Friday, August 5, 2011

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Book:  Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour
Author:  Morgan Matson
Publisher:  Simon and Schuster
Year:  2010
My grade:  A+

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 Review

So, after having survived YA lit, I’m back to reviewing for myself! : )  I did learn that I like contemporary realistic books a lot!  So, this is one that I found for a presentation I gave to the class and I couldn’t wait to read it.

This book was perfect.  It was like a York Peppermint Pattie… was slightly bittersweet and refreshing with just a little bite.

This book could have spiraled into a big bunch of fluff.  But, oh no.  In addition to the fun and fluff, this book is about a life-altering experience for 2 young people.  Now, my textbook says that good YA lit should have growth of the characters during the course of the book.

If that’s the case, then this book should be pictured beside of that definition!

It was so wonderful to see the way Amy and Roger both progressed and matured during this trip, both as individuals and together.  I couldn’t help but root for them both as they made this journey that was literal and symbolic.  And the ending left me feeling great, albeit slightly sad that the book was finished.  But, the very last page is perfection!  She could not have done anything better.

Along the way, the characters that Amy and Roger meet are almost as dynamic and engaging as the terrific twosome.  All the friends and people they meet out on the road seem like more than filler.  These people felt real to me.  They were interesting and three-dimensional even though we as readers only catch the equivalent of a glimpse of them.  It was incredible!

Amy and Roger are both magnificent characters in their own right.  Like Amy, I found myself falling for Roger as the trip progressed.  I also found myself loving Amy and hoping that she could find a way to forgive herself and start living again.  Both Amy and Roger had to learn a few things on their trek across America and they did a spectacular job of learning them.

Besides the story, the artwork, photographs, receipts and what not from the road was a great touch to the story.  I recognized the gas station from Asheville, NC.  That was so cool!  And the playlists that Roger created were great!  I don’t know whether to thank Morgan Matson for putting those in there, or curse her for the amount of money I’m about to go drop on iTunes in order to get them all for myself!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough.  It’s fun enough to be a fast summer read, but it still has a lot of substance to it.  Do yourself a favor and go read this book as soon as possible.  You will not regret it.

I gave this book an A+.  This may make my top 5 list for the year.  It’s that good!

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