Friday, 21 October 2011

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
First published by Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2011 (this edition by Simon & Schuster in 2011)

Description (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
I really don't know where to start talking about Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is just that; epic! I enjoyed it so, so much that I started getting sad towards the end of the book, because then the characters would be gone and I would never be able to read about them again. That is sometimes the pity with stand-alone novels. But it's always nice to read a stand-alone novel, as so many books nowadays - especially new books, that are just being written now - seem to come out in trilogies or even multi(morethan3)book series.

In this book, we follow Roger and Amy while they travel through America (from the West Coast to the East Coast) in Amy's car. Amy is supposed to be driving her Mum's car from California to Connecticut, but she refuses to do the actual driving, because of the accident in which dad died. So, Amy's mum manages to rope Roger (the son of an old friend) into it, who is also supposed to be travelling east at the same time. Amy and Roger are supposed to be following a rather tight driving plan (courtesy of Amy's mother). But, of course, they decide to deviate from it and follow their own course on a once-in-a-lifetime trip across the United States.

When we first meet Amy in this book, we can see that she has sort-of "put her life on pause". She's avoiding her best friend and she is living in her house all by herself, while also trying to make herself scarce while the real estate person shows potential buyers around. As the story begins, Amy has just finished school and is getting ready to join her mum in Connecticut (where her mother has decided to have a fresh start). She only gets to meet Roger for the first time (after many, many years) on the day they're starting their trip across America, which is not something she's really looking forward to (Roger or the trip).

One of my favourite things about this book is the way Amy and Roger interact with other, as well as the way each of them grows up a little during this short trip. Amy is reluctant to get to know Roger at first, until she realises what a lovely, down to earth guy he is. She starts off by being confined in a small space (that she has created for herself), but Roger's being there is pivotal in helping her escape from her self-imposed prison. Though Amy is the one with the major "baggage" which she has to face (a recently deceased father and a brother who used to be as high as a kite and is now in rehab), Roger has some growing up to do, too.

Another amazing thing about this book - and I admire Morgan Matson for taking all the time to do it - were the playlists Amy and Roger made during their trip. There is a huge variety of songs on those playlists and it's obvious that the author has put great thought into putting them together. I haven't tried to listen to a whole playlist yet, but I have listened to certain songs and they do seem to fit in with the whole road-trip feel!

All in all, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is a book you must definitely read! I'm pretty sure that fans of contemporary fiction are going to love it, but I also think that it will definitely appeal to people who are looking for something enjoyable, but, at the same time, not all that fluffy.

And, oh my gosh, but isn't that cover just so, so pretty?? (end of gushing)

Rating: 10/10 (because it is one of my favourite contemporaries of the year!)

Morgan Matson has an MFA in Writing for Children from New School. She has been on three cross-America road-trips (!!!) and currently lives in LA. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is her first book. Her second book, Second Chance Summer, is expected to be published in May 2012. You can check her website out HERE.

Read for the: 100 Books In A Year Challenge 2011


  1. I almost bought this book today because of you! What were the chances of your review coming up today, too? Weird.

    Brilliant review, so enthusiastic :)

  2. I absolutely loved it too, there are so many fab scenes and characters in it and I loved all the artwork throughout. It made me want to go on a road trip! Loved your review.

  3. I heard so many good things about this one and I love road trip stories. I need to read this soon!

  4. I totally agree, I was gutted when this book ended. Such a good book!
    Glad you enjoyed it =)


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