Book: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published: Simon & Schuster, 2010
Genre: YA fiction
Pages: 344 pages
Where I got it: bought at Borders
Buy It: Amazon
Summary (from Goodreads): Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself
My thoughts: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is my kind of book. I loved everything from the characters to the road trip to the blooming love story. Author Morgan Matson uses mixed media to give a visual for the reader which made the reading experience more fun. There are tons of mix tapes with excellent music, photos from their trip and little snippets from Amy's travel journal. While I was reading, I put together some of Roger's mixes on my iTunes so that I could listen along with Amy and Roger on their trip. This book brought out so many emotions while I was reading. It's heartbreaking but uplifting at the same time. I never wanted to put it down!
Of all of the travel stories I've read recently, this one is definitely my favorite. Back in 2006, I actually helped my boyfriend move back home to Connecticut from California and we took a very similar route to the one taken by Amy & Roger on their trip. This book was a fun way for me to relive that feeling I had of being young and free, with nothing but the open road ahead. I loved following Amy's progression from shutting herself out from society after her father's untimely death to learning to let people in again and slowly heal. I also found myself crushing on Roger. His music taste was phenomenal and the way he was described through Amy's eyes made him seem like someone I would crush on in real life.
I also enjoyed the way her father's accident was told piece by piece in short flashback chapters throughout the book. By not revealing what happened right away, there was more suspense as to why some things upset her, like having her own pair of sunglasses, going to Graceland or driving a car. There were also bits of Amy's relationship with her twin brother, Charlie and with her mother revealed in ways that wove them in with what was happening in the story. Overall, I thought that for a debut novel, Matson hit the nail on the head with this one.
I thought the end of this book and their road trip was written perfectly. After their first detour to Yosemite, the rest of the trip became about spontaneity and resolving things, but not knowing where they would go next. The same wound up being true for Amy and Roger in the end. They don't what is in store for them in the future and that's the way it should be.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is the perfect start of summer book and I believe I'm going to read it again when June rolls around.
My rating: 4.5 stars