That's not to say it's all fairy floss, sunshine and unicorns. Quite the opposite - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour tackles some pretty serious issues - like heartbreak, death and grief - but it does so in such a tender, realistic way that it's not morbid or depressing at all. The story focuses on Amy, who is just barely recovering from her father's death in a car accident three months prior. She hasn't gotten in a car since, let alone behind the wheel, so when she has to get their car across the country, Amy's mum enlists Roger, an old family friend, to drive.
Roger and Amy haven't seen each other since they were kids, but being crammed in a car together for hours on end certainly helps them get to know each other pretty damn quick. They're both dealing with their own issues, but as they open up on their crazy detour, they make discoveries about themselves and are able to move towards feeling better - not to mention towards each other. Ahem.
Before reading this I was worried it would be a bit angsty and emo, given the subject matter, but as Roger and Amy zig-zag across America, they encounter a lot of amazing places and quirky characters, and it's actually a really fun ride. Amy and Roger are themselves very likable characters, and Matson's writing is clean, straightforward and well-paced. I loved the scrapbooky details scattered throughout - the photos, playlists and random notes enhanced the story and enforced the feeling that you're taking this journey along with Amy and Roger. In fact, this book will totally make you want to take a road trip. And see America. And listen to new music. And make awesome playlists. And eat lots of junk food. And kiss cute boys. And cry a little. And smile a lot.
Roger is supposed to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the guy who instantly came to mind was Zac Efron. Swooon... Amy, meanwhile, is a cute redhead, so who else could I picture but my favourite adorable redhead, Emma Stone?! Nobody, that's who, coz Emma Stone is the shizz.
Genre: Young Adult
Published: Simon and Schuster, 2011
Get It: Book Depository
Some awesome people have handily compiled Roger and Amy's playlists on YouTube. Listen while you read for extra fun.
- Roger Playlist #1: "Leaving California" aka "Hitting the Road" aka "Snacks Are Important, But Not Quite as Important as Tunes"
- Roger Playlist #2: "What Do You Mean We're STILL in California?!" aka "The Very Long and Winding Road" aka "The Ballad of Amy's Lost Sunglasses"
- Roger Playlist #3: "Road to Nowhere" aka "Cruise Control on Highway 50"
- Roger Playlist #4: "Hillary & Edmund Hit the Highway" aka "People Who Take Pictures of Trees"
- Roger Playlist #5: "No Place Like Home" or "Why Won't Amy Buy Sunglasses?" or "The Sunflower State"
- Roger Playlist #6: "Tornado Season??" aka "
Ice CreamFrozen Custard Headache"
- Roger Playlist #7: "Missouri-Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky" aka "When will Amy be the DJ? WHEN?" aka "1500 miles on 400 dollars..."
- Amy Playlist #1: "Going to Graceland" aka "Roger Gets an Introduction to Musical Theater"
- Roger's Last Playlist: "Pennsylvania, Here We Come" aka "Journey's End"