Source- Review copy/ Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: 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.
Review: I really enjoyed this YA novel about grief, loss, relationships and love. It was a pleasant surprise to enjoy a YA novel so thoroughly when there were no paranormal elements.
It has been three months since her father’s death and Amy Curry is stuck in a black hole of grief. Her mother and brother hightail it to Connecticut leaving Amy to finish up school for the month. When it is time for her to join her mother across America, her mother sets an itinerary and assigns her a road trip partner, her friend’s son Roger. Amy dreads the endless hours in a car with a boy she had never met but when Roger turns up on her doorstep with his handsome face she is pleasantly surprised. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is not just a road trip it is a journey and as a reader I went along for the ride as Amy and Roger develop a friendship and learn what it takes to enjoy life and live freely. Amy battles her mother’s negativity and takes a big risk in throwing her mother’s itinerary out the window. While Roger takes the journey to track down his ex-girlfriend to receive some closure about their relationship.
Morgan Matson has a wonderful writing style and the quirky scrapbooking layout of the book makes it all the more enjoyable (especially since I am planning a road trip of my own across Australia in a couple of months!). I especially like how she shows the growth in Amy and Roger through her story-telling and allows the readers to fill in the gaps. I felt relief when Amy was brought out of her depression and resumed her assertiveness while my frustration at Roger’s ex-girlfriend obsession ceases as his caring and gentleness shines through. The relationship between Amy and Roger is slow but deepens in a realistic and satisfying manner.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is a story of adventure mixed with real-life adolescent problems that I think any YA book lover will enjoy.
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