Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
When her mother decides to move across the country it becomes Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The problem: she hasn’t been behind the wheel since her father died in a car accident and doesn’t plan to be any time soon.
In comes Roger—an old family friend who has to make the trip for reasons of his own. The road is unfamiliar and so is the friendship that develops between them.
I absolutely adored Morgan Maton’s Since You’ve Been Gone and The Unexpected Everything. And being in a contemporary mood as of late, I knew I should pick up one of her other books.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is just a little less summery and light as the other two books, the subject matter is a little bit more serious at least to me—although all of her characters are going through real issues. Amy just has a lot of weight on her. I do like the way Matson writes first person but we still don’t get all of her issues dumped on us. Everything is given to us in puzzle pieces we have to put together.
Also, this book is about a road trip. Who doesn’t love road trip books? They’re just a ton of fun. I loved visiting all of the stops along with the characters. Matson gives a really great feel and visual of each place Amy and Roger stop. Plus, there are a lot of great food recommendations if I do ever go there.
And in true Matson fashion we get road trip playlists as well as scrapbook visuals. I love this, it adds a little extra to the book overall but also Amy and Roger as characters.
My heart goes out to Amy. She’s dealing with some tough stuff and is basically left alone then forced to take a cross country road trip with a guy she doesn’t know.
I felt the way she is dealing with her trauma comes across as very real. Beyond that, she’s a musical/Broadway girl, which I love. I kept wondering if she would like Hamilton. But really, you get o see her open up, admit things, and develop and it was just really beautiful.
Roger, oh Roger. I just feel like he gets what is going on with Amy even though he doesn’t really know. They spend so much time together in this confined space and he picks up so much about her.. I got really annoyed with hung up he is on his ex (who doesn’t sound that great) and that he wants to see her. But I mean it did set the course for the journey so I guess it’s needed.
Also, I feel like it offset Amy’s trauma really well. Roger has this thing going on with him, but it is not as serious. It helps make the story not overly emotional with heavy issues.
Roger just comes across as this totally sweet, nice and laid back guy.
The one thing I was a little disappointed about is that we were missing the “core” friend group you usually see in Matson novels. It’s usually one of my favorite aspects of the story. But just having Amy and Roger was nice. And we kind of get it through all of the people they meet up with on their journey—usually Roger’s friends from school. The “drop-in” friends kind of allowed a new personality and point of view to seep through for a moment.
Then there was also the ending. Things happen and then the ending just comes. It felt pretty abrupt to me. I just wanted a little bit more time.