Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Release Date:May 4th 2010
Publisher:Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
Goodreads description: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.
The summer before her senior year, Amy is trying to cope with her father’s death. For a month, her mom has lived across the country in Connecticut and Amy has lived alone in her childhood home. She went to school, was in the school musical, and fed herself-if only barely. Her mom has planned for her to make the trip to Connecticut from California with Roger, the son of a family friend. Amy is not excited about spending that much time in the car or taking a trip with a guy she barely knows.
Surprised to discover that college student Roger is very friendly and attractive, Amy finds a friend in him. Instead of following the strict itinerary Amy’s mom gave them, they decide to make an adventure out of the road trip. With a scrapbook, an iPod full of music and an adventurous attitude, the pair sets off.
The road trip themed scrapbook is a gift from her mom, and the pictures of it in the book are so much fun. Amy writes down information on states they visit, like the motto and size and her own opinion. Also included are receipts, photos and mementos, along fun playlists Roger creates for them with great illustrations. I loved this aspect of the book, it was really fun to look at all the different stuff they accumulated and the playlists were really great to look at-plus it was fun to see some of my favorite bands on them!
On the trip, they get to know each other and become friends, and you can feel the chemistry growing. Amy’s dealing with the loss of her father and Roger has his own issues. They share details about their lives and make memories together. I think both of them grow on the trip, but Amy seems to come to terms with how she’s been reacting to the accident and how she’s dealt with her family after it.
I really liked Amy and Roger. Amy was sweet and strong. I felt like her feelings of loss and guilt were realistic. Amy’s pain how she reacted to it was believable. I liked seeing her progress as she figured out how to talk about things she was feeling. Roger was also fun, even if I would’ve liked to know more about him.
Some of the resolution felt a little rushed, but the story and characters were fun. The details of the places they stopped were enjoyable. I liked the hopeful ending. This story deals with some heavy issues, but manages to stay upbeat and enjoyable. I think it’s worth giving a shot!