Friday, March 28, 2014

Roadside Assistance Book Review

Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston is about a sixteen year old girl, but she turns seventeen during the course of the book, named Emily Curtis.  Emily Curtis and her father, Bradley, have a series of loses.  First Emily's Mom dies, next her Dad's business goes bankrupt, then they lose their house.  The book starts out with them on their way to move in with her Dad's Sister and family (including her Uncle, and two cousins).

Emily's Aunt wants her to be more feminine.  We get a flashback to Emily's Mom's funeral, where her Aunt seems more concerned with straightening Emily's hair, getting her a manicure, and a new dress, than helping her cope with the loss of her mother.  When Emily and her Dad move into the rich family's house, not much seems to have changed.  Aunt Darlene still wants to fix her hair and nails, and get her to dress "better".

Emily and her cousin, Whitney, are the same age.  They were good friends as children, but have grown apart as they grew up.  Whitney is a cheerleader, in all honors classes, she has "perfect" hair, "perfect" clothes, the "perfect" boyfriend, and their Grandma thinks Whitney is sooo perfect.  Emily, on the other hand, has wild, curly hair, prefers jeans to dresses, and is always getting grease under her fingernails, because she LOVES cars, and working on cars.

Emily is a Chevy Girl, actually the next door neighbor, Zander, nicknames her Chevy Girl.  Zander is the love interest, but there is not much romance in the this book, we're talking the last few chapters.  Zander's Father is a doctor, Zander's older brother is studying to be a doctor, but Zander wants to work on cars and race cars, just like Emily's father did.  Since Zander has cars, tools, and a garage next door, he and Emily become friends. They even make a deal to help each other work on each other's cars.

If you are a Ford person, you might not like this book.  If you don't like car talk at all, you will probably not enjoy this book.  I am not very knowledgeable about cars, but I like them and enjoyed reading about them.  Actually, the book made me want to learn more about cars.  The book has a lot about Chevy's, but Zander has a Dodge Charger (Hello, Duke Boys... except, his is green, but green is my favorite color!).

I really like the family's church in this book.  In the beginning is the church service, where everyone is together for singing and a message.  After the service, there is always a potluck.  Then, after the meal, there are classes for different age groups.  Where is this church?  I want to go!  I even like their youth group, where they watch Christian movies, have discussions about the movies and Bible verses.  The group is run by a female, and she keeps things nice.  I have been to youth group where the leader running things was both rough and crude (it was a man, of course).

A lot of the book is about Emily dealing with the loss of her Mother, and feelings of separation from God.  Some of the book is reading Emily's journal entries, which made for fast reading.  Zander is a really strong Christian, and tries to help Emily get with her feelings and her relationship with God.

The book sounds cliche, but it's not, I promise!  I didn't think I was going to like the book very much, but the book was recommended on Goodreads, and I was able to find it at my local library (but I want to buy this book, so I can keep it and re-read it forever), so I thought I would give it a try.  Amy Clipston paints word pictures!  I can see everything she writes about.  She thinks about the tiniest details to describe her vision for this story.  While the ending wrapped the story up, I want more.  This is one book I would be excited to find out there was a sequel to.  Which is kind of crazy, because I like stand alone books.  I don't have to wait for the next book in the series that way. There are discussion questions for this book, in case you want to use the book for a book club.  I enjoyed reading the acknowledgements, which I usually only skim.  I gave this book 5 Stars.  I recommend this book for age 11 through adult.


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