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 unapologetically honest outlook on life, love, faith, and adventure -- Once Upon A Road Trip is a coming-of-age memoir.
I really enjoyed this memoir, but I wouldn't recommend it to all because I feel like it appealed to me in a niche way.
I related a lot to Angie, who goes on a roadtrip across the United States and stays with a lot of people she'd met through online written roleplaying. When I was in middle/early high school, I roleplayed a ton too, and I also travelled right after graduating from high school with a lot of college credits. However, if not for these similar qualities, I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the book as I did.
This could have been cut quite a bit--there are a lot of details, and while it's hard to pinpoint any that are particularly boring, the book started feeling tedious and repetitive midway through. I found myself glossing over several parts. I also wanted more general details though, more talk about what the driving itself was like instead of examination of the people she was meeting. I wanted to be able to get a feel for what such a trip might feel like for me, but it was very specific to her.
I feel like the major part of the book was the incident that happened on her way back home, and I wish this had had more space in the book, that we could have seen the aftermath, because I think this was the part that could have had a powerful message.
Though the voice occasionally came off as being rather preachy, I enjoyed the tone overall. There were some interesting moments about spirituality that just missed being too overbearing. I enjoyed seeing Angie's mood swings and how she dealt with her highs and her lows.
I don't recommend this book if you're looking for the feeling of a US roadtrip; however, if the description of Angie appeals to you, then you'll probably enjoy this book.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.