Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, as I was reading it, made me REALLY want to go on another cross-country road trip. Here is why:
Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move across the country and needs Amy to get their car from California to Connecticut. There’s just one small problem: since her dad died this past spring, Amy hasn’t been able to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger, the nineteen-year-old son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute … and dealing with some baggage of his own.
Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father’s death were not what Amy had planned on this trip. And traveling the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado mountains, crossing the Kansas plains, and visiting diners, dingy motels, and Graceland were definitely not on the itinerary. But as they drive, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you may need the most – and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find you way home.
The characters is this book were written beautifully. There was so much depth and emotion to them, stemming from the plot and the dialogue. The tension that Amy felt when she was reconnecting the world, the fear and intense grief that she was experiencing, was amazingly shown. The relationships were all very well-explored. Hadley, even though she is only physically there for less than a chapter, is constantly showing up, and therefore the reader can see her character. Roger is almost always present, and a lot is shown through his compassion, intuitiveness, and music. Amy’s point of view makes it almost too easy to see through her, but the level of depth Matson was able to contrive was amazing.
I think my favorite character, though, had to be Charlie. Amy’s brother wasn’t even mentioned in the blurb, but he is such an important part of the story and Amy’s life/character, even if he, like his mother, was on the other side of the country. The interesting fact that they were twins but not close at all was intriguing and refreshing. It was also refreshing to see unusual characters and hobbies, like topiary cutting. But anyway, even though they weren’t necessarily close, they had such a huge impact on each other’s lives, and it was different to see the details of each side of the story. Charlie may not have been perfect by a long shot, but the disparity between the person Amy thought of and the person seen at the end of the story was touching.
Another refreshing detail of the book was its format. Spaced in between chapters were photos, comments, music playlists, receipts, etc. that were entertaining and added to the story line. It really helped the reader get involved and drawn in to the storyline. Also, half-way through the book, when they were supposed to be in Connecticut and they were still in Colorado, yeah that was funny. I didn’t even realize that the book wasn’t over yet; I had thought I was almost done, when in reality, barely anything had happened yet! That’s how well it was written though; I didn’t mind that I thought it was over. I was entertained by just half the story – imagine how I felt when I was actually finished!
Basically, an AMAZING book. I highly recommend it, with one stipulation that you don’t mind a little inappropriate language, and a few, ahem, scenes.