Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

“It’s not about the destination. It’s getting there that’s the good part. 

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.

Personal Thoughts:

I’ve been reading a lot of books lately that deals with death topic and surprisingly I enjoy reading most, if not all the books I read under this category. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is one of those books that I enjoy. Road trip, music and adventures are few of the things that got me reading this one which were the same reasons why I enjoy the book as a whole. Add the photos, sketches, receipts, notes and souvenirs as scrapbook entries I was totally on board in this trip of adventure and discovery.

“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for it.”

Amy and Roger, two different individual stuck in a car together for few days of road trip across America. They are both dealing with their own personal baggage. Amy starts off completely wrecked, blaming herself for his father’s death. And without her family by her side, she seriously need more than just a break. She needs to find herself and learn to let go of sad memories from her past. Roger on the other hand has his own issues too. After his ex-girlfriend dumped him for no reason. He agrees with this whole trip seeing it as a chance for him to track his ex-girlfriend, Hadley. To find out and understand the reason of their breakup and to try win her back.

The slow building friendship between Amy and Roger were done pretty well. From almost strangers to friends, confidante & lovers. A few days of road trip is like a long months of getting to know each other in a different level. There were sweet and fun moments between them as well as serious and silent moments. Even the awkwardness and tension around these two were also fun to read. The connection between them developed fairy quickly  but still manage to be believable.

Roger’s college friends offer more fun and refreshment in the story. Their genuine personalities and welcoming aura provides light and fun moments to the story. Bronwyn is such a sweetheart. I enjoy her intrusion to Amy’s wardrobe and style. She only take a little space of the story but she made a big impression. She shines in her own way in this book. If this book is part of a series I definitely want to see Bronwyn again. Another interesting character is Lucien Armstrong, brother of Roger’s ex-girlfriend, Hadley. If Bronwyn is a sweetheart Lucien is her guy southern counterpart. A person who will open his home and heart to strangers. There are more other characters, I won’t mention all of them but their parts left a huge impact to Amy and Roger’s trip and life.

“Tomorrow will be better.”
“But what if it’s not?” I asked.
“Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”

The reason of Amy’s father’s death is a mystery throughout the novel. Though Amy and Roger never discussed it until the very last part, you can always feel the heaviness of the matter from Amy’s response to everything. You’ll feel it from the way she treat herself, from the little glimpse of her past that she allows herself, and from the way she sees each destination they reach. Though it is quite obvious from the way she act and treat herself it is still intriguing to find out the actual scene from Amy. It’s not a big revelations but certainly important for Amy’s process of moving on.

The ending was left open-ended with lots of promises for Amy & Roger’s relationship and Amy’s family relationship. I love it just like that, full of hopes and promises of a bright future for all the characters. No promises of undying love or what so ever which is realistic at the very least. It is quite predictable actually but as what they say, “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” And Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour offers a fun journey with great amount of discovery of places, people and emotions.

Over all, Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is an inspiring fun ride read. It makes me want to go on a road trip, take a breather from this crazy city life and just have an unforgettable adventure. But more than the road trip this book deals with heart-break, death and grief in a realistic but not depressing way. It also shows the importance of forgiveness not just for others but also for ourselves. And it proves that sometimes we have to get lost to find ourselves again.

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4 thoughts on “Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

  1. I really liked the ending of this book too. I love it when author’s leave questions dangling, just a little.

    My favorite part of the book was the playlists/drawings/receipts that were interspersed throughout.

    • Glad you also like the ending. Some readers don’t like the open-ended type of endings. I also like the playlists/drawings/receipts because they provide a personal touch to the story.

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