Sunday, March 3, 2013

Book Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
by Morgan Matson
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Released On: May 4, 2010
Published By: Simon and Schuster for Young Readers
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.09
Pages: 352

Before I get into my review, here's the summary available on Goodreads:

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her dad recently died in a car accident, and her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut—just in time for Amy’s senior year. To escape from it all, Amy embarks on a road trip, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining her is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. 

Amy hasn’t seen him in years, but her feelings for Roger develop as the miles roll by…. Told in traditional narrative as well as through a unique visual format that incorporates scraps from the road, this is the story of one teen’s journey to find herself.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

An Overview of the Novel: Amy's life has spiraled out of control. Her dad just died in a car accident, one that she saw happen, her brother has just been admitted to a rehab center, and her mom has decided to move from California to Connecticut. And her mom expects her to drive the car all the way from California to Connecticut. 

The only problem is Amy refuses to drive since her dad's death. Her mom convinces one of her friend's sons to drive with her. Apparently Amy and Roger used to be friends, but she hasn't seen him in years. She isn't thrilled about having him go with her or about the road trip. 

Then she meets Roger. Roger is gorgeous, not that's she noticed or even looking at in him in that way though. When Roger suggests that they don't follow her mom's outlined driving schedule and that instead they go to the places they want to, she agrees. 

As Amy and Roger continue driving day after day, Amy starts to realize that maybe life is worth actually living in and just maybe Roger has a place in her future. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: After reading sixty pages, I was intrigued, but not hooked. I had resigned this book to landing in my three stars pile—a novel that was good, but not really memorable.

I couldn't have been more wrong. This book was incredible. It had a depth to it that is so often lacking in young adult fiction. Amy was dealing with real trials and real guilt in a real way. That automatically knocked this novel out of the three star pile.

I loved watching Amy progress and start living again. At the beginning of this novel, Amy was just existing and going through the motions. She was hiding. I loved watching her slowly rediscover herself and start dealing with all the guilt she was carrying.

I also loved Amy and Roger. I did think Roger was a complete idiot at times. Seriously, he was still in love with his old girlfriend Hadley who didn't even care about him and he and Amy had undeniable chemistry. That boy was so obtuse, but I still loved him. He seemed like such a real character to me. They both did and I loved that.

The writing was also really intriguing. Normally, I don't like it when novels jump between the past and the present (like they did in this one). However, Morgan masterfully jumped between the past and the present. And I didn't care about one more story more than the other. Normally, when authors do this, I like one side better and so I start quickly reading one section to get back to the story line I actually care about.

However, this wasn't the case with this story. I loved both the past and the present stories. Morgan did an incredible job with her writing and I found myself becoming more and more drawn into the story the more I read. 

I definitely loved this one and recommend it to everybody. I always love a good road trip story and this one was no exception. 

So why 4.5 stars? It was a novel that I'll remember reading and one that stood out to me. It distinguished itself from other novels making it a 4 or 5 star novel. The depth of the novel, the excellent writing, and the realistic and incredible characters made it a 4.5 So why not a 5? I would have liked to see more depth, more growth in the novel. It was just missing that extra something that makes a novel a 5. However, I loved the novel and would definitely reread it. 

In Summary: Morgan's novel is breathtaking, poignant, cute, and incredibly written. Morgan infused her novel with the depth that is so often missing in young adult novels, but did so in a way that was never heavy or overwhelming. Morgan is a master story-teller and one I will be keeping tabs on. 

Warnings/Side-notes: It deals with drugs, but in a way that wouldn't cause me to hesitate recommending this novel. I can't remember if there were instances of bad language in this novel, but I do remember thinking that for the most part it was an incredibly clean novel. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to even younger teens. 

The Wrap-up: A novel that I adored reading. It was cute, funny, romantic, and yet also moving and poignant. I loved reading this one. I'm glad I finally got around to reading it. Thanks for everybody who kept raving over it and to my library for finally getting a copy. I'm so glad I read it. 


Danica Page

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you liked it!! I have this book on my TBR since forever... I really should get to reading it.

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl


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