For What It's Worth

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

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

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself. YA Fiction

I was expecting Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour to be a just a light fun read (and it was) but it was deeper than that as these two learn to find their way in a world where they weren’t always in control of their own path. It was well written with a lot of character development despite the laid back, slow paced style (in a good way) of the book.
First, I have to first get my one and only gripe about the book out of the way. The premise that Amy’s mom just leaves her daughter alone and then both Amy & Roger’s parents let two teenagers drive alone cross country for four days is just crazy – no matter how “good” you think your kid is. However, mom’s poor parenting skills are what brought us the Epic Detour so I’ll let it slide because it’s all good from there, so thanks mom!
Although there are a few big issues for Roger & Amy (particularly Amy) to work out, it’s really more about the journey rather than the destination. So as not to give it all away I’ll just touch on the highlights. I related to both Roger (*swoon worthy btw) & Amy and I enjoyed meeting all the quirky characters they encountered along the way. They came and went from the story - each adding a little piece to journey, changing Amy & Roger in subtle ways. Amy keeps a travel journal where they add playlists notes, facts about each state, drawings…a really unique, nice touch.
This is a great relaxing summer read – especially if you love road trips – which I do. Since getting my dogs (and the fact that I’m afraid to fly) we’ve been on quite a few, even driving cross country twice. Reading this book made me want to pack up the car and head on out! There’s a little bit of everything in here: romance, heartbreak, food, music, discovery, lost loves and even Elvis! I only wish that they had gone on a month long trip so I could have traveled a little longer.
Loved: All the receipts/notes and drawings – this is not for the e-reader – buy the book! So much music to research now!
Nitpick: As always I wanted to know more…after the trip… but I think it ended on a perfect note.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4! The perfect summer read.

Follow Morgan Matson on twitter: @morgan_m
Buy the book! Amy & Roger's Epic Detour


  1. Hurray! I'm so psyched for this one. You and I both seem to be running across contemporary YA that's better and not as frothy as it originally seemed.

    So right on the parents. It drives me nuts that we have so many deceased/absent/workaholic/hands-off parents in the YA genre. It means we get to have adventures, but it's not terribly realistic.

  2. OMG I totally know what you mean, MUCH music to investigate, I loved all those parts, such an added bonus to an already wonderful story. Great review.

  3. wow this book sounds really, really good! i love it when authors include music in their stories- i usually end up with so much stuff to add to my ipod! can't wait to read this :)

  4. This sounds like a lovely read :) I've been reading some great reviews of it, and now I'm definitely going to be on the lookout! It does sound a teeny bit far-fetched, the whole road-trip premise, but if it makes for a good story, I don't mind.

  5. Awesome review Karen! I can't wait to get a chance to read this!! I guess you just gotta accept the far-fetched-ness of the premise. YA novels and tv shows usually have an excuse to have no parental guidance so the characters can learn for themselves.

  6. Another bloggger buddy of mine is doing a road trip book challenge and was asking for suggestions. Up untill now I had no ideas but will pass on details of both the book and your blog - thanks for the review.

  7. Petty - Does your friend have a blog? I love travel books and road trips so I would love to know what's out there myself.

  8. From the blog hop, looking around!

    I am so excited to read this book! I should be getting my copy from Amazon on Monday. Honestly if it wasn't for the blogging world I don't know if I ever would have come across this book on my own!