Title : Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author : Morgan Matson
Series : N/A, Standalone
Genre : Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Number of Pages : 352
Publication Date : May 4, 2010
Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
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.
Ok...so I really, really, really enjoyed this book! I'd been hanging on to this one for quite a while because it was pretty well hyped. I'm always a bit leery of those books because I don't want to go in expecting something great and then be totally disappointed. It was totally NOT what I expected, but in a good way. I was hooked right from the beginning and I was sad when it was done. This was one of those books that I just wanted to go on forever.
There were a lot of little touches that made this novel so much more. I loved the ephemera between each chapter, I think it was a nice touch. It just made it a little more kitschy and unique. (Not to mention that it just seems like something I would do...it made me love Amy even more.) I also enjoyed the playlists. I'm telling you, Morgan Matson just gets it. She has brilliant ideas about how to write a book. I ended up finding new music to listen to and even decided to make my own Amy & Roger list in Spotify. There are quite a few good songs in there...though I admit that I like Roger's taste in music much more than Amy's.
The characters are wonderful and easy to slip into. Amy and Roger are both perfectly flawed. Not to little, not too much. And they're written appropriately for their age. Sometimes characters just seem like they're a little too naive for how old they are or they might seem like they've had all this amazing life experience by age seventeen. Roger and Amy are just real. That's always the best kind of character. The inclusion the alter ego "Amy!" was another stroke of genius. A bit part, but one that lightened the mood in just the right way and made it obvious that Morgan Matson doesn't take herself too seriously, she just has fun writing. "Amy!" was very well described and Amy's flippant reference to her made me laugh out loud more than once.
The narrative was just as great. It was nice and detailed without being too dense or wordy. I definitely got emotionally involved with the characters. It became one of those swoon worthy stories. You may figure that you know just how things are going to go, but even if you're right...it doesn't matter. It doesn't take anything away from the story. It's just lovely. I won't lie...I may have hugged my Nook.
I struggled with the ending somewhat since this is a standalone. It's a solid ending, I just wanted more. I would've liked to have read more of the story or read things from Charlie's point of view. (Charlie is Amy's brother.) Otherwise, I loved the book. Yup. No other complaints. How often does that happen? Amy & Roger's Epic Detour made me want to take a road trip of my own. I am very much looking forward to reading another of Morgan Matson's novels very soon...I have Second Chance Summer and Since You've Been Gone both very high up on my TBR list.
Without a doubt, Amy & Roger gets five full stars. It is one of my favorite books of the year so far and will definitely be a strong contender for 2014 BOTY.