by Morgan Matson
Jenn from Books at Midnight chose this as her pick for the Summer Reading List, and her blurb could not be more right. Plus, it's definitely been on my wishlist since it was first released and it seems like everyone loved it!
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.
My Expectations: high! When I say it seemed like everyone loved it, I mean it. I expected the same.
Delivery: I definitely liked it, perfect for my mood, I think.
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is the perfect book for summer, for beaches, for road trips, for sunny weather and for anyone looking for an emotional feel-good read. True story.
It feels like the grief novels I love to read are usually emotional and heavy and sob-inducing every other page, but this one kept a smile on my face and yet managed to make me slightly choke up a bit. The one issue I had with this novel is its two main characters. Okay, that’s a hefty chunk of the book but hear me out. I liked them. I liked the way they were crafted and how Matson fleshed them out, gave them backstories and motivations and a twisting road but I never got them. I never felt like I was in Amy’s shoes or that I was swooning for Roger (who is in his own right, a very swoony boy). Their personalities were there but also weren’t… I don’t know how to say it.
But that aside, I really loved the rest of the novel. It makes me crave a road trip despite a historic yet scarring family one (a good thing!... I think). I thought the epic detour was epic indeed with the places they visited being described in detail so it felt like the place comes alive. The emotional journey of both characters were well written but maybe stale in the originality department. That doesn’t mean I didn’t like it because I totally did.
Thinking about it, I liked the fact that the story was focused on two characters and their own journeys on the metaphorical and physical road trip because it made things more intense. I relished the appearance of all the secondary characters, I thought they were just scarce enough and with enough personality to really shine for their part of the story.
Lastly, something I absolutely adored was all the scrapbook notes, receipts and playlists (playlists! lots of them!!) in the book, they’re original and tons of fun to read. The postcard had me choking up and actually one of my favourite parts of the book.
Rating in HP Terms: Exceeds Expectations
Recommended for: those of ya’ll clinging on to summer :p
Acknowledgements: great! 3.5/5
8.6/10 – because it was a lovely read. I think it has that overall stamp of approval from me, I loved the plot and the writing style and I thought everything just felt fresh. I really liked the relationships Amy had with her mother and brother, no matter how strained, and the road trip was entertaining and definitely fitting, I can’t see you not liking this.
author twitter / website (her site's layout rocks!!)