Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Posted July 26, 2015 by valeranne in Reviews / 2 Comments

Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson
Published on July 7th, 2011
by Simon & Schuster UK
Genres: Contemporary, Family, Friendship, Young Adult
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
Amazon | B&N | BookDepository | Goodreads

Also by this author: Second Chance Summer, Since You've Been Gone

Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.

5 Stars

Welcome to the Summer of Morgan Matson! Well, more appropriately The Next Three Weeks of Morgan Matson! If you don’t know, MoMa is my most favorite author and I’ve decided to do a yearly reread of her books (in the summer, duh). It was so fun rereading this one because besides it being my favorite, it was the first time that I read her it after having met her in May! It was basically awesome sauce and I love it even more now. By the way, I read  my UK version which is why the cover is different.

Where to even begin?

Amy. Amy is a complicated character and we meet her at a hard time, just a few months after her father’s death. She has not only lost her father, she has also lost her mother and brother; her mother is constantly weeping in her room and her brother takes the opportunity to get high on a daily basis. Instead of only talking about the good times with her father, she has stopped talking about him at all. It’s been a month since her mom moved to Connecticut and her brother was  sent to rehab; it’s been a month since she essentially shut out all human contact. That quickly changes when her mother arranges for a friend’s son to drive her across the country to Connecticut. Enter Roger. ROGER IS SWOONSTER MCGEE. He’s tall, intelligent, funny, and has good taste in music. They don’t exactly hit it off when they first meet because Amy is still struggling with the human connection thing and you know, he’s a human. 

While talking about the trip that they were about to embark on, they realized that it is basically… boring. They would see absolutely nothing. It’s like her mother went out of her way to make sure they saw absolutely nothing interesting. That’s where things changed a little. They decided to take a detour of sorts. First stop: Yosemite National Park. I freaking loved being inside of Amy’s head; since they didn’t make reservations eons in advance, they were stuck with a one bed tent. Amy was freaking out and I thought it was hilarious. She was so easy to relate with. The haiku scene was literally my FAVORITE. It showed that there was chemistry but most importantly, it showed that Amy was slowing creeping out of her shell.

The road trip continues and we get to go along for the ride. I loved how MoMa let them eat at certain staples to states such as FREDDY’S, MY FAVORITE FOOD EVER! It makes it so much fun for the reader. There were also playlists and pictures which makes the reader feel like it’s a scrapbook of a previous journey of theirs. It’s just amazing, folks.

The characters were really great. Amy and Roger were both so complex and never boring; the side characters were stinking amazing. They allowed us to see different sides of both Amy and Roger; they also were good for pointing out the obvious connection between the two. This is a coming of age story and it was beautifully executed. MoMa did such a great job telling the story of two people finding themselves and finding love.

The best thing about this book is that both Amy and Roger get to confront their pasts; they get to see something in their life and realize that it’s not how they want it to be. Amy understands that her brother and her are estranged so they seek him out. Roger seeks out his ex-girlfriend and finds closure.

I mean, honestly, what more can I say. It’s such a great story. I will forever love these two characters.



About Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012 and draws largely on her experiences spending summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania.

Her third book, Since You’ve Been Gone, was published in 2014.

Morgan currently lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.

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2 responses to “Review: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

  1. Such a great idea to re-read her every year! Wow. That’s like the best thing you can do for your favourite author. I haven’t read any of her books, but I will start.

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