Friday, August 5, 2011

Roadside Assistance by Amy Clipston

Title: Roadside Assistance
Author: Amy Clipston
Publisher: Zondervan
Release Date: April 11, 2011
Date Read: July 17 - 19, 201
Rating: 3/5 stars 

A very bumpy ride.

Emily Curtis is used to dealing with her problems while under the hood of an old Chevy, but when her mom dies, Emily's world seems shaken beyond repair. Driven from home by hospital bills they can't pay, Emily and her dad move in with his wealthy sister, who intends to make her niece more feminine---in other words, just like Whitney, Emily's perfect cousin. But when Emily hears the engine of a 1970 Dodge Challenger, and sees the cute gearhead, Zander, next door, things seem to be looking up.

But even working alongside Zander can't completely fix the hole in Emily's life. Ever since her mom died, Emily hasn't been able to pray, and no one---not even Zander---seems to understand. But sometimes the help you need can come from the person you least expect.
I'm really glad that there are still YA authors willing to write religious fiction. It seems to be a bit of  a taboo to include any religious affiliation so I'm happy that there's books available for people who want them. Unfortunately I am not one who really enjoys Christian books and found Roadside Assistance to be really preachy. I didn't like how everyone convinced Emily that the only way to cope with her mother's death was through trust in God rather than a school counselor or any other option. 

I love reading about assertive, proactive, kickass female protagonists. While Emily was mostly shy and insecure, her fascination with cars was awesome! I know next to nothing about them so learning all about engines and whatnot was great. My feminist side adored Amy Clipston for making this such a big part of Emily's life. I also love narrators that appreciate and love their families, so while Emily didn't exactly fit into that category, a lot of emphasis was placed on the importance of family. It was great to read about a loving family rather than the oh-too-common alcoholic, distant, ignorant, or abusive ones in YA lit. 

The most unrealistic thing were the coincidences. I know that a love interest has to be presented somehow but he the car-loving, Christian, next-door-neighbour who goes to the same high school seemed way too obvious. A few more things not in common would've been appreciated. I also thought it was highly unlikely that everyone Emily befriended or met had the same faith and went to the same church except for one girl at school. There should have been way more people of varying faiths and beliefs. 

Quote: "'And neither of you,' I began, looking between them, 'asked me how it felt to have my first birthday without Mom.'

Recommended: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares), Angels Watching Over Me (Lurlene McDaniel)


  1. I feel kind of bad for saying this but I dismissed this one when I found out it was Christian. I find that it does have a tendency to be preachy, especially in that way that you mentioned.

    I respect that people may believe in all of that stuff, but it's really off-putting for someone who just doesn't.

    Thanks for the honesty.

  2. I definitely want to check this one out, especially since I don't mind Christian fiction. It does seem a bit weird about everyone going to the same church. Even in my Christian elementary school people went to different churches... but I guess it depends on how big the town is, as well.

    Anyway, thanks for the review. =) It's definitely cool that Emily was into cars. I like it when protagonists are unique in some way like that.


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