Sunday, August 10, 2014

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers 
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Source: Personal copy/trade

Synopsis: 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. 

Review: This is my first Morgan Matson book and it was immensely sweet and adorable. 

Amy was a character I immediately liked. Even when she's miserable, she still managed to make me laugh and emphasize with her. Early on, the reader will figure out what's bothering Amy's conscience and what's stopping her from getting behind the wheel of a car but the way Matson unfolds the story--through flashbacks, cute scrapbook notes and leading us through Amy's present time with Roger--was done at a nice pace. Amy is careful to keep her grief from overflowing but instead of voicing her sadness and guilt it comes out in other ways--she's not the fun-loving, flirty girl she used to be and she shies away from opening up. I have to give props to Matson for crafting a realistic portrayal of  Amy's grief. Amy's reactions and inner dialogue felt authentic and the small steps that she takes along with Roger to opening up again never felt contrived. Roger was another character that I clicked with from the get-go and really, I just loved that he was a nice guy.  :)

Amy and Roger are the main characters (I mean, their names are in the title for crying out loud) and were well-rounded but I have to say that I loved the minor characters just as much! All of the people they meet on their journey--Roger's friends, exes' siblings, Amy's twin brother, etc.--added so much to the story and I wish Matson would write about these characters someday. Especially Lucien. (PLEASE?!) The ever-shifting setting also deserves an applaud--these two travel through a bunch of states and Matson makes the reader feel like they're along for the ride throughout the entire book. There was so much mention of food and fun shenanigans that I kept wishing I could go on the road and try everything myself! Also, I liked all the small nods to Don Quijote and historical figures. They made great metaphors for traveling and how life is about the journey, not the destination. ♥  

Final Verdict: A fun, fast read that is perfect for the summer, for fans of Sarah Dessen and for traveler in you. Now I want to go on a road trip and try some Kentucky derby pie. :9 I'm glad I finally got around to picking this one up and that there are two more books by this author I need to get to. Definitely give Amy & Roger's Epic Detour a shot! The title aptly describes my reading experience--an epic detour from my usual read--and the way Morgan Matson writes those small human moments that we always encounter is wonderful. A solid debut I wholeheartedly recommend. :D

Clickables: {main site} {twitter}


  1. I'm glad you enjoyed the book!
    I thought it was one of the best road trip books I had read in a while, and I just loved how they kept growing closer. My favorite scene is probably when they are driving and driving and it seems like there is no one around and they get a little spooked.

    1. Yes, when they're on that scary highway! I wouldn't have been able to deal with all that silence, I think. My favorite scenes were when they quizzed each other on historical figures :)