Thursday, September 16, 2010

Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Amy & Rogers Epic Detour
Morgan Matson

Young Adult Contemporary

Simon & Schuster/May 2010

Library Book

You might have noticed that I didn't post the usual back cover blurb, or in this case, inside cover blurb. I was going to but after reading it, I felt it gave away too much of the story. It's a road trip book and if you've ever been on a road trip, much of the fun comes from not always knowing where you might stop along the way. So I've placed the blurb at the end of the review.

I first heard about Amy & Roger's Epic Detour when Nath reviewed it. She heard about it from Ames so a big shout out to both of these ladies for recommending it. :)

This is probably one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. From the start I loved Amy's voice. Her observations of the people around her are funny and telling. She's going through some serious stuff, dealing with her dad's death just three months ago. She's been alone for the last month in her house that's for sale. Her mother has already moved and is waiting for Amy to finish up her junior year in high school and then she'll being joining her mother in Connecticut. It's not enough that Amy must leave everything that's familiar and move across the country, now her mother has arranged for Amy to bring the car, with Roger, a guy she knew when she was a kid, driving it.

Road trips can be a lot of fun with the right people. But with someone you don't know and you're at a really low point in your life, it can suck. Amy does get lucky and Roger isn't a loser, or smelly or tell bad jokes or sing off key. It turns out he's a nice guy. A little shy but so is she, at least when they first meet. The trip starts off with Amy's mother planning an itinerary that allows no time for sightseeing or detours. Roger has another suggestion - a few detours here, places more interesting than what Amy's mom had in mind. Amy agrees as long as they get to Connecticut in four days. Amy has her reasons for agreeing and they have a lot to do with her parents.

The stops along the way bring back memories and some sadness but also a feeling of completeness for both Amy and Roger. I loved reading about where they ate. Amy is a big fan of diners and Roger is a fast food fan. The diners are specific to that area but the fast food - they had me craving In-N-Out (love their shakes), Chick-fil-A (chicken sandwiches are the best!) and something called crumbly hamburgers from a place called NuWay in Wichita, Kansas. I'm very curious about the crumbly. They also had me looking at maps, trying to figure out a quick road trip that the family could do on a long weekend. Utah has potential. :)

I have to mention the visuals in this book. Yep, there's pictures! LOL Pictures of Roger's playlist, receipts for all the food they ate, pictures of where they had been. I loved it all! It really gave the book that personal touch, as if you were reading their travel diary.

Then there is the story of Amy and Roger. How they got to know each other over the course of the trip. How they came to understand each other and themselves. How Amy learned that people can come into your life and make a big impact in a very short time. The secondary characters are all so very entertaining and well developed considering the short time they're on the page. And the story itself was funny. There were some sad scenes when Amy thinks of her father and when Roger confronts someone who has hurt him. But I also found myself laughing, grinning and snickering. It was charming to see how Amy and Roger got to know each other and came to care about each other. It was a different environment, being stuck in a car with someone. Certainly a learning environment. Neither of them are perfect, they both made mistakes along the way but the important part was that they learned from their mistakes.

If you want to read a fun, amusing and insightful story I would definitely recommend taking a journey with Amy & Roger.

Rating: A+

From the inside cover ~

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 definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you lest expected are the ones you may need the most - and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.


  1. I picked up this book based on Nath's review too. This was quite an entertaining read. It has re-sparked my interest to go on a road trip. I want to visit the Loneliest Road! Lol

  2. Tabitha ~ I'm curious about the Loneliest Road too!

  3. I didn't even read the blurb at the end of your review, Leslie, because I want to read this one without any expectations other than that I'll love it.

    And you should DEFINITELY take a road trip to Utah! I love the National Parks there... Zion, Bryce, Arches. AMAZING landscapes.

  4. I am so glad you enjoyed this book Leslie :D I thought this book was great and fun :) More realistic in many ways for a contemporary YA :P And it made me want to go on a road trip as well! I just might very soon :P but nothing as long as what Amy and Roger did...

  5. Christine ~ I think you will like this one a bunch. I'm working on the Utah trip. I've requested brochures. :)

    Nath ~ It did feel realistic although I cringed every time I saw the diner bill. Nearly $20 for breakfast! LOL