Review: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Friday, 23 January 2015

7664334Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Released: 4th May 2010
Published by: Simon and Schuster
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: Publisher
Pages: 344
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
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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.
Thank you to Simon and Schuster Australia for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Knowing it had a good reputation, I had bought the audio version of this book for one of my best friends as a birthday present. After hearing that she loved it, I couldn't wait to start it myself, and definitely wasn't disappointed. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is a road-trip novel at its best, and Morgan Matson has created realistic characters who are going on a personal journey as much as a physical one. Travelling across America on what was meant to be a simple errand, Amy and Roger's story spans much further than that - and it's on their epic detour that all the fun happens. 

"So I think we have to be open to what happens", he said. "We can't know exactly what's coming."

I loved Morgan Matson's Since You've Been Gone, so I definitely knew that she could write an awesome YA contemporary, and this book really impressed me as well. After the death of her father, Amy's mother who has moved to Connecticut in their new house is someone she barely talks to anymore, and her brother Charlie is in rehab. There's a lot about family dynamics that come through in the book at certain points, especially during the flashbacks. These small glimpses into the past when her father was still alive gave the necessary background into how the members of the family had developed as a whole. This has more depth than a fluffy-contemporary, but at the end of the day - it was a heartwarming story.

What gave this book an edge over others in its genre was the scrapbook element where Amy and Roger both put photos of where they've been, the music playlists they've listened to, and other interesting facts about the states they passed through. All of the receipts from the diners they visited and hotel rooms made everything seem more realistic and road-trip-like. It was refreshing to have these sections that break up the text and add to the experience. What I did enjoy about Matson's writing style was that it wasn't too heavy on long-winded descriptions, but instead focused on the dialogue. Amy and Roger had a few awkwardly funny moments, and their own bond inevitably strengthened as the drive went on. Aside from the two main characters, the secondary ones were also given some time, and had their own quirks. What makes this story multifaceted are the sub-plots that weave together with the goal of the road-trip itself to create a novel that I didn't want to end.


Amy and Roger's Epic Detour is a YA contemporary that I wholeheartedly recommend. It's cute without being overly 'fluffy', and serious enough with an ending that will warm your heart. If you want a feel-good story to lighten your day, then this is for you!


  1. Wonderful review, Eugenia! :D I've wanted to read this one for a few years now, as it sounds amazing and right up my alley. I love the fact that the book contains playlists and receipts and whatnot, and after reading SYBG last year, I'm looking forward to reading this book even fact, let's go put it on hold at the library riiight now...

    Thanks for a great review - I loved reading your thoughts! :D

    1. Thanks Ebony! It really is a brilliant contemporary, hope you get to reading it soon :)

  2. Yay, so glad you enjoyed this one! Morgan Matson has been on my TBR for ages. I've still never gotten around to it but your review has reminded me that I should definitely get a move on. I need to read this one and Since You've Been Gone!

    1. This is my second Matson novel (planning to read Second Chance Summer next), and I can say that she definitely knows how to right a great contemporary! She's definitely an author you should check out :)

  3. I loved Since You've Been Gone as well and glad to hear that this one doesn't disappoint! I do like how she focuses on dialogue, and it's deeper than a fluffy contemporary. The scrapbooking idea sounds great as well. Great review Genie!

    1. Thank you Jeann! There were so many aspects to this book which just worked so well together and made me love it :)

  4. I love the on the road kind of books, I totally ahve to read it!! *-*

    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I'd appreciate it so much! It's both in Italian and in English :3 ->

    1. Thanks for stopping by Frannie - hope you get to reading this one :)


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