Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson

Series: N/A

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Release Date: May 4th 2010


Five Stars

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.

– Blurb courtesy of

My Thoughts On…

…The Plot

“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.”

After a month alone in her home as it’s in the process of being sold Amy is getting ready to fly to Connecticut, however before she leaves her mother asks her to change her plans. To save on the price of shipping her car she asks Amy to take a road trip from California to Connecticut. Amy hasn’t driven a car since the accident that killed her father, an accident she blames herself for, so her mother has asked Roger, who needs to get to Philadelphia for the summer, to drive.

The trip has already been planned for them; the mileage set, the hotels reserved along the road, and Amy and Roger have four days to make their journey. Both Amy and Roger have something they are trying to move past, something they want to forget and something they don’t want to talk about, so when Roger sees how uninspired the route set out for them is and suggests a detour Amy agrees. As long as they make it to Connecticut by the 10th her mum should be none the wiser.

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

Roger picks the tunes and the snacks, Amy picks their first stop and the two of them set off on their journey. They go to Yosemite, travel along the loneliest road in America, and drive through Utah, Kentucky, Kansas and Memphis on their journey. As they drive mile after mile both Amy and Roger slowly start finding the courage they need to face what it is they’re each running from.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is an amazing book, and so far my favourite by Morgan Matson. It’s largely about the character development of both Amy and Roger, and while it was character development that really stood out for me the story itself was just as wonderful. We follow Amy and Roger all over America; I loved seeing all the states they visited, and watching as these two characters started to heal and grow together.

…The Characters

“I’d found out that when you’re never going to see someone again, it’s not the good-bye that matters. What matters is that you’re never going to be able to say anything else to them, and you’re left with an eternal unfinished conversation.”

Amy has always been the responsible child, unlike her brother, so even though she is uncomfortable in a car after the accident, and isn’t comfortable with someone she doesn’t know driving, she agrees to her mother’s plan. Until she’s on the road. The detour is a small rebellion against her mother, one Amy tells herself her mother should never find out about if they make it to Connecticut on time.

After losing her father Amy has essentially shut down. She’s pushed all her friends away and after spending the last month alone she doesn’t have anyone to talk to about what happened. The more Amy travels along the road though the more you see her heal in small ways as she meets people who change her outlook on life and help her move forwards.

“Saying good-bye is basically an invitation not to see a person again. It’s making it okay for that to be the last conversation you have. So if you don’t say it – if you leave the conversation open – it means you’ll have to see them again.”

Roger, like Amy, is struggling to deal with something personal, and at first it seems to be all that’s on his mind. His girlfriend broke up with him, giving him no explanation and leaving all his calls unanswered meaning Roger has no closure. As Amy chases acceptance over her father’s death Roger chases Hadley for answers as to what happened between them.

The relationship between Amy and Roger was one that was slow to develop and one that seemed to take a secondary role in the story. The most important part of this book, first and foremost, was the individual development of Roger and Amy, and the romance never overshadowed their journeys. It also wasn’t a case where their romance healed all, Amy’s growing feelings for Roger never meant that what happened to her dad was easier to move past.

“We can’t know what’s going to happen. We can just try to figure it out as we go along.”

Even though they are not in the story themselves, Amy’s relationship with her family is an incredibly important part of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. We sees in flashbacks what happened after her father died; how Amy, her brother Charlie and her mother drifted apart, none of them able to talk about what happened, all dealing with their grief privately. Before he died Amy was incredibly close to her father. Where Charlie is his mother’s son Amy was her father’s daughter, which makes what happened all the harder for her to deal with.

After reading more of Morgan Matson’s books I can see why people refer to her as one of the Queens of the YA contemporary genre. She writes incredible stories full of wonderful characters, relationships, and journeys. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is a brilliant story, and one I’d highly recommend for anyone who loves plenty of wanderlust in their books.

What did you think of Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour? Was it a favourite of yours or could you just not get into the story? Let me know.

24 thoughts on “Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

  1. I’m so ecstatic that you loved this book! And it warms my heart to say that it may already be one of your favorite Matson’s books. It’s simply brilliant, right! You made such a fantastic point in saying “the individual development of Roger and Amy, and the romance, never overshadowed their journeys.” This is exactly right and I think that’s why this book is possibly one of my favorite YA contemporaries. The character development is extremely well-done and the romance is a slow-burn, one that develops over time but doesn’t magically heal all things, which is something that feels much more realistic. And the roadtrip was just so much fun to go along with. It added so much more to the story 😀 Yay! I’m so happy you enjoyed reading this. Fantastic review, Beth! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This book really exceeded my expectations, and honestly my expectations were pretty high in the first place. Definitely my favourite Morgan Matson book so far, and I only have Second Chance Summer to read still so it will likely end up staying my favourite. Yeah I loved the romantic development between Amy and Roger but what I loved more was their individual development. It’s important to me that the romance didn’t overshadow their journeys because they were both undergoing such different journeys.
      The road trip was one of my favourite parts as well, I just loved the travel aspect of it. 🙂
      Thanks so much Azia! 😀 ❤


  2. Again, another book that I have yet to read, but haven’t gotten around to yet 🙈🙈🙈 I’ve heard mostly good things about this, so I definitely need to get a copy! Glad to see you enjoyed this

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t worry there are plenty of books I want to read but haven’t got around to, there’s just not enough time in the day is there?
      This is a great book, and hopefully it will end up being one you really enjoy as well Lauren. It’s definitely worth picking up! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really need to read more of Morgan Matson’s books! ❤ I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, it's on my TBR and it sounds like such an amazing read. Road trips can be so much fun, and hearing how much you loved this book makes me SO excited ahah. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh if you need to read more Morgan Matson books Analee, this is one I’d highly recommend. So far it’s my favourite by her and it’s just as amazing as it sounds.
      This book was perfect road trip story, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
      Thanks Analee! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I was going to ask in your previous review if you had read this book. Good thing I checked before asking hahaha Nice to hear you enjoyed it even more!! I think the traveling part is what intrigues me the most of this story. Sounds like another great contemporary story! Nice review, Beth! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, yeah pretty much as soon as I finished The Unexpected Everything I started this book straight away. At the moment this is my favourite story by Morgan Matson, the travel part was what intrigued me the most as well and luckily it was an amazing part of this book as well.
      Thanks so much Lashaan! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I am honestly in love with Morgan Matson, and I love this book so much. I think she develops her characters so well and the relationships always feel so natural. I also have a thing for road trips and adventure, and this had a perfect amount of spontaneity. The one thing I have to say is she always leaves her books off at a slightly unsatisfied note, in my opinion. You know everything is going to be okay, because she sets it up for that, htu she never completely gets there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. After reading more of her books I can say I 100% agree with you on that! 😀 Her character development is amazing and it makes the relationships all the more better. I think the second I read this book had travel in it I knew I had to pick it up ASAP, and luckily the travel aspect of this book was perfectly written which just made me enjoy it more. 🙂
      Yeah it’s never ends on a happily ever after where the characters stories feel finished, but more of a open happy ending where you know they still have so many more adventures ahead of them. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m so, so happy to hear you loved this book, Beth! It’s my favorite by Morgan Matson just as well. I was so happy with the character development in this one, and all of the road trip was overall a lot of fun to read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I think I was pretty much guaranteed to love this one because of the travel in it. I love books that appeal to my sense of wanderlust! 😀 I’m glad to hear it’s your favourite as well Marie, and yes the character development in all of Morgan Matson’s books has been beyond amazing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ooh, another Morgan Matson book to add to my TBR! XD Oh, I’m glad to hear that the romance doesn’t overshadow the characters’ individual development! I know I get super annoyed when the romance takes over, or when the romance “solves all the problems” — it really doesn’t!

    And agh, a road trip book! I don’t think I’ve ever read a road trip book before — so I want to know if I’ll like them or not. This one seems like the road trip aspect is really well-written! Hope I get to pick this up soon, and amazing review! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely definitely a book I’d say you need to add to your to-read list May. Yes the romance doesn’t overshadow the character development at all. That’s a pet hate of mine, and I’m not a fan of the romance solves all trope either.
      Oh if you haven’t read a road trip book before I’d even more highly recommend this one. The road trip is quite a big part of the story which I loved because I love books that travel all over. I get to live vicariously through the adventures the characters have and see the places they do.
      Thanks so much May! 😀 ❤

      Liked by 1 person

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