Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Pages: 352
Release date: August 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Received from Simon and Schuster

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. There's just one problem: since the death of her father, Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the 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 part of Amy's plans for the road trip. But then neither was driving on the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado Mountains, visiting diners, dingy motels and Graceland. But as they drive, and she grows closer to Roger, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you need the most  - and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

Wow... When I first read the blurb of this book I expected a fun, quick read that was light and fluffy, but was surprised to find that it wasn't so light and fluffy. "Amy and Rogers Epic Detour" was better than my expectations and dealt with some really deep things, One of which that I don't think I have read a book about before.

This book was put together really well. The novel is separated into pieces by playlists, scrapbook pages and receipts from the different places that the characters went. In the novel Amy is given a travel journal as a present, so the whole book seems like a very well written diary with illustrations. It was the most adorable thing, ever... (Yep, I just wrote that.)

The characters (Amy and Roger) were both well written because they seemed so real. I could imagine what they looked like as a whole and by the end of the book actually felt like I knew them and could predict what they were going to say or do next. Even though it can be annoying when things are predictable, I didn't feel that this was because it made the characters feel so relatable. I could actually think of people I know and imagine them as that character.

The relationships between the characters was also very real. It didn't feel fake and Constructed-in-a-doll-house like some novels do. When it was an embarrassing moment For the main character Amy, I could actually feel my self going red in the face! The tension and comfort and all the vibes that are off-put by different characters was very recognizable without being written into actual words. Everything felt like it was laid out between the lines and was atmospherically beautiful.

This book reminded me of two things. One was the movie "Elizabethtown", because the main character in the film goes on a road trip to some of the same places they do in this book and the second was "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist", because of the cute little playlists constructed throughout the journey. I believe that this book was better than either of those mentioned, because it combined different issues and aspects from both in such a great way.

I didn't like the cover much. Not because it was ugly, but because it seemed a little young for the novel. Not that there was anything inappropriate in the novel, but the cover just felt a little Middle grade and the book seems more Young Adult. I did love the back cover though, because it is a postcard.

I absolutely loved this book and give it 5/5 stars. It is also now a favourite. I think it was such a great quick read that made you want to explore the world and live a little. It was the type of book where the bell jars are lifted and everything becomes so much more clearer. I think I will definitely want to reread this sometime soon. Recommended to anyone who likes contemporary fiction.

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