A coming of age tale filled with faith, lessons, and first time love.I very much enjoyed this story I felt like I was apart of every stop and be very venture Angie has done something not many people including myself are brave enough to do I ve always imagined taking an Eat, Pray, Love approach to life and just traveling the world Although Angie didn t exactly leave the United States she traveled farther than she ever did and learned valuable lessons along the way.I felt myself growing in bravery and faith with every stop This is a kind of book where you began questioning things, wondering if you re meant for , if you re living life to its fullest and I think what made the story so unique besides whom she went to meet on her trip was how realistic the story was It felt like a biography than fiction.I liked the way it was written including the journal entries, that made for a realistic reading experience I wish she was a little less hard on herself but I guess that s apart of learning and growing I loved the journey and I m glad I seen it through to the end I loved the ending as well, my little romantic heart swooned.This book is great for any reader or any age There is something in it for everyone and someone in for everyone. Angela N Blount s writing is so spectacular and so flawless It s a special occurrence to be able to say something such as that This was a fantastic read and I can t wait for you to venture it on your own This is a very promising debut novel that is based highly off the authors own awe inspiring, cross country adventure at a young age I was so amazingly wrapped up in this story that I just HAD to stay up last and finish it The chemistry between the characters is undeniable and genuine it s easy to lose yourself with the time they share together, almost as if you were there Angeli is a tremendously brave despite her unknowing of it to take on the long road ahead of her alone With each cherished friend she meets up with, she is trialed with many different choices to make, and finds pieces of herself along the way Each character you meet in this story has their own problems they face and have to deal with I feel that not only with just Angeli, readers could relate to, but there is a character in here that everyone might feel a tad of a connection with Angeli has witnessed so much That connection is hard to come by in books, and I feel it is a very important bond between reader and character author Angeli faces a lot of her own struggles before the journey and as it takes place.The stress she undergoes, as well, and how she comes out stronger in the end is inspiring for anyone who just needs that little push to get up and follow their own dreams to live a little.I love how each chapter ends with a mileage log and a page from her diary for each day, filled with important revelations and the emotions she experienced Experiences such as being detained on the Canadian border, Ground Zero in NYC, the struggles with two boys who claim their love for her, endless All in all, she sees that there are others out there who suffer much worse things than her in their lives, the different ways people live and their cultures She escapes danger, and goodness, just exciting to live vicariously through these pages I wish I could have gone through with making a trip like this My best friend growing up and I would mention it in passing but plans just never fell through What a great learning experience this must have been for the author This story absolutely proves that life is what you make it.In the epilogue of this story, she states that she will never know exactly who she is, or what may become of her career if she ever decides one at all Well, let me just offer this, she has nothing to worry about Her unique and refreshing storytelling is going to get her far, very far and I am excited that we were able to witness the debut of a long and beautiful career ahead of her And I am sure that after the readers finally get their hands on this coming of age novel, that they too will agree. 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 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 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 PastBewildered 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 FutureAngeli 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 EndingsA True Story With An Unapologetically Honest Outlook On Life, Love, Faith, And Adventure Once Upon A Road Trip Is A Coming Of Age Memoir Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere and sometimes, in the middle of nowhere, you find yourselfI would firstly like to thank the author for giving me such a wonderful story to read and review This is the kind of book one wouldn t forget in a hurry As they say Adventure Is Out There And this sure is one of those adventures I myself would love to go on.Angie doesn t know what she wants from her life Having decided to figure herself out she sets out for a 2 month road trip Being all alone she feels vulnerable and fearful of the unknown and thus knows that is why she has to go through it so that at the end she emerges a winner But a road trip isin t all fun and games Over the course of 2 months Angie visits some of her friends she made on an online writing community A couple of them she s met before but the others not so much I really liked them but one of them just irritated me since he seemed to be such a great guy in the beginning And the other was simply perfect You just want him to be the One Nope I m not gonna give up the names You have to read it for that D you sure will be glad that you did This story made me smile at times and got me angry when things got a little roughed up in Angie s journey Although she still doesn t know what to do with her future career wise but she now has someone great amd amazing to share it with All in all this being Angela s true story I think it was incredible The way she grew throughout the journey, the amazing kindness she showed towards people, her gentle soul and a truly great story Highly recommended I d like to thank the author for asking me to read this great book, it truly is an inspiring read I wish I had done something like this myself I ve actually been thinking about buying a plane ticket and just disappearing somewhere for a week Just me, myself, and I I apologize in advance for the long review, sometimes I can t stop myself from getting all of my thoughts out there, especially if I loved the book This book is a memoir about a Minnesota girl named Angeli Angie who s coming into her own by taking a 2 month 6,000 mile road trip after her high school graduation She s an active member of an online writing community and has made quite a bit of friends there that s who she will be traveling to meet and stay with, with the exception of 1 person who s a cousin of her best friend Elsie I think that the way Angie goes about writing her story and sharing her experiences with us is brilliant She got to see and do so much in a short window of time, I can honestly say that I am jealous of this woman In her blurb she mentioned that she met her husband on this trip, so the novice sleuth that I am guessed the whole book as to who it could be By the end of the book, she picked a great man The RIGHT one There are scenes in the book that you will laugh and cry with her, as well as feel the same anger she did when things on her trip got rough or didn t go as planned And when I say they didn t go as planned , I am directing it towards a certain person in the book, who started out with a lot of potential to be a great friend, but after getting to know what kind of person he really was, I was glad when he was out of the picture Also, when she traveled to Dayton, OH, she wasn t far off from my hometown, I thought that was pretty cool The time she was in New York City to visit Scott , she described the city and the people so well I haven t been there yet, but I feel like I have a little perspective as to what to expect when I do She was there just 9 months after the terrorist attacks on 9 11, so her describing ground zero, and the memorials there made by everyone I broke down crying right along with her I was a Junior in High school when that happened, I ll never forget the dread I felt when one of my teachers said that a plane had just crashed into the WTC.I did laugh out loud when I read that Angie spit off the Empire State Building And yes, I m pretty sure that it would dissipate shortly after Scott seemed like a great guy in the beginning, offering his shoulder to her to sleep on as they all made their way into NYC I did find his juvenile posse greatly annoying, I don t know if I could have handled them as well as you did 10 minutes would have done me in Sticking with Scotty Boy later on in the book when she s nearing the end of her trip, she meets him at his mothers house in DC Let me just say that his mother was something else, I m not sure I would have stayed at her house with the way she treated Angie If she was that annoyed to have this extremely polite young woman at her house, she should have just told her so The author has the patience of a saint, I ll give her that The fact that Scott told Angie that she should suck up to his mother, to get on her good side and that she s not too good for that, KILLED me I mean seriously I am actually trying to plan a trip to Niagara Falls sometime soon since one of my friends recently moved to northern NY I loved the way the author described itThe massive carving of darkened cliff face bowed to her right in a sweeping, concave formation It was as though some ancient Titan had taken a bite out of the earth and the Niagara River now poured into the chasm left behindBeautiful I really enjoyed her time spent up in Canada with Zak , the lover of Egg Nog I had no idea you could freeze and keep it a while, good to know I love the stuff as well, lol The Tulip Festival and hike along the Canadian Shield really sound like something I would enjoy, among many other things that beautiful country has to offer I also didn t know that mace was illegal in the there I wanted to slap that silly ferret man while he was interrogating Angie Granted he was just doing his job, but clearly it was obvious that she were just a kid who was touring and didn t know Her trip and experience down south to Alabama, had me cracking up Things are really different than up north with the accents, slang, and ma ams I really liked Vince s character, and how he opened up the he was with Angie to be of himself rather than the know it all jerk persona he was putting off at first I actually thought that his friend Grady might have even been the guy she ended up with because of the way he was flirting with her I DON T think I m in a big hurry to come face to face with a scorpion just yet That s one thing I don t envy Angie ofShe lightened her voice and smiled, willing his gaze to lift It ll make a great story one day There are many things I could talk about from this book and her wonderful experience, but I ll let the readers find out for themselves This story gives me hope that there is someone out there for everyone, that s the hopeless romantic in me coming out Anyways, I absolutely recommend this book Can t wait to see what she writes up for us all next A wonderful story about facing the challenges that come from having the freedom to chase your dreams This story is full of action and unexpected finds with humor and slabs of real life thrown in A good reading adventure for anyone who has ever wondered what it would be like to blaze their own path of exploration while strengthening friendships.The main character s name is Angie and she opens up to share her social struggles in school, dealing with not fitting in and bullying I think it s a common occurrence among teens than even the kids who are going through this type of challenges realize I think a lot of the readers will have similar enough experiences that will keep them engaged with what the writer has to say, even when some of the situations that happened in this story are different than how society is today For example, cell phones are everywhere and not many people know what a pay phone is, however, since Star Wars also seems to have a lack of cell phones in common and doesn t detract from the story in any way, then neither will it in ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP Her family is reluctant to let her go, which is a realistic reaction that could be expected and should be weighed by any individual who wishes to embark on such a journey Though Angie loves and appreciates their concerns, she steels herself, makes her plans and saves as much money as she can for the trip In the end, like a lot of good parents, they see that it s something that means a lot to their daughter and in a touching scene, Angie s dad, Nicolas see s his big girl off onto her journey.Angie goes on a long journey visiting many places such as, Detroit, Ottawa, New York, Alabama, and just about everywhere in between Throughout the story, pages of Angie s actual journal are recorded such things as quirky road kill statistics, a synopses of her day, and a butterfly companion she took care of.Along the way, you get to meet a wide mix of people each with their own character flaws and personalities, and Angie s flawless transition and endearing interactions between all of them People are difficult to get a long with, and the annoying ones make it all the difficult to like, but Angie takes them all in as if they were her younger siblings.Angie talks about her on the road struggles too, like missing home and wondering if she made the right decision She also has a tense moment with a police officer while she is attempting to save money by sleeping in her car Along the way, Angie has a confusing tumble into a bit of a love triangle and an eventual unfortunate event that solidifies her decision in her final choice over the two men Angie also offers a unique first person perspective on the lives that were lost and mourned after the planes took down the World Trade Center since she happened to be visiting a friend in New York at the time Until that part in the story, the events that happened that day had never been real to me before.Throughout the book, Angie uses her whits, careful planning, and ultimately the protection of God to help see her on her way I would recommend this book to anyone looking for an adventure, as a sucker for a good adventure story myself I had a hard time putting this one down. Read reviews at What Danielle Did Next ONCE UPON A ROAD TRIP was an interesting take on memoir as the author wrote about her road trip during the summer after high school as a coming of age fictionalised account using her real life events as the plot It made the reading experience all the captivating as you knew it was based in fact and these characters were real 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. This story really captured my attention for a couple of reasons Firstly, the story line is just so different than the routine plot line of seemingly every other book out there This book was an adventure The way that the book was set up with so that the reader does not know what will happen They must just go with the flow Although it was a little boring at times, it still interested me so that wanting to know what happens kept me reading Secondly, there was to this book than just the what happens in the book The fact that the author actually based this book off of an adventure she had in real life is almost mind blowing It was such a courageous thing to do This book has meaning because of this It shows this girl who set of to learn about herself and what she wants to do with her life The love story is also a great part of this book because sometimes it is hard to believe that good men are really out there who will fight for their lady It s a true love story and is so romantic that it means than some love stories in books because it actually happened As for the characters in the book, I liked how each characters house Angeli stopped by had a different situation as in terms of family, and the boys personality At sometimes I found Angeli s character to be a bit repetitive on a few opinions or thoughts mentioned throughout the book Other than that I has no complaints with the characters The author focused on mainly their actions and personalities rather than their looks which left a little room for imagination Overall I really liked this book and will be looking for books by this author. Reposting this review from 2015, as I am also reviewing for NetGalley.Disclaimer The author is a friend of mine on Good Reads, and she provided me with a copy of her book for review.That said, I m impressed Told mostly in third person with a splattering of short journal entries, this story is a memoir disguised as a fictional work It s a combination of travel memoir, and a record of personal growth Set a few months after 9 11, the story perfectly captures life with the technology out there at the time Cell phones existed, but we didn t all have them yet Computers and the internet were common, but not as advanced as they are now Pay phones still existed Whoah wow Paper maps And calling cards These things made me smile, because I remember those years fondly While this was Angeli s story, parts of it rang very close to my own memory Yes, I spent quite a bit of time during the late 90s and early 00s traveling by car And stopping to use pay phones I even hit some of the same areas that Angie described in her book.Some of the background stuff too, that started Angie on her journey Online social and writing groups that led to meeting some in my journeys, yeah As I read this book and was totally engaged in Angie s story, some old memories floated to the surface Good, bad, ugly And hey, I even thought as I read that Angie should have stopped in South Georgia for a spell Personal memories and parallels to the story aside, Angela Blount can seriously write This story was engaging from the beginning and remained that way all the way to the end She conveyed not only what happened, but the emotional ups and downs along the way The personal touch and how well it rung true for me makes it easy to round up to 5 stars, but the story itself is a solid, thoroughly enjoyable read all on its own.Angela, thank you for offering me the opportunity to read your story, and for sharing something so personal in such a beautiful way with all of your readers. Firstly, thank you to the author for letting me read and review this book I feel honored The story Once Upon a Road Trip was all in all, a good read And as an avid YA fiction reader, it was refreshing Very realistic.The synopsis caught my attention because it seemed like the perfect book Adventure, real issues that real people have today, romance ss And Angela Blount delivered The weirdness of Angeli s across the country road trip to people she has never seen in person kept me reading The two unexpected romances that came up kept me intrigued And her inability to make a straight decision about her future kept the book relatable The romance between Angeli and Vince was genuine, and cute It wasn t this amazing love at first sight, but built as the story went on As I said before very realistic There comes a time when people just get tired of the usual, unrealistic, i d die for you romances that begin the first time two people see each other I mean, who actually thinks that can happen in real lifeThe romance in this book could so easily happen in real life that it makes it that much appealing Anyway, I also find it unique that by the end of the book, Angeli doesn t magically have it all figured out Its gradual, and takes time as she tackles big decisions I like that So as I predicted before, this book was a well rounded, good read I recommend it.