Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 3, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Goodreads: ★★★★ 1/2
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.
When it comes to the perfect summer read, it’s always safe to reach for a Morgan Matson book. Last summer I picked up Since You’ve Been Gone, and I was excited to pick up her first book this year. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour follows teenager Amy. Her father recently passed away, and her mom decides to move the family from California to Connecticut. Amy is tasked with getting the family car across the country, but since she’s not driving, family friend Roger steps in to help. Readers follow Amy and Roger as they road trip across America and take a few detours along the way.
I absolutely love road trip books, especially when they take place in America. I feel like I am wandering throughout the country with Amy and Roger, and that is a lot of fun. This book includes a mixed media element, with photographs, scrapbook pages, and playlists being mixed in with the story. I loved this element, but I do wish they were placed better within the book. For instance, sometimes a scrapbook page featuring a state would appear before Amy and Roger got to that state. That is a very minor critique, and overall I really liked the inclusion of the mixed media elements.
My other critiques of the novel are quite small as well. I did find a few copyediting issues, which is surprising in a paperback reprinting. There is also a small plot hole in the novel. At the end of the book, Amy mentions that she can trust Roger because he hasn’t lied to her on their road trip. However, Amy mentions much earlier in the story that Roger does lie to her. While this is a very small hole, it does affect my rating a bit. My only other critique is that I wasn’t the biggest fan of how the romance played out. It felt a bit awkward, even though I was rooting for it.
Otherwise, I really loved Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. The book is fun, but it is also very emotional, especially for anyone who has a special bond with her father. I loved how this book takes readers not only on a physical road trip, but an emotional journey as well. Amy and Roger both have things to work through, and they are able to confide in each other after spending so much time in the car together.
All in all, I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a summer read. It’s quick to get through, and will be perfect whether you are traveling this summer, or simply sitting out in the backyard. You get to meet a great cast of characters, and have a lot of fun! I know I will be reading Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour again, and all of Morgan Matson’s other books, in the future.
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