‘Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour’ by Morgan Matson [Book Review]

Today, whilst lying in bed feeling a touch under the weather, I took a break from finding essay references and finished Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, marking my 13th read of the 2016 Reading Challenge.

Title: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Released: 2010
Pages: 343
Category: #36 A book about a road trip
Rating: 6/10

Review:
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour follows high-schooler Amy, and college Freshman Roger on a mammoth coast-to-coast drive. Amy’s father recently passed away, and her mother decided to relocate her family from California to Connecticut for a fresh start. Due to circumstances, Amy’s mother is already at their new home, so Amy is forced to make the trip with family-friend Roger, who is headed to Philadelphia to spend the summer with his father.

The story begins with Amy deciding to visit Yosemite National Park, a family favourite, before she leaves the state of her upbringing for good: cue the start of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. The novel deals with serious topics such as bereavement and addiction, but is also filled with adventure and character development, (the hint of romance is sweet, but definitely an undercurrent). In terms of the characters themselves, Roger is the most perfect guy, but at times I found Amy to be a bit annoying – understandable when you know the difficulties that she has gone through over the past few months.

The story is told in both present day and past tense, with the flashbacks focusing on what happened before the death of her father. As well as typical prose, the novel is filled with postcards, receipts and playlists from Amy and Roger’s trip, which added a level of fun to the story. If you’re looking for a cute YA contemporary with less of a romantic focus, look no further.

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The book was by no means perfect – at times it was rather repetitive – but it was entertaining and a lot of fun! I also really loved some of the supporting characters, particularly Lucien, as well as the ultimate moral of the story: life is short and can end unexpectedly, live it to the fullest.

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