Sarah's Reviews > Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
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Jul 16, 10

Read in July, 2010

I'll just say this right now, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is officially on my top 10 of 2010 books. I adored this book from start to finish. I have a feeling this review may turn more gushy than anything so feel free to ask more relevant questions in the comments if you are interested in the book.

Synopsis: 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 the kind of book I could read any time of the year and it would invoke the feeling of summer. Road trips, diners, unexpected detours, a budding romance. Everything amazing about summer, and everything rather painful about it too, is explored in this story.

Amy and Roger are strangers when they start this trip but by book's end, they have discovered quite a bit about each other, about their emotions, and how to deal with certain events in their lives. Both are dealing with painful heartbreak: Amy has recently lost her beloved father in a very devastating way. Roger is getting over the break-up with his girlfriend, Hadley, and he doesn't want to let her go. (Side note: I have seen the name Hadley in three books I've read recently. That's so bizarre!) Amy's mom has the road trip all planned out for them but Amy wants something else and she decides to do what she wants. Thus, the epic detour begins.

I have several favorite parts of this book. First, I love highway 50 in Nevada and the loneliest road in the world. It was such a stark and desolate part of their trip, but also very soothing. Secondly, I loved the stop in Colorado Springs because well, I live 40 minutes south of the Springs so it's nice to see an area I kind of know (not a native so not all that well) and can explore on my own. And mostly, I just loved the descriptions of the places they traveled to, how Matson does an amazing job of making this a visual feast for the mind. Seriously, I truly felt like I was sitting in the back seat of the Liberty they were driving and taking part in their journey. Matson does a brilliant job of invoking the scenery of the different states and making you feel like you're part of the trip.

I also loved the various playlists Roger created, the pictures and road trip notes that were part of the book too. It made it stand out in a positive way, just something a little bit different but perfect for a road trip book.

And really, what kept me reading more than anything was the emotional journey these characters went on. Their problems were not solved by book's end, thank goodness because I don't like that, but there was a sense of peace finally. And yeah, I was totally rooting for the romance between Amy and Roger, I admit it.

Basically this was the perfect read for me. I was engaged in the characters' problems, I liked the flashes of humor and whimsy that were added, and I loved the actual road trip these two went on. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a book I cannot wait to book talk this fall. It will give students another flash of summer but will also having them turning the pages quickly. Utterly loved this book.
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