Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

A few aside before I start the review :)

1 - For those who thought that I was sick because I didn't buy any books last week. Rest assured, I'm fine :) Proof? I bought three today :P

2 - I'm trying to kick my Bejeweled Blitz addiction. Again. Sigh, it wouldn't be so bad if I wasn't so competitive LOL. Although, I'm merely replacing my addiction by something else. The new game I found: Flood-It. I think it's fun LOL. The best though is that you don't need a very good computer, so it's perfect at work ^_^;

3 - I don't know if I ever mentioned Top Gear on my blog. It's a BBC show about cars hosted by three guys. Seriously, sounds boring, but it's hilarious! You really don't need to love or even be interested in cars to enjoy this show. What's so entertaining in Top Gear are the challenges given to the hosts and the hosts themselves LOL. In any case, if you have the chances, you should take a look at this week's challenge about motor homes (Top Gear Season 15, episode 4). My sis and I couldn't stop laughing :P

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
published by Simon & Schuster in May 2010

When you're on a road trip, life is all about the detours...

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There's just one small problem: Since her dad died this past spring, Amy hasn't' been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute... and dealing with some baggage of his own.

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father's death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitively not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most - and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

Genre: Young Adult, contemporary
Series: none

The Story: Amy Curry's life was perfectly normal, until it was turned upside down. Three months ago, her father died in a car accident, her twin brother was put into rehab and her mother decided to move from California to Connecticut for a new start. Now that school is out, Amy's mother wants her to bring their car to Connecticut; only, Amy does not drive. Thus, Amy's mother has enlisted the help of Roger, the 19 years old son of a friend, to drive and has provided them an itinerary... Except the stop places are the dullest ones on the road. Not ready to start her new life, Amy jumps at Roger's proposition of turning this drive into a real road trip. And so starts the adventure :)

My Opinion: Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you Ames for recommending this book! Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a wonderful read and I own you a big one :)

I usually stay away from contemporary young adults novels, for a few reasons: 1) I find it hard to connect with the characters, 2) the whole high school "does he love me or not" and "you're my friend or not" tropes do not appeal and 3) it's hard to believe in the HEA ending. However, Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is not your regular contemporary YA. I think it has a lot to do with the premise of the book: Amy has just lost her father in a car accident. This is something big and incredibly painful, no matter how old you are and it takes a level of maturity to deal with it. Plus the fact that it's not in a high school context, but a road trip and you have something different, something other.

Okay, this review turns out to be more difficult to write than I expected. I really hurt for Amy and what she was going through. Losing someone is never easy, but the circumstances of the car accident and the fact that she was daddy's girl made it more difficult for Amy to deal with her father's death. Then having your life changes so much without being in control of it, sigh. It's really no wonder Amy was starting to break down both physically and emotionally. The hardest though was the fact that she had no one to talk to, at first because she was not ready and then later, because everyone was gone - her brother in rehab and her mother across the country. I think this just shows you how strong Amy was, but the best part I think is that she was simply a normal girl going through some very tough time. She was mature at times, emotional at others and through it all, rediscovering herself. As for Roger, he was dumped by his girlfriend and he's trying to figure out why... and therefore agrees to embark on this road trip in order to go see her and ask. I think this says a lot as well about his character... and seriously, he turned out to be an amazing guy. The kind that you wish to meet and fall in love with: caring, understanding, nice and gentle :) It might sound like he was a little too perfect and perhaps he was, but I liked him :)

I definitively loved the interactions between Amy and Roger throughout the book, it was so genuine and real. The awkwardness at first, then embarrassment at certain situations and the developing friendship... It was really refreshing to see these two persons meet and get to know each other instead of a secret crush or infatuation. We often talk about chemistry between characters while Amy and Roger did have some, they have something even better. A bond created by the time they spent together during this road trip, during a memorable time period of their life. I mean, they might not live together happily ever after, but they will always remember each other, because they'll be linked by this road trip :)

As for the road trip itself, I thought it was fun. It really balanced the more serious threads of the book :) It was fun to travel with Amy and Roger, to read about the places they stopped at and the people they met. What makes the book even better is the fact that pictures, drawings, notes, receipts are included... like a travel diary or a scrapbook. It really makes the whole road trip more real to the readers, include them.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour was a wonderful book and a poignant read. My only complaint would be that I wanted more :P It ended well, but I wish I could know for certain they lasted as a couple ^_^;

My Grade: A-. I hope Ms Matson will write more books in the future, because I'm definitively a fan now :)


  1. I love Top Gear, for some reason it really helps me to relax on the couch, those guys have soothing voices
    I am looking forward to reading this book, I've read so many gushing reviews, can't wait

  2. My son and I love Top Gear! Laugh until I cry most weeks.

  3. Aw, what a wonderful review Nath! I now want to read this book.

    When you said you want to know for certain that they last as a couple -- does that mean they didn't acknowledge their feelings? Or just the fact that they're teens and it's young love? Lol.


    Ok, i want to go reread this book RIGHT NOW. LOL

    Need to check out Top Gear.

  5. So I read My Most Excellent Year based on your recommendation and LOVED IT. LOVE, LOVE, LOVED IT. Got this from the library so I'll be sure to read it soon! Glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Nath you and I have similar feelings about YA romance, so it is surprising to see that you loved this book! Now I'm really curious about it.

    Great review. :D

  7. Emily True, they do have a soothing voice, when they're not doing anything stupid and we're too busy laughing :P

    This book is great :D I hope you enjoy it as much as I did :)

    Marg - Me too :D What did you think of this week's episode? At first, I thought Jeremy's condo looked nice LOL...

    Tabitha - Thanks Tabzy. Lately, I have difficulty writing reviews, sigh. So I'm glad this one turned out well :)

    I think you would really enjoy this one Tabitha. Amy and Roger do acknowledge their feelings, don't worry :) What I meant was young love... I want to know that they get married and etc LOL.

    Ames - Again, thank you, thank and thank you :D

    And yes, check out Top Gear. I think you and your whole family would enjoy it a lot :D Then, it'll be your turn to thank me :P

    Mollie - I'm so glad you loved it Mollie! It is such a great book, really :) I hope you enjoy Amy and Roger's Epic Detour as much :P

  8. Hilcia - I know! I was a bit wary at first, but I really ended up enjoying it very much. Like I said, I think it's because of what the characters are going through - it requires maturity or it made them more mature and plus, it was out of the high school context. That helped a lot :P Give it a try, Hils :P

  9. Bejeweled is completely addicting as well as Zuma. Thanks for the great review and I'm glad you are not sick!

  10. firepages - I'll stick to Bejeweled for now. One addiction is enough ^_^;