Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I recently won this as an ARC through Goodreads. Had I ever heard of Amy Clipston before...honestly no. As I was going through the giveaway list on Goodreads I noticed the cover/name of the book first. Yes. I know they say, "Never judge a book by it's cover" but that is exactly what I did. I then read the description and thought it sounded like something I'd enjoy.
Of course as everyone knows when you "enter to win" they encourage you to add the book to your "to-read" shelf. Well, I've been a little happy go lucky with that shelf and I thought, "Yeah...if I get around to reading it." I mean, I'm some what of a book hoarder. I love books...and just buy buy buy and can't possible read EVERY single one. My favorite is the dollar or discount book section that most bookstores have. My husband teases me b/c we will go to a bookstore and he will head straight to the section he likes...and I will head to the discount section. He will come back with 2 - 3 that he wants and I will have at LEAST 10! He says, "How do you even know if you will like those?" I reply, "I don't but I hated them sitting there like no one wanted them...and I will read WHATEVER. I'm not picky." I just love to read.
Then it happened! I received an email stating I had WON! I just couldn't believe it. I WON! My FIRST giveaway amd a NEW book on top of that. Oh and then when I got it in the mail! I was even 10x more excited b/c I LOVE getting stuff in the mail...aside from bills and junk. Another hobby of mine, for a later discussion. :o)
As I dug a little more into the book (meaning researched while I waited for it to come in the mail), I noticed that this was the author's first stand alone (for now) YA book! She is an Amish and Christian Fiction author. Previously, she has written the Kauffman Amish Bakery Series. She has also recently renewed her YA contract and on facebook has been asking her fans if they are interested in a sequel to Roadside Assistance. I for one would have to say, “YES….here’s a pen. Get started!”
Roadside Assistance is about lead character, teen tomboy Emily Curtis coping with the recent loss of her mother to cancer and the adjustment her life takes. Emily and her father are forced to move in with her wealthy aunt while they climb from the debt of hospital bills incurred while her mother was sick. On top of all this, Emily is a teen struggling with her religion, other typical highschool drama, and her aunt wanting to make her as girly as her cousin Whitney. (Clipston is interested in making the sequel about Whitney’s story.)
In her struggle with religion, Emily feels like God has forsaken her and remember how strong her mother faith was through her sickness. She struggles with the fact that she feels like she can’t talk to God. Instead she starts journal entries to her mother. Some of these entries had me really teary eyed. I loved these entries.
However, a lot of the time…I felt like Emily was coming off as a little rotten…but I attribute this to being a typical teenager. I dread to think how horrible I was as a teen. *Shutter!* Throughout the novel, I kept wanting her to just wake up and see the greatness of what was around her.
Her father to me was another key character. (I’d like him to have his own book too – if this were to be a series, especially to know more about his talk with the pastor.) I mean, Emily felt like she had NO one to talk to…but he just lost his wife. My husband is my best friend…no idea where I would be or how I would cope if I lost him the way her father lost his wife. I felt like Emily was being a little unfair to him and could have been more understanding…but again, she is a teen. I mean how hard must it be for him to no longer be able to provide for his child the way he once did. He had to give up his auto business and everything he knew too.
I like the turn the book took when Emily and her father met Zander (the gearhead neighbor). I also like that this book wasn’t ramming too many technical car facts down your throat. I think there was a good balance and the references weren’t hard to unerstand. Clipston kept them at a minimum with just enough inserted to make the point.
All in all, I thought this was really well written and even though it was a young adult book I still enjoyed it. It was a very good, clean, emotional read with a really happy ending.
I would like to get more in depth into Whitney, Zander, and Mr. Curtis’ storys. Hopefully, we will see more of that if Clipston decideds to make a sequel. I will definitely be reading the sequel and after seeing all the comments about the Kuaffman Bakery Series, I will be reading those as well! Though my finding this author was somewhat accidental, I am so glad I did.
On a personal note, Amy Clipston and I have had short conversations through FB chat a few times and she seems to be a very patient, caring, and giving person. Very down to earth – and I am extremly glad I came to find her by way of book!
Keep writing Ms. Clipston – you are doing great and I think those of us who have enjoyed any of your books can say we really appreciate what you do.
For those of you that have not heard of her - please check her out on Goodreads, Facebook, Amazon, Barnes and Noble or her website.
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