Amy & Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: May 10, 2011 (paperback)
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.—Goodreads
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour seems to be one of those books that EVERYONE loves. I picked it up on the recommendation of Ginger at GReadsBooks, and then that recommendation was echoed by basically every book blogger I talk to on Twitter, so I had very, very high expectations.
Which actually ended up being a problem. I had such high expectations that when I started it I expected incredible, amazing, explosive greatness right from the get-go. Which, of course, is a silly thing to expect because that is HARD to do. But expect it I did, and at first I was a bit disappointed.
I didn't immediately love Amy, and while I really felt for her situation, I thought she was being kind of a brat about the whole refusing to drive thing. [I'm heartless, I know.] And while I did like Roger pretty much immediately, I don't like his name. I think this is because Roger was the bully on Doug. [I'm serious. I really think that's why.]
Anyway, this book really had to woo me. Lucky for it, I tend to like 1) road trip novels and 2) fast food.
Which brings me to the point that there is SO MUCH AWESOME FAST FOOD IN THIS BOOK. Ok, so what you maybe need to know about me is that I'm a very, very unhealthy eater. It's not that I dislike fruits/veggies/healthiness, it's just that fast food tastes so damn good. And I fancy myself a sort of fast food connoisseur. My first job was working as a carhop at a Sonic Drive-In. I know the difference between Hardee's, Carl's Jr., and Jack in the Box. I've been to In-N-Out Burger, Shake Shack, and Five Guys, and know which burger I like best out of those three. And I have a deep love for Chic-fil-A, which I can't get in stupid NYC. (Well, technically there's one in an NYU cafeteria. But I would have to sneak in and then be surrounded by NYU students. Both of those things are kind of annoying.)
So, suffice it to say, I really, really enjoyed the fast food shop talk and reading about a Sonic/Chic-fil-A virgin's first time enjoying Sonic/Chic-fil-A. :)
But other than the fooood, what really made me like this book were the many fantastic characters Amy and Roger met along the way from Point A to Point B. Although I could probably write pages and pages about all of the minor characters, I will not subject you to that. Instead I will highlight three (well, four. But two sort of go together) of the ones I loved the mostest.
1) Bronwyn: First of all, her name rocks. Second of all, she's the sort of girl who just intuitively understands what another girl needs, be it a hug, a make over, or a whole new suitcase of clothes. Hooray Bronwyn!
2) Cheeks and Walcott: Love these boys. Love them, love them, love them. They were both just really dang friendly and warm and welcoming, in that way that makes you feel like you've known them both for forever. I like that. And Walcott provided my favorite quote of the book!
"Aren't you taking this Kansas thing a little far?"
"No," Walcott said simply, rolling down his sleeve. "It's my home, man. You've got to have pride in your home. You are where you're from. Otherwise, you're always going to be lost."
Hooray Cheeks and Walcott!
3) Lucien: Oh my, Lucien. He is the perfect southern gentlemen and I want to call him mine. And if I ever have a son, I want him to be just like Lucien. That is all. Hooray Lucien!
Overall, this book charmed the pants off me. Not only did I end up really liking both Amy and Roger, but I loved the journey they took together. And that's really what a road trip novel should be about, isn't it?