Sunday, 19 May 2013

Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
First Published: May 2010
Format and Number of Pages: Paperback, 368

Amy's life has been in total upheaval since her father's death several months ago.  Her brother is in rehab and her mother has moved to Connecticut where she expects Amy to join her even though it's Amy's senior year of high school.  Amy's mom needs her to drive the family car from their home in California to Connecticut but Amy doesn't drive. That's where Roger comes in, the son of a family friend but a total stranger to Amy.  Amy's mom carefully plans the trip, limiting their adventures to boring towns, state highways and chain hotels.  So Amy and Roger decide to make their own route to Connecticut, taking one epic detour.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  Amy and Roger are awesome characters and I loved reading about what sounds like one of the funnest road trips ever.  Amy tells the story and I really liked her narration.  She's been through a lot in a very short amount of time and it shows in a realistic way.  She's pessimistic, distant and hesitant to leave her room, much less go on a road trip with a stranger.  But I related to her and it's clear from early on that this Amy is just a shadow of her old self.  Which is why it was a lot of fun to read about her adventure and see how she changes throughout the trip.  Amy's a great character and I wanted everything to work out for her.  Roger is also a really likable character.  He's sweet and fun but he's also very perceptive and accommodating towards Amy.  But Roger also has his problems and I liked watching him come to terms with things throughout the book as well.  I liked watching their relationship develop as they got to know each other and grew to trust and rely upon each other.  There were lots of side characters as well and even if we only saw them for a chapter or two they were well developed characters with their own back story which really added to the overall narrative.

Besides Amy and Roger, the setting was my favourite part of the book.  After reading this I feel like my understanding and appreciation for the United States has grown quite a lot.  When I think of the States I tend to focus on the big cities and so I don't know much about a lot of the places mentioned in this book.  It showed another part of the U.S. I never really considered and it made me want to visit a lot of these places myself.  Each destination that Amy and Roger visit felt unique and awesome in it's own way which added to the whole adventure aspect of the road trip.

This is a fast moving book.  It takes place over the span of a few days and many different locations.  I was always curious to see where Amy and Roger would end up next.  Morgan Matson added pictures, receipts and drawings to the book which really add to the overall story telling.  It makes reading this book a real experience and I felt like I was going along with them.  It adds another dimension to the story and lets the reader get a better understanding of Amy and Roger's relationship outside a traditional narrative.  It definitely made reading this book a lot of fun.

Overall I really liked this book.  Amy and Roger were likable characters and I loved watching their relationship develop.  This book is fast paced and a lot of fun and highlights a part of the United States I know very little about.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a fun, light read.  Definitely perfect for the upcoming summer!

Rating: 4/5

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