Saturday, November 27, 2010

Book Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Pages: 352
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
Pub. Date: May 4, 2010
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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."

Amy's life has taken a turn for the worse.  Her dad recently died in a car accident, her mom is moving the family from California to Connecticut in order to start over, and her twin brother is in re-hab for his drug addiction.  It's the summer of her senior year and she should be having the time of her life, but instead she has to drive her mom's car out to Connecticut.  But the problem is, she doesn't drive.....anymore.  Her mom has enlisted her friend's son, Roger, to come along with her, but Amy is freaked out by the whole thing; she barely knows Roger!  However, on this road trip, Anna finally comes to grips with her father's death, learns to forgive herself, connects with Roger in a way that she didn't expect, and most importantly, starts living again. Morgan Matson's debut took me by surprise and quickly became one of my favorite novels.

One aspect of the novel that I thoroughly enjoyed is the fact that I felt like I was on Amy and Roger's journey with them.  Matson included receipts, pictures, menus, postcards, and even their playlists.  It felt so real and authentic.  By the end of the novel, I wanted to leave it all behind and go on a life altering road trip, too.  Who doesn't love to travel, especially a road trip?  I know the power and healing capabilities of traveling and Matson captures it perfectly.

I also enjoyed Amy and Roger's budding romance.  Matson made it believable; it wasn't rushed.  It developed slowly and realistically.  I hate novels where the characters have an instant connection and all of a sudden they can't live without each other.  Amy and Roger's relationship was like a fresh breathe of air.

This book is about much more than a blooming young adult romance and a road trip. It's about death, forgiveness, healing, and moving on.  It's a powerful debut about a young girl finding peace and the journey to find herself.  With that said, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is one of my favorite books of 2010.   


  1. I loved this book, too! Completely agree with you. It was like the best road trip I've never actually taken; in fact, it was better than any of the road trips I *have* taken. The receipts, photos, playlists, and doodles were such a nice touch. It's a gorgeous book.

    I also really enjoyed the character development and slow build-up of the relationship. It was so much more authentic than all the books where the characters love each other at first sight for no apparent reason other than that they're hot.

    I've been pushing this book on everybody these days :)

  2. I really need to read this book! I have a copy, but I never seem to get to it, haha. I love that there are receipts and photos and whatnot. Thanks for the great review!

  3. I love the sound of this one! You've had some great reads recently! :) I think I'll buy this one and save it for next summer. Road trip books always make for great summer reading for me!

  4. I really like the sound of this book especially how you mention it feels like you were on the trip with them. I love books that make you feel like you're a part of it. This one is definitely going on my to buy list.

  5. Wow, I can see you really loved this. It sounds like a bitter-sweet some read. Full of romance but also emotion. Great review.

  6. Eeeee, I really want to read this, man my TBR list is piling High!

    Great Review!

    Jess :)


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