Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review Time...Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

by Brittany Geragotelis

The Story: 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.

Why It's a Must-Read: I'm not one for sappy stories. I tend to gravitate toward strong, kick-ass female characters who don't mope around, but whose lives are totally complicated. The idea of a regular girl dealing with the grief over losing her father wouldn't typically sound like something I'd pick up. BUT, after hearing from several people that Amy & Roger's was a great read, I decided to be open minded and give it a try.

And I'm so glad that I did! First off, the story wasn't sappy at all. Sad at times, sure, but not at all whiny or depressing. Instead, it was more like an adventure--with heart. Since the story takes place on a trip across country, the reader gets all the fun of a road trip, minus the sore butt from sitting in the car for hours and hours. And though a lot of time is spent in the car, the action actually happens mostly when Amy and Roger stop at their intended destinations. In the end, the story's about overcoming adversity and dealing with life on life's terms. Beautifully written and never boring, this book is the perfect summer read!

What a Character: The main character, Amy is broken at the beginning of the book. She's full of fear, guilt and self-loathing over what's happened to her family. There's no one else in her world that could punish her more than she's punishing herself. And then her answer appears: Roger. Roger is such a great character. Cute, total boy next door and a little too nice for his own good. He challenges Amy just enough to make her grow, but is the soft touch she needs to feel safe enough to do so. Together, the two of them deal with their issues and become the perfect traveling companions. I also loved all the other characters Amy and Roger met along the way (Bronwyn, Walcott and Lucien)...they each helped her heal in their own ways, and make the reader wish that all strangers were that cool.

A Little Something Extra: I have a confession to make: I mostly picked up Amy & Roger's because my editor, Alex, edited Morgan's book, too! After reading it, I'm not at all surprised she wanted to work with Morgan and her story! The funny thing? One of the characters in this book shared the same first name as the main character in my book, Life's a Witch. I thought Hadley was a pretty unique name, so I was surprised to see we both chose the same name!

Follow her on Twitter @Morgan_M and then go out and buy her book!



Charity Tahmaseb said...

I read this last year and immediately sent a copy to Darcy for her birthday. I so enjoyed this story.