Thursday, September 2, 2010
Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Reasons for reading: it looked fun, YA Challenge, Book with proper name in title for Four Month Challenge
Description: "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. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself."
First line: "I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac."
My thoughts: I loved this book! It absolutely made me want to head out on a road trip right this minute. In fact, the descriptions of Kentucky have bumped it up near the top of my to-visit list. The inclusion of the souvenirs from the road was fun and I liked Amy's notes on the different states (many of them are varying degrees of "big") and the couple of times she makes a note to herself not to talk to Roger about cult favourites like Hoosiers (in Indiana) and The Wire (in Maryland) because he can go on and on and on about them. I loved that they explore regional fast food, after getting over their disappointment that In n Out burgers are a west coast thing. Their reaction to the wonders of Sonic was very similar to mine (they have cherry-limeaid! and mozzarella sticks!) a couple of years ago. I'm now also dying to try Chick-fil-A.
But it's not all happy times - Amy is still incredibly traumatized by her dad's death, which she believes is her fault (the truth behind the accident is revealed slowly through flashbacks and while it's not a big surprise, it's still heartbreaking to read). Roger is dealing with being suddenly dumped by a goddess-like but very bitchy girl and he can't quite get over her. So, rather than follow Amy's mom's boring route, they set out on their epic detour to get some answers and find some closure. They meet some interesting folks along the way, like the golf course lawn-mower who fronts a Wizard of Oz-inspired band in Kansas (of course). And there's music, too! Amy is a musical theatre actress and Roger has eclectic tastes, which show up in his the iPod playlists.
The verdict: Join Roger and Amy on their journey before summer's officially over - you won't regret it!