Review: "Amy & Rogers Epic Detour" by Morgan Matson {part of Sweet Summer Challenge}

 
 
 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.
 
 
This had been sitting on my bookshelf for so long and I don't even have a reason to not have picked it up. I knew right from picking it up a few months back that it would be an amazing book, so as I let more books stack up and plead to be read, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was taken out of the spotlight...but now! I had this impulse to read something summer-y and of course...ROAD TRIP BOOKS RULE. Need I say more?
 
I like characters with depth. A character without depth is like a flat swimming pool; pointless. But in Morgan Matson's Epic Detour novel, right from reading through a few pages, I could tell there was something realistic and promising about Amy's character. She was quite saddened at the beginning of the novel, as we learn her father had recently died three months ago, and her Mom was pushing to sell their house and had already moved the majority of their things to Connecticut. Amy's twin brother; Charlie, also had issues and past troubling times with drugs, and so Amy was buried under so many burdens, but maybe the biggest burden of all was yet to be revealed.
Roger. He was, as many bloggers and people have said in comment to reading the book, one of the most perfect characters that anyone would love to take a road trip with. He was quite the opposite of Amy, and at the start, things were a little awkward and tense between them, since they hadn't seen each other for years, since they were kids and had played together back in California. I got the impression that he at first didn't understand why Amy's mother had arranged for him to drive her to Connecticut on his way to Philadelphia to spend the Summer with his father. But once he gains more information about Amy and tries to piece together the accident that the flashbacks in the story entail, things start to make sense.
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them.”          
 
I really felt like I just took a trip around America, and got to witness this slow-moving, epically sweet romance between Roger and Amy; a romance I didn't think was really going to go anywhere, since Roger had been clinging onto his ex-girlfriend's abrupt end to their relationship for a while of the trip.
I read this in a short two-night session, not wanting to even put it down for sleep! I was drawn into the world of road-trips and the sights I was reading about, feeling so real and close. I even took a listen to some of the songs in the Roger and Amy playlists, and they suited the storyline so, so well. Amy and Roger didn't just fall in love in this story, but they made me fall in love with their story. This is an unforgettable, emotional and incredible novel that is in my top five favourite reads of the year, and so far, my favourite of this summer. Love, love, love.
Just a note; there's something about Kansas's magical ways. *You'll know what I mean if you've read this...*
EPIC FIVE STARS.
 
 
Book TWO of my Summer Challenge is over! To anyone who is looking for a sweet, romantically epic road-trip novel...choose this! It's highly recommended!
 
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happy reading!
 
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Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theatre degree, she started working in the children's department of Vroman's Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
.Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theatre/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.
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. It has since been published in five different languages and six different countries.
Morgan currently 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 2014.
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