Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Series: no

Genre: YA Romance

Rating:  3/5

Recommendation: Ages 15+

From Goodreads:

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.

I have such mixed feeling about this book. I want to love it, and it’s solid, but I just didn’t.

The Good:

  • Amy’s a likeable narrator, if not terribly compelling. She’s grieving her father’s recent death and feels abandoned by her mother and brother. I got all that and the book being from Amy’s POV definitely drove it home. But we while we were told all of it repeatedly I never felt like it was genuine, the emotions just fell flat for me here.
  • The secondary characters are great. Funny, bright and compelling. I really enjoyed everyone we met on the trip.
  • The playlists, or should I say Roger’s playlists. I want them on my ipod.

The Not so Good:

  • Amy and Roger’s ‘romance’ wasn’t very romantic. I didn’t get a lot of chemistry. Certainly Roger was cute and Amy had a crush on him in that sense, but there wasn’t a lot of build up between the two. What with Roger chasing after his ex-girlfriend (which got a little stalkery) through 3/4 of the book and not really giving a lot of hints that he was attracted to Amy their getting together just felt dull. It felt like Matson had them get together because they were expected to (it is a romance after all).
  • This is another YA that suffers from absent parent syndrome. Her brother is in rehab across the country, her father is dead, and her mother gets a new job, also across the country, leaving a 17-year-old alone in a home that is on the market and being shown to perspective buyers (read random strangers) all the time. For an MONTH. Yep, that happens. Then the mother (Amy doesn’t choose to go on the road trip, as the Goodreads blurb suggests) chooses to send her on a cross country road trip with the 19-year-old son of an acquaintance of hers because she needs her car back. Ok, sure.
  • I was really disappointed that we didn’t get more interaction between Amy and her brother, and no closure at the end between Amy and her mom. I wanted more of that. We heard about those two relationships through most of the book but were never really shown them, so they were never really fleshed out.
  • The book ended up being WAY more about the places the saw on the road trip than developing the characters themselves, and that was a problem for me.

Overall it’s a cute, if flawed, read for fans of YA romance.

If you liked this book, or are a YA romance fan in general, I would recommend Sarah Dessen.


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