If you’re currently wishing for summer again, or still have that desire in the back of your mind to go on a road trip, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is the perfect book for you.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is about a high school junior named Amy, who’s still emotionally recovering from her father’s death in a car accident while she was driving. Her mother decides to move the family from California to Connecticut, but she needs their Jeep Liberty to be driven across the country. Amy refuses to have to be the one to drive, which is where Roger enters.
An old family friend, who Amy hasn’t seen in years, Roger is all grown up and finished with his first year of college. Roger is headed to Philadelphia himself to visit his father after dropping Amy off. When they embark on their road trip, they decide that Amy’s mother’s plan for the journey isn’t as fun, and that’s where their epic detour begins.
Matson wrote this book with as much passion as she could, because she went on this epic detour as well in order to create a fascinating journey. Everything Matson did, Amy and Roger did as well. They slept in cabins, met up with Roger’s friends at his Colorado college, visited Graceland (Amy’s father loved Elvis), and even snuck into a rehabilitation center in North Carolina to see Amy’s brother Charlie, there for a drug and alcohol addiction.
Ironically, I read this over the summer on my own road trip to Montreal, and it made me wish I was going on this epic detour instead. The road trip sounded perfect itself, and Amy and Roger’s relationship throughout the book was even better. It was a bit….awkward at first. Roger is still pining over his ex-girlfriend, and Amy can’t help but feel uncomfortable every time she’s mentioned. Eventually, something clicks through their music playlists and the jokes they share, and it turns into one of those love stories.
There are always parts that could be better in a book. The ending was somewhat different than I expected (this isn’t a spoiler, I swear), and a few times I found myself shouting “WHY?” in my head at the pages. Besides those little bumps in the road, the book was excellent. It was hilarious at times, heartwarming, and mostly, it was honest. It showed the raw emotion of losing a parent or family member, and even losing a friend. The book doesn’t avoid discussing harsh topics, which is what Young Adult Fiction readers need in today’s world.
If you like road trips, fun adventures, music, food (there is a HUGE amount of restaurants mentioned), and cute teenage relationships, pick up a copy of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and get reading.