Thursday, August 15, 2013

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

Once Upon A Roadtrip - Front CoverOnce Upon a Road Trip by Angela N. BlountPOV: 3rd - Angeli
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 honest outlook on life, love, faith, and adventure -- Once Upon A Road Trip is a coming-of-age memoir

Sky's thoughts: Five big stars:
We were given a copy of this book for an exchange for an honest review, and I know I normally wouldn’t add blurbs to my reviews, but Angela N. Blount’s writing is so spectacular and so flawless, that I felt the need to share even that. This was a fantastic read and I can't wait for you to venture it on your own!
This is a very promising debut novel that is based highly off the authors own awe-inspiring, cross-country adventure at a young age.

I was so amazingly wrapped up in this story that I just HAD to stay up last and finish it. The chemistry between the characters is undeniable and genuine; it’s easy to lose yourself with the time they share together, almost as if you were there.  Angeli is a tremendously brave –despite her unknowing of it— to take on the long road ahead of her alone. With each cherished friend she meets up with, she is trialed with many different choices to make, and finds pieces of herself along the way.
Each character you meet in this story has their own problems they face and have to deal with. I feel that not only with just Angeli, readers could relate to, but there is a character in here that everyone might feel a tad of a connection with. Angeli has witnessed so much. That connection is hard to come by in books, and I feel it is a very important bond between reader and character/author.
Angeli faces a lot of her own struggles before the journey and as it takes place.
The stress she undergoes, as well, and how she comes out stronger in the end is inspiring for anyone who just needs that little push to get up and follow their own dreams-- to live a little.

I love how each chapter ends with a mileage log and a page from her diary for each day, filled with important revelations and the emotions she experienced. Experiences such as being detained on the Canadian border, Ground Zero in NYC, the struggles with two boys who claim their love for her, endless! All in all, she sees that there are others out there who suffer much worse things than her in their lives, the different ways people live and their cultures. She escapes danger, and goodness, just exciting to live vicariously through these pages. I wish I could have gone through with making a trip like this. My best friend growing up and I would mention it in passing but plans just never fell through. What a great learning experience this must have been for the author. This story absolutely proves that life is what you make it.

It reminded me deeply of my decision to leave home at 17. Her New York experience touched me exceptionally, as that is where I stayed for the 4 years of my journey.
In the epilogue of this story, she states that she will never know exactly who she is, or what may become of her career if decides one at all... Well, let me just offer this, she has nothing to worry about. Her unique and refreshing storytelling is going to get her far, very far and I am excited that we were able to witness the debut of a long and beautiful career ahead of her. And I am sure that after the readers finally get their hands on this coming of age novel, that they too will agree. =) !

5 stars! (would give it more!)
Grab yourself a copy and tell us how you loved it. =)
Don't forget to rate it and leave a few nice words for a review where you can!

Krystle's Thoughts:
I'd like to thank the author for asking me to read this great book, it truly is an inspiring read. I wish I had done something like this myself. I've actually been thinking about buying a plane ticket and just disappearing somewhere for a week! Just me, myself, and I! I apologize in advance for the long review, sometimes I can't stop myself from getting all of my thoughts out there, especially if I loved the book!!!

This book is a memoir about a Minnesota girl named Angeli (Angie) who's coming into her own by taking a 2 month 6,000 mile + road trip after her high-school graduation. She's an active member of an online writing community and has made quite a bit of friends there; that's who she will be traveling to meet and stay with, with the exception of 1 person who's a cousin of her best friend Elsie. I think that the way Angie goes about writing her story and sharing her experiences with us is brilliant. She got to see and do so much in a short window of time, I can honestly say that I am jealous of this woman. In her blurb she mentioned that she met her husband on this trip, so the novice sleuth that I am guessed the whole book as to who it could be. By the end of the book, she picked a great man. The RIGHT one!

There are scenes in the book that you will laugh and cry with her, as well as feel the same anger she did when things on her trip got rough or didn't go as planned. And when I say they didn't go as “planned”, I am directing it towards a certain person in the book, who started out with a lot of potential to be a great friend, but after getting to know what kind of person he really was, I was glad when he was out of the picture. =) Also, when she traveled to Dayton, OH, she wasn't far off from my hometown, I thought that was pretty cool.

The time she was in New York City to visit “Scott”, she described the city and the people so well; I haven't been there yet, but I feel like I have a little perspective as to what to expect when I do. She was there just 9 months after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, so her describing ground zero, and the memorials there made by everyone..... I broke down crying right along with her. I was a Junior in High-school when that happened, I'll never forget the dread I felt when one of my teachers said that a plane had just crashed into the WTC....

I did laugh out loud when I read that Angie spit off the Empire State Building! And yes, I'm pretty sure that it would dissipate shortly after. “Scott” seemed like a great guy in the beginning, offering his shoulder to her to sleep on as they all made their way into NYC. I did find his juvenile posse greatly annoying, I don't know if I could have handled them as well as you did. 10 minutes would have done me in! ---- Sticking with “Scotty Boy” later on in the book when she's nearing the end of her trip, she meets him at his mothers house in DC. Let me just say that his mother was something else, I'm not sure I would have stayed at her house with the way she treated Angie!! If she was that annoyed to have this extremely polite young woman at her house, she should have just told her so. The author has the patience of a saint, I'll give her that :) The fact that “Scott” told Angie that she should “suck up” to his mother, to get on her good side and that she's not too good for that, KILLED me!!! I mean seriously?!!

I am actually trying to plan a trip to Niagara Falls sometime soon since one of my friends recently moved to northern NY. I loved the way the author described it.

The massive carving of darkened cliff face bowed to her right in a sweeping, concave formation. It was as though some ancient Titan had taken a bite out of the earth and the Niagara River now poured into the chasm left behind.”


I really enjoyed her time spent up in Canada with “Zak”, the lover of Egg Nog. I had no idea you could freeze and keep it a while, good to know! I love the stuff as well, lol. The Tulip Festival and hike along the Canadian Shield really sound like something I would enjoy, among many other things that beautiful country has to offer. I also didn't know that mace was illegal in the there. I wanted to slap that silly ferret man while he was interrogating Angie. Granted he was just doing his job, but clearly it was obvious that she were just a kid who was touring and didn't know. 

Her trip and experience down south to Alabama, had me cracking up. Things are really different than up north with the accents, slang, and ma'ams. I really liked “Vince's” character, and how he opened up the more he was with Angie to be more of himself rather than the know-it-all jerk persona he was putting off at first. I actually thought that his friend Grady might have even been the guy she ended up with because of the way he was flirting with her. I DON'T think I'm in a big hurry to come face to face with a scorpion just yet. That's one thing I don't envy Angie of!

-She lightened her voice and smiled, willing his gaze to lift. “It'll make a great story one day.”-

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  1. Awesome review - I'm excited about picking up a copy :)

    Congratulations, Angela, and thanks to the Booknatics - y'all rock!

    1. You are in for a treat once you have the chance to read it, Dana! Enjoy, and thank you!! <3