Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BYR
Publish Date: May 4, 2010
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Source: Personal Copy
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.
Amy's life is anything but upbeat. After the sudden death of her father, her mother packs up and moves to Connecticut to start fresh. Amy was left in California to finish her junior year, but has to journey across the country in the family car driven by Roger, a guy she barely knows. She's certain things are going to go from bad to worse, and her luck has officially run out. But along the way, Amy and Roger learn that know matter how hard they plan and carefully they detail the road to home and a new life, there are always unexpected twists and turns that throw one for a loop in the best possible way.
I've never been a summer-read kind of girl. I just haven't been. I like my books to be dark and issue-heavy, and while this had all the makings of being a true issue book, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour managed to feature an upbeat, bittersweet and entirely realistic tone. Morgan Matson has painted a true-to-life picture of a girl dealing with grief in her own way and her own time. Chronicling Amy's journey to peace, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is true to its title; it's epic, it's loving and it's a story that promises to make your heart soar with hope and happiness.
There were so many good things about Amy & Roger's Epic Detour that I'm sure I'll miss a few, but I want to try to explain what made the book so great for me. First off, Amy is a brilliant character. She's well-rounded and her grief, though apparent, isn't all-consuming or overbearing. It's a subtle undertone that courses through her actions and inactions that draws the reader into her story. Likewise, Roger was solid and reassuring without being some huge rock that saves the damsel in distress. Their relationship was quirky at best, as well as very cute and unassuming. The writing of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was spot on. Fluid and fun, sprinkled with illustrations and receipts, postcards and napkins, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour spins the reader on a cross-country journey that is engaging, mesmerizing and has you feeling like a part of the journey. Plus, if I might add, the musical playlist scattered through the book is phenomenal.
Overall, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was a fantastic book. Well-written and featuring a great theme without ever being overwhelming or overdone, it's a beautiful and heartfelt story. I give it a 5 out of 5, and it's up there in my top contemporaries of all time. I highly recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction.