Rating: ☕ ☕ ☕ ☕
This is the first Morgan Matson book I have read, and I have to say that this novel has definitely piqued my interest! This book had the feel of a perfect summer contemporary, but it wasn’t simple or fluffy. This book had some deeper emotions and themes than a simple rom-com-like contemporary. There were definitely some aspects of it that I found a bit annoying, but overall I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to diving into Matson’s other two novels!
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour tells the story of a girl named Amy whose family is moving across the country after the sudden death of her father. Amy is responsible for driving the family vehicle across the country and has the companionship of mother’s friend’s son, Roger. Along the way, the two decide to stray off the planned road map and make their own adventure, having fun and growing together during their cross-country excursion.
One element I loved about this book was the pages that were kind of like a scrap book. These pages included everything from pictures, receipts from diners, and best of all, music playlists. Everyone knows that a good road trip is incomplete without the perfect playlist, and I have to say Morgan Matson gave me some excellent editions to my own iTunes library. The really great thing about this aspect was that the author actually made this road trip herself, so the photos and everything were hers and she knew what she was talking about. I loved following Amy and Roger on this journey and it really made me long for a summer road trip of my own!
Although I really reeeaaallly enjoyed this book, it wasn’t a 5 teacup read for a few reasons. I think the biggest element of the novel that annoyed me a bit was the way Amy was constantly blaming herself for her father’s death. Now, I know that this is a common reaction and possibly part of the grieving process, however I just didn’t buy into the way it had dominated Amy’s emotions for so long. The months long guilt she was feeling came off to me as a little self-indulgent and whiny. Again, the emotions may be normal for a short time after the incidence, but I think rationality and acceptance would eventually come and ease some of those feelings.
Although there may be “should haves” or one may feel responsible for orchestrating a situation, death should not be personalized, and in my experience, people were able to realize this. I know everyone is different, however Amy is a smart girl and at this point in her grieving process, one would think that she would have accepted the fact that the idea of her father’s death being her fault is ridiculous and incorrect.
There were a few other little bits that didn’t do it for me and just to quickly list a few:
- The fact that Roger was completely hung up on some girl named Hadley. And then when we meet her, she turns out to be annoying and just ugh. Ugh was the exact word I used to describe Hadley in my notes.
- Amy let out a breath she didn’t know she was holding! I swear, you cannot unsee this line once you realize it’s the most common line in YA literature. However, this was more funny than annoying. I actually laughed out loud when I read that line!
- I wanted more! The end was too abrupt for my liking. This happens with a lot of contemporaries when the couple gets together and you want more, but this was was even moreso lacking. I can’t even remember if they decided to be together! I think they were going to “see where things went.”
All-in-all, this book was a wonderful read. The aspects of the novel that bugged me were greatly outweighed by the depth, the fun, and the incredible moments that were splayed throughout the book. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is the perfect summer read, the perfect road trip read, and just a great read if you’re looking for a contemporary with a little substance. I loved joining Amy and Roger on both their literal and figurative journeys, and I’m sure you will too!
To find out more about Morgan Matson and her books, visit her website here –> http://www.morganmatson.com/
To listen to a playlist of some of Amy and Roger’s road trip music click here –> http://8tracks.com/grayhusky/roger-playlist-1
Or here! –> http://8tracks.com/padfootandprongs/amy-roger-s-epic-detour-1