I started this back in September when browsing a bookstore with my best friend. Sadly I didn’t have time to finish it – only got to around page 50 or so. But I wanted to find out what happened to Emily when she found herself uprooted from her small home, her car, her school and her friends. And I finally got that chance when my sister brought it home over spring break.
Emily’s dad, Brad, is a car mechanic and owns his own garage where Emily has spent many a day over the course of her seventeen years. She would much rather have grease under the nails than polish on them. But Emily’s mom just passed away from cancer and the bills have eaten up all of their savings plus their house and business. So they move to Uncle Chuck and Aunt Darlene’s house in a fancy neighborhood (Uncle Chuck is a banker) while her dad searches for a job and pays off their debts.
Whenever Emily has spent time with her dad’s sister and family she feels like they want to change her and don’t and won’t accept her for who she is. Her aunt wants to change her hair and clothes and her choice in makeup (little to none) and her grandma only talks about her cousin. Her cousin Whitney, who is a cheerleader, who makes good grades and who is constantly held up as a model to follow.
Needless to say Emily is not thrilled about the move. But once she gets there she finds that life might not be that bad after all. The boy next door (who happens to be quite cute) has an old car that he is trying to restore and a garage full of tools. Plus he’s a great listener and genuinely wants to help her find the faith she lost when her mother died.
That’s one thing I really liked about Roadside Assistance, it wasn’t full of platitudes people say when someone loses a loved one. Amy Clipston does an excellent job chronicling Emily’s pain and grief and anger at losing her mom. While also dealing with moving to a new place, starting her senior year at a strange school and needing boy advice.
Another aspect that I really liked was how everyone else in the story had a part to play and lessons to learn themselves. But the best part is Emily’s talent and love for working on cars. Specifically Chevys. It adds a fun and unique angle on the story, she isn’t your typical 17 year old. And stereotypes don’t hold for several other characters as well.
It’s clean with a couple of kisses. Personally I think high school romance is silly because it rarely lasts so why go through all that heartache. But to each his/her own. I enjoyed this story and I think teens would connect well with Emily.
Here's the book trailer: