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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson

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2011 (5) contemporary (9) death (17) driving (5) ebook (5) family (9) fathers (4) fiction (21) friendship (6) grief (28) guilt (4) loss (5) love (11) love story (4) music (6) own (5) read (5) read in 2011 (6) realistic fiction (11) relationships (5) road trip (52) romance (30) teen (9) to-read (34) travel (7) USA (6) wishlist (4) YA (22) young adult (41) young adult fiction (7)
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    North Of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (writemeg)
    writemeg: Another moving story of love, family and growth -- and is also young adult fiction!
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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
I was in a reading slump which you will know if you follow my blog, and so to get myself out of it I decided to re-read this book, because I loved it the first time I read it. Then I realised that I hadn't reviewed it on either here or on my blog, so I am doing that now.

This book was not a let down the second time around, it was still amazing and still held my interest. The main thing I love about this book is the pictures/receipts etc that are throughout the book. I also love the playlists and have found some great new music through them.

The story itself is cute, funny and sad in places, and I just love this book so much!

Longer review at http://www.thebooktower.webs.com ( )
  bookish92 | Mar 20, 2014 |
After losing her father in an auto accident, Amy is barely going through the motions of living. Her twin brother is in rehab in North Carolina and her best friend has moved to Florida. Left alone in California to finish the last month of junior year while her mother gets settled in Connecticut, she won't drive and limits social interaction. With money tight, her mother arranges for college-aged family friend Roger to drive Amy and the car east, carefully mapping out their route and making hotel reservations along the way. Amy barely knows Roger, so is pleasantly surprised when he turns out to be cute and nice. They ditch her mother's regimented itinerary and take off across the country, visiting places and people of significance to them, and eating mostly junk food. I have never made such a trip, and it was fascinating. iPod playlists, receipts and handwritten lists every few chapters didn't add much for me (I'd never heard of most of the songs). Amy was a little too angsty and the details of the accident were slow to be revealed (and weren't that earth-shaking), but the journey was generally satisfying and delightful. (I read a web copy of the book through PulseIt) ( )
  ennie | Feb 24, 2014 |
What a great book. Made me want to take a road trip across America and see this big, beautiful country! Strangely, I found several typos in the book (come on, line editors!).

Matson did a beautiful job with Amy's emotional journey. The relationship with Roger evolved so slowly and naturally, as did her healing. Well done! ( )
  CyndiTefft | Feb 6, 2014 |
Amy Curry is depressed after recently losing her father in a tragic car accident. She has shut out her friends and family and is just going through the motions, as well as refusing to drive after the accident. Amy’s mother has taken a job across the country and has asked Amy to join childhood acquaintance Roger on a road trip to deliver her car. Though Amy’s mother has planned their itinerary down to every hotel and rest stop, Amy & Roger’s journey takes them in unexpected directions.

This book is told through Amy’s perspective. She has been living alone and grieving for her father, so the last thing she wants to do is have a cross-country road trip with Roger who she barely knows. She has not been herself and is unused to making conversation. Roger has his own reasons for agreeing to the road trip as well. On the road he makes road trip playlists on his ipod and tries to get Amy to open up. Roger has great taste in music (the playlists are included in the book.) Amy is an actress who prefers musicals, but is not ready to share her music or history with Roger.

On the road we get to know Roger and Amy a little more during their games of 20 questions and their dining stops. Neither of them have travelled much out of California, so Amy fills in details and drawings about the states they visit in a travel book. Roger and Amy are very compatible, and help each other through their emotions.We also meet some of Roger’s friends along the way. The friends are charming and unpredictable and help to further the story along.

In addition to the traditional narrative, the story is also told with supplemental material that includes music playlists, restaurant receipts, hotel receipts, state trivia and other mementos. I definitely want to listen to some of those playlists!

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this engaging and heartwarming debut by Morgan Matson. I couldn’t put it down- it was a joy to read. Looking forward to reading more from Ms. Matson.

( )
  readingdate | Jan 7, 2014 |
It’s summer time – the perfect time to check out a road trip story! Today I’ve got a great one; one with sympathetic characters, interesting stops, awesome playlists, and (of course) a personal journey underneath it all. So come along for the ride as I take a look at Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour.

The setup is straightforward. After losing her father in a tragic accident, Amy is just trying to get through each day. With her mom in Connecticut paving the way for the family’s fresh start and her brother in rehab, Amy is left behind in California to finish her junior year. But when it’s time to join her mom, money is so tight they can’t afford an airline ticket for Amy or to ship the car back East. Solution? Road trip. Problem? Amy doesn’t drive. Enter Roger, a childhood acquaintance who has been summoned by his father to spend the summer with him in Philly. With Roger at the wheel and a carefully planned itinerary in Amy’s hand, they set off on a cross-country journey – with one epic detour along the way.

Stories like this always make me want to pack up and hit the road to see the sights described in the pages. From Yosemite National Park, along “The Loneliest Road in America,” through the cornfields of Kansas and pastureland of Kentucky, to Graceland and beyond, Amy and Roger discover a diverse landscape. I actually made a very similar trip – in reverse – in my youth as our family moved from Connecticut to Idaho, so the flatness of the Midwest and the splendor of the Colorado Rocky Mountains came rushing back as I read this story. My traveling companion, though, was our elderly dog Nipper (who was basically a crotchety old man in fur with the ability to curse me out if I had to hit the brakes and he slid off the backseat!). I only wish I could have had someone like Roger along, with his incredible playlists (copies of which are included in the book) and sheer adorableness.

Just as fascinating as the physical road trip, however, is the internal one that Amy makes as she deals with her father’s death and the changes in her family. If nothing else a cross-country road trip gives a person time to think, and Amy is no exception. Flashbacks of a happier past help punch up the emotional impact of the story by highlighting the dynamics of the Curry family while fleshing out Amy and her relatives, especially her father. As she is working through her pain, she finds assistance in both likely and unlikely places.

I loved the care that author Morgan Matson took in building the relationship between Amy and Roger, from slightly wary almost-strangers to so much more. I’m a sucker for the boy next door, and from the moment Roger stepped into the picture I was hooked. While Amy had a slightly prickly edge due to her emotional state, Roger was just an incredibly sweet guy inside and out. There is a lovely chemistry between the characters from the moment they meet but, since they each have issues they are trying to work through (yes, Roger has something going on as well), there’s no “insta-love” here. Instead, a friendship builds over junk food, good music, and a lack of hotel vacancies as they work their way across America. (Note: While some readers might lament what seem to be “convenient” coincidences that have Amy and Roger sharing rooms on their journey, I actually found it quite likely that situations like this would occur considering where/when they were traveling.) Hints of attraction were added in gradually and then increased until it felt natural for their relationship to move to the next level. Very nicely done by Matson.

For those of you who tend to pick up digital copies of books like I do, I have a suggestion – try to grab a hard copy of this book so you can fully enjoy its style. Morgan Matson has interspersed scrapbook entries throughout the more traditional narrative to provide additional context and fun to the story. Photos, receipts, journal entries, line drawings (Roger’s), and playlists (again, Roger’s) should be much easier to read in book-form than on your eReader (I couldn’t zoom in on any of them no matter which eReader/app I used). Many of the entries were highly entertaining and, if you keep an eye on the actual receipts, the payoff at the end of the story makes more sense. It’s doable to read these on an eReader – it’s just tougher.

Also, if you subscribe to a music service such as Spotify or Google Play Music, try out some of Roger’s playlists (if you love music ranging from classic rock to alternative indie) or Amy’s (if you prefer Broadway show tunes). There is some incredible music referenced here, some of which I already had in my music library and a great deal I did not (but tried and loved). Thanks to this book, I now have a playlist over 100 songs strong of wonderful music I can stream whenever the mood strikes.

Morgan Matson’s Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour had me laughing, shedding a few tears, and reminiscing with every page turned. With its slow and steady relationship-building, sympathetic characters, and entertaining narrative style, this little road trip with Amy and Roger is an epic detour indeed. ( )
  eomalley | Aug 19, 2013 |
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I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.
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After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.… (more)

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