She always assumed her life would pretty much stay the same. But when her father dies in a car crash, her twin brother is sent to rehab and her mother decides to leave to go to Connecticut for “a fresh start”, everything changes. Amy Curry, who was left behind in California to finish her junior year, isn’t really happy about having to take the family car all the way to their new home in Connecticut. And it’s not the worst, she has to do it with a stranger. Roger, a college kid and an old family friend, has to go to Philadelphia to spend the summer with his father. Although Amy’s mother has the trip very carefully planned, they each have an agenda of their own and they can’t help but make some detours along the way.
In the beginning, you don’t really know what really happened to Amy’s father. We get bits of her life before with some chapters taking place in the past until we finally learn what happened that day her father died. We see how her father was and why she wants to go to some places like Yosemite or Graceland. I loved her father, he was such a great father! The characters definitely made the book for me. From Amy to Roger to the secondary characters, I loved them all. Each and every one made Amy and Roger’s road trip even more enjoyable. They were all so friendly, refreshing and likeable.
The romance was well done. They didn’t fall for each other right at the beginning. They help each other move on. But for me, this book is more about Amy’s emotional journey and finally coming to term with what happened to her family than the romance. Written like a scrapbook, the receipts, photos, playlists and fun notes about each state they visit added some unique touch to the book. Even though we are not given a concrete ending and it’s kind of weird because I thought for a minute that my book was missing pages … But no, it was not missing any pages. The author leaves things on a hopeful note and you can very well imagine what happened after.
This lovely, cute contemporary novel about grief and friendships is perfect when you need a fun and easy read, but dealing with not so easy subjects. It definitely made me want to go on a road trip!
I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-the-sac.”
Morgan Matson was born in 1981 and grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.
She lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016. From the author’s website.