“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them…”
This book is not very difficult to like. It’s heartwarming, brave and sometimes nostalgic. This cross-country detour by Amy and Roger though, not as epic as I expected it to be started quite slow but ended on such a perfect note that I almost wanted to continue their journey for them.
Amy Curry’s mother decided to move the family across the country and she was tasked to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, Amy doesn’t want to drive since her father died three months ago. Then there’s Roger Sullivan, an old family friend who also happen to make a cross-country trip volunteers to drive with Amy. As they ventured to this road trip, a friendship flourished that allowed them to share each other’s baggage and explore their feelings more meaningfully while traveling the whole expanse of America.
The first half of this book was rather slow and the story didn’t pick up until then. I loved Amy and Roger’s scenic tour from the West Coast to Midwest and even the latter part in the East Coast when they “finally” kissed which I’ve been waiting to happen all throughout the book. I figured though that this isn’t exactly a love story. It’s one of those books that deal with self-discovery, soul searching and finally letting go. Amy’s struggle to reconcile with the accident that took his father away was the main focal point of the story. She was in denial of the whole accident and totally blaming herself. She got withdrawn and the Amy that is in this book was the new Amy after that whole fiasco.
Roger however was so hung up with his ex that it’s almost unnerving at times – I also find his quest to get answers from her (get back?) really immature. I’m like – dude, grow the fuck up!
Their trips from Kansas to Kentucky were my favorites – Amy’s conversation with Walcott and Lucien were like the best in the book. The one with Walcott made me cry – when she finally said out loud that her father died. My mind got sidetracked remembering my Dad. >_< *sniffs*
As the story went on – it became clear that Amy needs to somehow forgive herself even if it wasn’t really her fault. She blamed herself and she hasn’t let go which I think is really hard especially for a seventeen year old and the tenderness Roger provided when she needed it the most was just beautiful. Roger also needs to grow some balls and I was glad that he finally came to his senses. Like finally!
This is a book though not as epic (yeah, yeah) as mentioned, it has its own appeal and there’s definitely something special about it. It made me yearn to explore more not only new places but also myself and my sense of adventure. With this book, Amy and Roger’s adventure actually had just begun and yes – saying goodbye is way too overrated.
“Goodbye didn’t seem as important to me as they once had – I’d found out that when you’re never going to see someone again, it’s not goodbye that matters. What matters is that you’re never going to be able to say anything else to them. And you’re left with an eternal unfinished conversation.”
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Published May 4th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
About The Author
Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.
Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.
In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.
Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.
Her third book, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014.
Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.