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Once Upon a Road Trip Kindle Edition
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The memoir is about a teen-aged Angela Blount as a fresh out of high school student who has no idea what to do with her life. She embarks on a journey to find herself through the adventure of a road trip. My reactions to Angie’s road trip was at first: “Is this girl crazy?” and I couldn’t understand why she would want to do that, I’d always wanted to go on a road trip, but with friends, not on my own. As I read on, I then understood it was a trip of self discovery which was a thing needed to do in solitude.
Angie’s character-to me- was incredibly down to earth and a strong hearted Christian which good morals, Blount made her teen-aged self very relatable to me. She was also a drifter through her high school life, like myself she wasn't fully involved in school life and naturally, she was also curious and seemed sort of lost but aware that she was in search of something she was missing. Again like myself she is a questioner, questioning the relevance of some school subjects which teach you next to nothing about the real world. This is all we learn in the chapters before her road trip, we do learn little things about her friend and family but nothing else. Her introduction seemed incomplete, the same with how she felt at the beginning, a brilliant technique Blount has used there to show her uncertainty about herself.
During the first parts of her journey, I learn of how observant and perceptive Angie is at her age, revealing her intelligence and maturity at such an age (17), I know many girls at her age that aren't half as intelligent Angie seems to come across as. She really does start to feel like a fictional character helping her friends/hosts along with their respective problems, it seemed a little too good to be true. She came across as a supportive friend who was good at talking to others without making them feel uncomfortable- like every girl’s dream friend.
I did realise that Angie stayed with a lot of boys. This isn't necessarily a bad thing but I did feel a little uneasy as this revelation became more and more apparent. I felt like this was a bad thing waiting to happen even though she’d previously met with a few of them. She only has one girl friend and the rest are online friends who happen to be boys. She doesn't say it, but I think she was one who didn’t get along very well with most girls at school. The boy situation does come to be a problem as she develops unfamiliar feelings for some and some reciprocate that back. This is relatively new to her, which is understandable, but she is a very caring character for those admirers and is constantly thinking about their feelings.
The epilogue is the sweetest part of the whole adventure, winding down and showing us that her journey did not end up with her fully discovering herself, but someone to discover the rest with and an absolutely great story to tell one day.
I usually hate books written in third person exempt a few brilliant classics and one fantastic novel based on the Iliad, but this will surely be added to my accepted list. With third person, I never really have a connection with the main character, like the information is just being relayed to me, but with this book I did feel that connection which made me carry on reading, I don’t know how Blount did it but props to her for keeping me engaged.
It was an enjoyable read and one I would definitely read again, Blount has inspired me to not only be a better Christian like herself but also have an adventure too.
I'd like to say a huge thank you to Angela for giving be the book and I would surely like to read more from her!
Angeli has always felt like an outsider and like many teens has taken to the online community to connect with others like her. Cultivating those friendships she plans a road trip through America and Canada as she tries to figure out her next move, planning on staying with her online friends in the towns on her route. It was fascinating to see how that aspect of the plan played out and how deep or shallow those friendships turned out to be in person. It took me a while to settle in whilst reading this book. The writing style was interesting, there was almost a detachment to it at first and it felt a bit clinical but as I got to know the characters a bit better it considerably warmed which added to the realism of the book as it reminded me of meeting people in real life and the awkwardness as you stumble around trying to make a connection as differing personalities bond and clash.
Angeli was an interesting character, I found her to be kind but oddly abrasive at times especially in her judgements about other people. Her saving grace however was the fact that she caught herself when making those judgements and accepting her opinions weren't always meant to be shared. Intelligent with a strong sense of faith I did connect with her by the end of the book and really felt I had a sense of who she was and why she made the choices she did.
It was interesting that most of the people she stayed with on her road trip stops were boys and their families and the interactions between her and her hosts were definitely some of my favourite parts of the story. Particularly the character of Alec whom I really felt for as he seemed typical of the people we read about in articles about online communities who seek solace with people they don't have to interact with face to face. Having to confront his quirks and flaws in person with Angeli rather than simply logging off was fascinating to read.
There's a strong theme of self-discovery and sticking to your principles throughout this book which I really enjoyed and I liked that Angeli didn't compromise herself no matter how tempting the situations that arose on her travels could be. A large part of the book is taken up by stirrings of potential romance that as a reader you know will eventually evolve into marriage for the author so it was captivating to watch Angeli stumble and fall into lust and love and make the choices that would shape her future happiness. Like reading a journal from times past this book brings you back to those times of uncertainty in life and love at any age.
Uplifting and entertaining ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP was a special insight into just how wonderful and unique life can be even when it seems like it's just your everyday.
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