Friday, July 15, 2011

Book Shelf: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

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

Blurb from Goodreads.....


In all honesty I never read these kinds of books. I’m not one for contemporary novels and my usual kinds of books tend to be laced with supernatural elements and are heavy on the paranormal. And yet I was captivated by this book from the very beginning.....I simply adored it! I’m not even quite sure if I can say how much.
Morgan Matson’s debut novel is fun and quirky, with a real honesty that flows throughout the entire book. It’s heart-warming and touchingly sweet and I found myself extremely invested in the two main characters as the book went on, especially Amy.

This book isn’t slow; rather it progresses at a nice relaxed, leisurely pace. There’s no crazy plotline involved or out there idea. It’s just two kids on a road trip getting to know one another and in Amy’s case, learning to let go of the past, as they travel across America. This story is fun and engaging, with the mementos and memorabilia throughout the book adding a real authenticity to the tale. The playlists, the photos, the receipts and all the other bits and pieces included really add to the story. It makes it feel so much more real and at times I almost felt like I was on the journey with Amy and Roger. Honestly, I don’t think the book or the experience would have been the same without all of this included.

Amy has had a tough few months. Losing her father devastated her and then her family, in a lot of ways, fell apart. At the beginning of the book it’s easy to see how broken and sad she is; unable to let go and move on. One of the things I think that makes Amy’s situation, and the journey she undertakes, so powerful is that it really is plausible. She’s easy to emphasise with and you can see that what she’s feeling isn’t unwarranted or silly. It’s real and understandable and you can’t help but put yourself in Amy’s shoes. Well, I at least could. Family means the world to me and I could easily see myself reacting the way Amy did and retreating into myself if I faced a similar tragedy to the one she did. After everything she’s faced and was facing, it seemed like nothing was ever going to get her to enter the world again or start to heal. Enter Roger......

Roger was the last thing, err person, Amy was expecting and exactly what she needed. Personally I loved Roger. He’s wasn’t the perfect spunk or the hottest boy in town that seem to litter YA novels out there; rather he was believable and real. He was cute, and he was dorky. He was funny and he strong. He was just the perfect one to help Amy move on from her past and to begin to heal from her father’s death. The friendship, and then later relationship, Roger develops with Amy was very, very sweet. Their interactions constantly had me smiling, and at times laughing, and I was soooo happy with how things grew between them. It was just what I wanted to see.

One of the things that added so much colour to this novel and shone throughout it was the constant array of characters that Amy and Roger met along their journey. It made things constantly fun and exciting and you just never knew who they were going to meet next. There’s a real sense of healing throughout this book and you know as you read it that Amy is essentially healing with everything that happens. From Bronwyn and her very generous gift to Drew and his “Make haste! You must save Princess Amy!” to Walcott and his music and lawn mowing to Lucien and his garden sculpturing. Each and every one of these characters bring something to the journey and help Amy heal a little bit at a time.

I was sad to see this book end, yet the ending itself had me smiling and knowing that these two characters I’d come to love throughout the course of the book would be ok. The book doesn’t end overly cliché, instead with a sense of hope and the thought of where things may go.
This truly was an epic tale that I’m thrilled to have gone on. Its light-hearted while begin touching and fun the entire way though. I couldn’t put it down while reading, and even now that I’m finished, thoughts about it are still floating through my head.
This is a fantastic book that I’m pretty sure everyone who picks it up will love. Go ahead kiddies, add it to your to-read list---you won’t regret it!

Rating: ***** stars
Recommend: Yes!
Did I Buy, Borrow or is it an ARC: ARC from Simon and Schuster (Thanks guys!)
Recommend Buy or Borrow: Buy
Ebook or Actual Book: Actual Book
Cover: It's so sweet! And all the little things on the cover have a meaning within the story. The shoes, the sunglasses, the burger.....
Read sequel/continue with series: This is a stand alone, but I wouldn't rule out reading more by this author!

Buy it here:

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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