Release date: 7th July 2011 UK
Genre: Contemporary Romance / Realism YA
Target audience: 12+
UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Summary from Amazon:
Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. There's just one problem: since the death of her father, Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute...and dealing with some baggage of his own. Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father's death were not part of Amy's plans for the road trip. But then neither was driving on the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado Mountains, visiting diners, dingy motels and Graceland. But as they drive, and she grows closer to Roger, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you need the most - - and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is a heart-warming, quirky, and touching story. It is part romance, part journey story, part finding yourself when you’re lost novel.
Amy’s story really begins with the loss of her dad. She is grieving and for the past three months has stopped living because of her loss. Her mother decides to relocate their family in a bid for a fresh start. So at the beginning of the story, Amy has been living alone at home in California for a month. Now her mum wants her to bring the family car to Connecticut where they’ll have a new home and start their new life.
Amy is feeling hugely resentful towards her mother for leaving her. She also feels like her mum should be able to make everything better but of course she can’t. Bereavement isn’t something you can just undo. Amy knows she has been hiding from the world but she isn’t ready to face her friends or family or even a stranger yet. But Roger is forced upon her. Organised by her mother, Roger is recruited to drive Amy the many thousands of miles to her new life. An unexpected and unwelcome travelling companion, Amy dreads the journey ahead of them, but Roger is not at all what Amy expects him to be.
Roger, like Amy, has never been on a road trip and suddenly it seems he has been handed a gift. Roger is a little too fond of famous explorers and loves history. He is on his very own quest. We watch Roger transform before Amy’s eyes. This novel explores in depth their two characters and you can’t help but love them.
One of the things that amazed me about this story was the playlists. Being someone who doesn’t really listen to music, I was dumbfounded by the number of songs Matson refers to and also rather inspired to try listening to some of them. It seems that a true part of the road trip experience is listening to music which captures your mood or the place you’re passing through. Not a concept I’ve ever embraced before but I’m certainly keen to give it a go this summer.
Roger didn’t convert me to the fast food chain but I am really looking forward to trying some American pie. I have made myself a promise to try a different one every day when I am in the USA. I’m also going to ask for the locals recommendations on the menu – thank you Amy for this worthy piece of advice. You see Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is a great guide for life. Any time you’re looking for answers, it is the perfect book to read. Amy and Roger set out to have one small detour but they experience a great adventure. I never expected to love this book as much as I do but it really speaks to the heart of human existence and reminds you that life is about living and really what more can you ask from a book.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster for sending the book to review.
Read for the Debut Author Challenge 2011.