Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour


(short note: Sorry for the major delay in posts! Busy times so I didn't have much time available for putting together posts. So I'm getting back into the groove of things with this review, so it's on the short and simple side.)

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 344 pages

Summary: Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is my first journey into the world of Morgan Matson novels. I've had this one on my to read list for a while now but I just hadn't brought myself to read it yet. Then Since You've Been Gone (will be reviewed in the future) came out and all the excitement and love over this book and for Matson in general had me deciding, I just have to give her books a try! I have to say, I wasn't disappointed with this one at all. I love discovering new voices who come to be some of my favorites.  

The novel starts off with Amy, who's left alone in her old house for the last month before summer and the new beginning in a new place, as per her mother's choice. Due to some things that have yet to be revealed in the story, instead of Amy driving herself across country to get to her new home, she's joined by Roger. Roger agreed to drive her because he's also going to the east coast to visit his father after finished his semester at school. Both are meeting for the first time right before heading off on their little adventure.  

Amy and Roger's Detour was a delightful little read about learning how to deal with grief and letting go for the sake of the future as well as emotional healing. Amy and Roger both have their fair share of emotional turmoil and incidents to come to terms with and together they grow as they continue to travel from state to state, ignoring the itinerary made by Amy's mother. While it doesn't take long to understand what Roger is dealing with, Amy's story is revealed slowly within the novel, within length of her acceptance and understanding. I enjoyed the evolution of their relationship with each other, and the growth of their friendship and the camaraderie that builds on the road trip. It's not forced or superficial, nor is it something that moves too fast. For me, it was just right and unique to them. Both were also great characters to read about outside their relationships. Amy specifically, with what we see of her and her brother and his own healing as well. I wish we'd gotten to see more between Amy and her mother, how they were able to work through things together but the book still had a great end to it.  

Overall, this was a great first novel to start by Morgan Matson. Second Chance Summer will be the next one I'll try.