for sending me this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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. 

Thoughts

So, I'd been wanting to get my hands on this book for a long while. The cover art fascinated me and I loved the concept and the fact that the book was a fictional memoir of the author. I also enjoy reading young adult coming of age stories, they always seem to leave me thinking long after I've finished the last page. I can also see myself in a lot of these stories. So when I received a copy of Once Upon a Road Trip, I couldn't wait to dive it. 

Once Upon a Road Trip follows eighteen year old Angeli, as she sets off on a 2 month solo road trip across United States and Canada to visit her internet friends from an online storywriting community. Along the way she starts to find out a lot about herself, and who she is and willingly finds her self the object of affection by two of her friends Scott and Vincent. One of them has the power to restore her belief in happy endings, but which one is it?

I must admit, I found it really hard to get into this book, despite loving the idea behind it. I must've got to the middle of the story, before I found myself becoming engrossed. I didn't find the character of Angeli to be very engaging at all, and I found myself becoming annoyed at her throughout. I felt like I didn't get to know her at all, and this may be the reason for my dislike. Some parts were also very long-winded and could've been toned down a bit. I also found the romance side to be very unbelievable, I'm someone who doesn't believe that you can fall in love after knowing someone for a few days, so I wasn't convinced on that part.

Despite this, I did feel that this book brought up a few problems that many teenagers face such as anxiety, depression, unrequited love and sex. As a sufferer of anxiety myself, I did find myself relating to that side of the story and I felt that I could understand where the characters were coming from. There is one part of the story that some readers could find quite distressing, but that I personally thought was played out very well. 

In a whole, I was rather disappointed with Once Upon a Road Trip. I just couldn't get into it and despite the themes behind the book, I just couldn't find myself engaging with any of the characters. If you like coming of age books and books about self discovery, this could be a good read for you, but in my opinion there are better ones out there.

Rating





Amy 

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