Title: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult; Romance
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. (Goodreads)
You know what I have a soft spot for in YA books? Road trips. Music. Cute details like pictures, sketches, or tickets to things. This book pretty much hit all that. It had likeable characters, the story was sweet but also had really poignant moments, and was just a really lovely read. There are flashbacks interspersed through the story, but it doesn’t make it confusing, and it does a great job of slowly revealing more of Amy’s relationship with her family.
First, the characters. The book is told from Amy’s POV so she gets the most development and introspection. I love books that show a character’s growth, especially through something that brought them a lot of grief. It shows that dealing with grief is a process, not just a one-off event that can be fixed right away. This book did a great job of showing Amy’s fears and trauma, and how she deals with them after the accident. I also liked Roger because he’s dependable and rational, and I love his dynamic with Amy. I also like their tastes in music.
Second, the story. Like I said, it’s about how Amy deals with grief. More than that, it’s about how she grows after the accident, especially when it comes to relating to her mother and brother. It just brings up all the sweet and painful things about family, and it felt so realistic. On the more fun side, I love road trip books, mainly because I love road trips. I don’t know a lot about US geography, so this book was also kind of a learning experience! I actually want to take the same road trip with my boyfriend someday, heh!
Was there anything I didn’t like about this book? Not really. It had a lot of things that I have soft spots for; I loved the characters and the story. Pacing was great; I didn’t feel like anything was really that rushed. I wouldn’t call it a light read because it does deal with heavy issues, but it’s still light enough to make you smile.
Overall: Five stars for this really cute and thoughtful book. If you like road trips or music, this book is a nice source of fun information. If you like a story that focuses on a family dealing with grief, and finding the love under all the pain, this book has excellent character growth and development.