Monday, June 14, 2010

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour review

Jacket description:
"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 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."

I may be a bit premature in saying this being that it's only mid-June, but this book is the ultimate "summer" read...and probably the ultimate road trip book as well. I was so impressed by Amy' as a character and really felt that connection you need with a character to care about where they end up. I not only cared, I was so sad to see her go, when the story was over.

The whole road trip aspect of the plot was fantastic. Amy and Roger saw more of America than a lot of people ever do, and from the perspective of friends really on a journey...not simply a trip. Starting out with a specific itinerary and completely moving away from that, going places and seeing things that they feel are necessary on their own roads of self-healing, was inspirational...and so much fun to read about.

Graceland is somewhere I have never felt a need to visit, but after Roger and Amy visited, I think if I'm in the area, a swing-by is definitely in order. And Yosemite, a destination that has definitely been on my to-go list for years, got bumped up a few spots for sure. I've taken a lot of long road trips in the past few years: up to Maine from western New York, moving from New York to New Mexico, then New Mexico to Virginia, and others. It felt like reliving those trips and definitely put a smile on my face.

Other little things about the book that I enjoyed, was the inclusion of the music playlists that the pair listened to during their days in the car, and the photos and souvenirs they picked up along the way. It made it a more personal experience to see those artifacts of their friendship growing and the way they both were feeling during different parts of the journey.

The writing was excellent, the characters interesting, engaging, and heartfelt. I feel a strong connection to the plot and the characters, making for an overall story that I'll be recommending to teens for sure!

Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Perfect for a summer read.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Morgan Matson
343 pages
Young Adult
Simon & Schuster
May 2010
Review copy received from publisher

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Janssen said...

I loved this book! Definitely one of the best books I've read this year (although that's not saying all that much since I've read one loser after another).

Abby said...

I'm on the list for it at my library and you guys have definitely made me want it more! Thanks for the review, Amanda!

Katie said...

Any chance you wanna pass this along to a friend?!?!?! :)

SilverNeurotic said...

I love books about traveling, there's something about reading about the open road that makes you yearn for your own road trip.

Amanda said...

Janssen, hopefully your reading turns to the good side!

Abby, I really did love it, but the last one I loved (The Six Rules of Maybe), you weren't so happy with. Crossing my fingers on this one!

Katie, sorry dear, but I'm keeping this one! Order it from the library!

SilverNeurotic, it was such a great road trip book. Lots of unique places!

Sarah said...

This one looks good! It's rare for you to grade so highly it seems so I'll definitely have to get it. :D

Lisa said...

Ok, adding it to my insane list. I love road trips, so long as there aren't very small children involved! As you might guess, this means I don't go on many.