Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour: Morgan Matson

Good evening readers, hope you are feeling wonderful this evening. I don’t know how it works around the world but the clocks went back at the weekend and having another hour in bed was desperately needed. Spending the weekend at home with my friends and family was also desperately needed and now I’m finally off the antibiotics I am hoping this week will continue to get better. I read this book in two sittings, one on the train down to Milton Keynes and then Saturday morning whilst everyone was in bed sleeping. I don’t normally read YA fiction unless it is sent to me, but when I picked up TFIOS this was also recommended and I couldn’t help myself; hope you enjoy this adorable review.

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.

Oh this book adorable and I loved it mainly because of this. I have had a real problem with chick-lits at the moment and I’ve been waiting for one to get me back into the genre that I have been struggling with so much recently. I think it’s because books with a romantic genre seem to push the limits of what is realistic and it gets tiring very quickly. However, this was written in a way that really captured my imagination; yes it’s a little cutesie and sweet, but at the time it was really what I needed to read and I will defend my love of this delightful little book. It follows Amy who has been through some serious trauma and has closed up against the world unable to share her feelings. Her brother has gone off the rails, addicted to cannabis to forget the bad memories and her mother is miles away in another state, the one that Amy and Rodger will be travelling towards. The two have secrets that they are trying to hide; Amy’s are related to the sudden death of her father whilst Rodger’s relate to a sudden ending of a relationship with a beautiful girl who he is utterly smitten with. However as the two open up they start to realise they have a lot more in common.

So onto the real logistics of the book; it is well written with a real understanding of how to get the reader interested. By mixing and matching different forms including receipts, hand written drawings, song lists, motel receipts, postcards and more this story really takes the reader on the journey with the two teens. The characters are really different in personality style which helps to grow their relationship; to start Amy is incredibly closed off which I liked because it made the beginnings of her relationship with Rodger difficult and awkward and made it feel more realistic. Her uncomfortable beginnings also allow her to grow throughout the book and she becomes a more outgoing and stronger version of herself and as the book continued I cared for her more and more as a character. Rodger I fell for immediately; he is adorable and sweet and honest but it’s written in a way that is genuine and convincing. I also loved the way he managed to get Amy out of her shell. The minor characters are all very small characters but they really packed a punch and added affectionate nuggets of wisdom that helped to bring the story to life. Leonard is particularly sweet. The road trip part of the story is wonderful; the different places they visit, the places they stop at and the food and snacks they pick up along the way, the songs they list and the silly habits they acquire. Along the journey which goes from California to Connecticut by way of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and quite a few more states they finally face their worries and open up and we find out what they are both hiding from each other.

This is the cutest coming of age story I’ve read in a while. For some it may be a little over done and a little ‘cutesie’ but its wonderful. I loved the ending, but I actually didn’t want the book to end at all. I liked that it was left open ended but there is a big clue at the end that will leave the reader with a big smile on their face. I would really recommend this book; if you’re having a bad day, or just need a pick me up this is perfect and I cannot wait to read this book again!


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