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Amy and Roger's Epic Detour: Review

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Published By: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Goodreads Rating: 4.40 stars
Amazon Rating: 4.73 stars

Synopsis: 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.

Review: The best way to describe this book is sweet. Although it did deal with more difficult, painful subjects like the death of a father, it largely focused on the budding romance between Amy and Roger. It was cute, with parts that are guaranteed to make you smile, and traveled along at a nice pace. Roger and Amy were both developed characters with distinct personalities, and I appreciated that Amy never got too whiny or depressing or moody despite the grief she felt. It was easy to relate to her, because we've all experienced loss one way or another (or at least we know someone who has), and the story remained relatively light.

The one thing I didn't really like as much was that this book was very predictable. I knew what was going to happen long before it did, so while I ultimately enjoyed it, I wouldn't say this book was particularly special or memorable. Some parts bordered on unbelievable, like when there were little mistakes and they ended up sharing a hotel room with just one bed and so they were forced to sleep in the same bed. 

What was original with this book was the sort of scrapbook format it was in. There were little receipts and pictures scattered throughout the pages, and most interesting of all, the playlists the characters listened to during the car rides. It was a different experience to be listening to the music while reading (although, naturally, I wasn't able to do this with every playlist), and I actually ended up discovering a couple new artists I really like. 

All in all, this is a cute read with a sweet romance that many will enjoy. It's in a unique format that provides a new experience, and so while this book won't stay in your memory long because of the predictability, it's definitely something fans of teen romance should give a try. 

Grade: B-


Katie said...

I actually just saw this one on someone's Top 10 list! I wish I could remember who... I have read it yet, but it does sound very cutesy. I hadn't known about the scrapbook format! That makes me want to read it even more. And I love books with a soundtrack :)

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