Title: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance, Road Trip
Published On: May 4th 2010
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Source: Borrowed from Library
My Rating: 5 Stars
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.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour made me want to go on a road trip so much! This is the kind of road trip book I’ve been looking for!
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour started off a bit slow. Since the first few pages are kind of like an info dump, it took me longer to become invested in the story. Right from the start, it’s pretty clear that something tragic has happened to Amy, but the details are unclear. Soon though, we find out that Amy’s father has died and that she feels responsible for his death.
After his death, Amy’s mom packs up and moves to Connecticut. She leaves Amy behind to finish her year of high school and to cope all alone. I couldn’t understand how her mother could just leave her behind, especially at a time when Amy was clearly not okay. At the same time, I can understand that her mother is dealing with her own grief. But STILL. This is not okay parenting.
Of course, it get’s worse. Amy’s mother asks her to go on a road trip from California to Connecticut with a stranger, Roger. This doesn’t sound so bad initially, except Amy doesn’t drive because of the accident she was in with her father. The incident where he died. How can her mother ask her to do something like that when she knows that the accident traumatized Amy. UGH. Anyway…
Roger is tasked with driving Amy to Connecticut using Amy’s mom’s itinerary. Which is boring. It’s like her mother is forcing her to do this terrible thing, but doesn’t want it to even be possibly fun. Except, she get’s Amy a scrapbook to fill in about the trip, which is like teasing her with all the possibilities of a road trip and then ruining it with her lame itinerary. Okay, so I really didn’t like Amy’s mom. She wasn’t horrible, though. To be fair, Amy did have unrealistic expectations of her to just magically fix things.
Back to Roger, though. Roger is nineteen and just finished up his freshman (I think) year of college, so he’s a bit older than Amy. Immediately, Amy notices that Roger is attractive and notes that this makes the trip more complicated. I thought Amy’s reaction to meeting Roger was a bit dramatic, but of course I began to ship them right away.
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.” ― Morgan Matson, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
While Amy is struggling with her grief and guilt, Roger is recovering from a break-up. One that he can’t seem to stop thinking about. On the road, both Amy and Roger help each other move on and begin to think about things in a healthier way.
Roger suggests that they take a detour and do the trip their own way. Thank goodness. AND THEY SEE SO MANY AMAZING THINGS AND HAVE FUN AND BOND. The road trip was absolutely my favorite part. I loved how Matson goes into such great detail about each aspect of the road trip. It really felt like I was with them, exploring the United States.
Of course, I should have expected all the bonus stuff in the book. Mostly because I recently read Since You’ve Been Gone, which has a ton of playlists and images. There are lists and scrapbook pages filled out for each state they get to see. And, obviously, some incredible road trip playlists. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is definitely a book you should experience. Especially if you like road trips!
This is absolutely a great summer read, but it is sad at times, too. It is not completely a fluffy and light read. So if that’s what you’re looking for, then this isn’t the book for you.
“Roger, he has a chain saw,” I hissed. “I am not going to die in Kentucky!” ― Morgan Matson, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
BUT If you like realistic contemporaries that have it all (sadness, grief, romance, happiness, humor, and cute moments), then you should absolutely read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour! Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is undoubtedly the best road trip book I have read so far.