[Book Review #75] Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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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.

Book Specifications:

Author: Morgan Matson

Format: Hardcover

Part of a Series: No. Standalone.

Release Date: May 4, 2010

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

No. of Pages: 344 pages

Price: $16.99

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Road Trip, Travel

Book Review:

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After finding out about Morgan Matson’s Manila signing, of course, I had to at least try and read her books. Due to time constraints and a few good book recs, I opted for Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Road trip stories are an easy favorite for me. The premise of these kind of stories may be common and a bit of a cliché to others, but I honestly love it. The idea of going to places with a possible love interest or a family member and finding yourself in the process is just heartwarming in my opinion, and it’s never too hard to get me hooked to one.

The story was absolutely refreshing and easy to read. Amy’s perspective on loss, grief, and moving on is hands down heart-felt and emotional. Readers won’t have any problem relating to her whether you’ve experienced her kind of pain or not. The way she tells her story is unique, and the journal entries, road trip photos, playlists, and sketches reminded me of my reading experience of Nicola Yoon’s Everything, Everything, which happens to be one of my most favorite books of all time! It’s needless to say that for that reason alone, I instantly adored this book.

I appreciate that readers were well informed of Amy & Roger’s itinerary all throughout their detour. I love how the author made the effort and research (or possibly go on a road trip herself) just to take the photos, eat the food, and meet the locals of the places that our main characters visited and spent their days in. Of course, it made us feel like we were on the detour with them, knowing how well documented their trip was.

I also wanted to point out how common, yet still unique in it’s own way, Amy’s coping mechanism was for her grief. After her traumatic incident, she was left alone to grieve and move on. No one came to her support, and it was heartbreaking to see someone’s pain and grief come to life through the pages of a book. It took her a long time before she was able to open up and talk to people about it, and I love how this element of the story depicts how moving on should NEVER be forced on someone. After dealing with pain and grief, people should be given the chance to choose to move on and at their own pace. After all, we all have different ways on coping up, right?

And lastly, I also loved how Amy & Roger’s love story wasn’t formed through insta-love. I mean, with the kind of premise that this book has, it’s probably the easiest if Morgan Matson made Amy fall in love with Roger as quickly as their trip started. But on the contrary, it was quite the opposite. It took AGES for the both of them to fall in love, which made it all the more satisfying for me to read. I mean, I knew that somehow, someway, they would end up together. But of course, I appreciated the journey that they went through and to see them finally admit in the end, that along the way, they fell for each other, was just the sweetest thing in the world. I seriously, seriously loved this part, and quite possibly, this book in it’s entirety.

“Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is an amazing road trip story about coping up with loss, grief, and what it means to live, move on, and to stay for those that you love. It’s possible that this is Morgan Matson’s most emotional, and most heart-felt book.”

RATING:

Characters – 4.00

Plot – 4.75

Writing Style – 4.00

Pacing – 4.00

Ending – 4.75

TOTAL – 4.3 / 4 Stars

Quotable Quotes:

“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”

“I’d found out that if you pushed people away hard enough, they tended to go.” – Amy Curry

“Saying good-bye is basically an invitation not to see a person again. It’s making it okay for that to be the last conversation you have. So if you don’t say it–if you leave the conversation open–it means you’ll have to see them again.” – Roger Sullivan

“I’d found out that when you’re never going to see someone again, it’s not the good-bye that matters. What matters is that you’re never going to be able to say anything else to them, and you’re left with an eternal unfinished conversation.”

“You’ve got to have pride in your home. You are where you’re from. Otherwise, you’re always going to be lost.”

“I loved the idea that people could discover things. That you could be the person to see something first. Or see something that nobody else had been able to.”

About the Author:

Morgan Matson is the author of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Second Chance Summer, Since You’ve Been Gone, and the New York Times Bestseller, The Unexpected Everything. She grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Twitter || Goodreads || Website

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