Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Series: none (finally!)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Release Date: May 4 2010
My Source: Library
My Rating: 5/5
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.
This is a road trip book. Amy, who just finished her junior year of high school, is forced by her mother to drive across the country- from California to Connecticut- with a 19 year old guy named Roger, the son of her mother's friend she's never met. Her family is moving, and her mom needs the car and Amy across the country. Roger comes along to drive, because Amy refuses to drive ever since her dad died in a car crash, only 3 months earlier. But they deviate- alot- from Amy's mother's planned route, and end up taking a unique way to see the country, stopping by lots of places that really make the trip.
This is one of those stories you think is just going to be a cute, fun story, but ends up being a lot more than that. Amy is dealing with a lot of grief from her belief that she killed her father in the wreck because she was driving. The way she comes to terms with it and learns to move on with her life through her experiences on the road trip felt so realistic and I really connected with Amy and her emotions. Roger isn't without baggage either, throughout the trip he comes to terms with his past too.
The love story Matson wrote couldn't have been more perfect, either. It felt so realistic- Amy and Roger had chemistry from the beginning, creating some awkward moments and funny, realistic situations that as I reader, I could definitely relate to. I liked that they didn't get together right away- it takes awhile, though you know it's going to happen the whole time. (I mean, it's even obvious because of the front cover). I was just waiting for it, and when it finally happened, I squealed with delight.
This book made me laugh out loud a few times and smile at others. (I loved Roger's explorer obsession and "Edmund and Hillary Udell"... read it to know what I mean.) I was so into this book I just could not put it down. It's one of those rare stories you just really connect with and love.
I think my favortie thing about this book was the way the story was told using photos, receipts, flyers, hotel check-in confirmations, and other road trip paraphernalia. Most of the book was regular narrative, with this things popping up occasionally. And did I mention this whole book had playlists? Roger has a great taste in music and makes a bunch of fun playlists that I'm thinking about putting together and listening to myself.
This book convinced me that I need to read more contemporary fiction! I'm kind of feeling done with paranormal for a little while (Doesn't mean I'll stop reading it, though)- I still love fantasy and everything, but contemporary can portray stories of human experiences just as well.
Overall, this is probably the first contemporary fiction I've given a 5/5. I just can't find anything wrong with it! I would certainly read it again, maybe even on a road trip. ;)
This is SO cute and portrays the book exactly. Love it.