Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publication: May 3rd 2011 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published May 4th 2010)
Format: Finished copy/Paperback
Source: Purchased from Powerbooks
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Don’t expect Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour to jump right into the story when you first turn the pages of this book. It will first take a detour (that will be my first and last attempt of a word play 🙄 ) show snippets of unread emails, an itinerary and even Amy’s final report card. What’s amazing is that it already tells us a story right from those clippings.
Then, the book introduces us to Amy. We learn that she’s been living alone in her family’s old house in California after her Mom moved to Connecticut and her twin brother is in rehab. Their house has been sold and she now has to bring their car to her mother but she can’t drive it yet because of a car accident that killed her father is still haunting her. Enter Roger, the designated driver to take Amy to Connecticut. Let me also mention that Roger is “shockingly good-looking” according to Amy.
The 2 of them hit the road. Amy doesn’t remember who Roger is but they’re supposedly childhood friends. This adds to the air of awkwardness that Amy has been emitting since the sight of Roger. But at least Roger seems to be easy-going.
Amy’s mom provided an itinerary for them with hotel reservations but Roger hints that he was expecting a “real” road trip so Amy suggests to just ditch the itinerary and take on a more scenic route.
What Amy and Roger doesn’t realize is that they needed that detour more than they know.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour lies between light and heavy YA. It’s a fun and enjoyable, quick read but at the same time touches some difficult topics which balances everything out.
Roger and Amy (let’s give Roger a chance to be called first) started with an invisible wall separating them but, along the way, they began to bring those walls down and open up to each other, with those witty banters, ice breakers and inside jokes.
As Amy and Roger get to know each other, we get a chance to learn some things about them too like how Amy prefers cream soda (which I googled and later ooooooohhhed) and Roger is your root beer guy. Amy snacks on Skittles and Roger likes Reese’s. Those tiny details got me engaged with the characters.
We also discover what baggage Amy and Roger has been carrying as the story progresses. We’re given a glimpse of what Amy has been through, how she blames herself for her father’s death and basically shut down everyone else around her. But it wasn’t just Amy that has some heavy load, Roger has them too but the only difference is that Amy is running away from hers and Roger is chasing his.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is more than just a road trip. It’s a journey to self discovery, letting go and moving on.
Though I did say that the book was a quick and light read, it took me quite a while to finish it. It didn’t have that page-turner magic in the first parts thus making me put it down a few times but it picks up in the middle and earns redemption.
The Scrapbook – Prior to reading this book, I’ve read that the author, Morgan Matson, really went on the same road trip that Amy & Roger took which is absolutely awesome. There were pictures that she took and have been included which made the book look even more of a legit road trip. There are also receipts, flyers, state facts, and even side notes from Amy. The scrapbook vibe lets us experience the story beyond reading.
Writing style – I’m no writer but seeing the details of this story amazes me. It reflects the hard work and effort of the author. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is Morgan Matson’s debut novel so, I’ll be expecting more from her other books after having read this.
Hillary and Edmund’s Amy and Roger’s Relationship – Roger and Amy needed each other by their side. Someone to give each other a little nudge, someone to learn from and someone to rely on. There were a lot of adorable moments between Amy and Roger that I was tempted to dog ear some pages. (Note to self: Keep post-it flags within reach when reading) One of my favorite moments is when Amy & Roger posed as Mr. & Mrs. Udell to get a hotel room and that later became an inside joke between the 2. But seriously, I wanted more of the swoon-y, giggly moments that I almost shipped Amy with Lucien JUST BECAUSE I was craving for some romance and their brief flirty moments sufficed that need for a little bit. But wait, is that a jealous Roger I’m sensing?… *giggles* Just kiss already!