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Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Hello blookunity! I read this a few weeks ago and you can now appreciate my review. Unfortunately, it exploded (what? I mean it went back to the library) and so I couldn’t take any pictures.

Title: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour51-xwftibnl-_sy344_bo1204203200_

Author: Morgan Matson

Genre: YA contemporary

Themes: Road trips, death, friendship, reinventing yourself, family, getting awesome clothing from random people for free


I am, admittedly, a fan of YA contemporary. While this didn’t change the way I thought about the world or anything mind blowing like that, I did enjoy it. And for a change, here is a list (the blookunity is tremendously fond of lists, I find)


Premise: Amy’s father has just died and she’s been living by herself for the last few months as her mother’s got a job on the other side of the country. In order tog et their car (and herself) to the new place, it’s been arranged for Roger, the son of a family friend, to drive her, since she refuses to herself. Amy’s mother gave them a set itinerary, but it’s so boring that they decide to take a few ‘detours’ on a journey of self discovery, friendship, and a lot of issue-dealing-with. (of course)


The characters:

  • Amy was super awesome and interesting and nice. She was into musicals, which is awesome (speaking of musicals, I watched Into The Woods the other day. It was fabulous.) I loved how she developed over the course of the novel- she stopped feeling guilty, tried new things, and dealt with all her issues that she hadn’t before. Her feelings about her mother and family and how they changed over the course of their journey was well described.
  • Roger- He was SO NICE. Like, it was almost scary because why? But I also liked how he had his own secrets and issues, but still wanted to look after Amy but was torn. I liked his how his relationship with his parents, which he tells Amy some about, wasn’t perfect, and how we got a brief glimpse at what he was like in university. I definitely shipped him with Amy from the beginning (it was kind of obvious), even though they each had their problems. I loved how they were different ages too! I thought that was a nice touch. I didn’t feel that Roger was as well characterized as Amy? But he was interesting.
  • Lucien- He was my favourite character by far. Even though he was secondary, I thought he was really well developed and interesting and WHO COULDN’T LIKE SOMEONE WITH AN INTEREST IN TOPIARY???? It was so fresh, and I loved the way he helped Amy begin to deal with her afore mentioned issues and drive. <33
  • Bronwyn- Why won’t a random person give me all her awesome clothes that are just perfect for me and along the way help me come out of my shell and feel like I can’t hide? (I don’t think I hide, but awesome clothes would be pretty cool). Like Lucien, she was a secondary character, but she was still really interesting.
  • Charlie- Being a twin, I wished that Amy and Charlie’s relationship had been explored further, and they could have seen each other for longer, because I wanted to see what happened to him, but oh well.
  • All the other secondary characters whose names I’ve forgotten- they were also wonderfully developed- this book did such a great job with secondary characters especially- but I can’t remember any details about them, so I can’t really say anything.


The plot:


  • Tbh, it was your typical road trip book. Go somewhere, visit interesting sites and friends, discover yourself and maybe just fall in love. (What am I saying, maybe? Definitely)
  • Like most road trip books, there was a greater focus on characters but maybe some ties can be found between a physical journey and a journey of bravery? For Amy, what started out as a small detour in an obedient to mother and miserable life became something where she finally confronted what happened the day her father died. Little snippets of what happened were revealed over the course of the journey- first what it was like that morning, some backstory to how their family worked, and quite close to the end of the journey and the novel, the audience finally hears from her what she had refused to tell anyone, and the weight of the guilt that she had been carrying around since the day.
  • On second thought, I like the physical/intangible journey correlation and how they related to each other.

The setting:

  • The journey went from south west US (California) to north east (was it Carolina? I can’t remember. Honestly, I don’t care) Obviously, the setting’s whole point was to be constantly changing but I really got a sense of what the country was like.

The writing:

  • The writing style wasn’t unique but it was friendly in a way I’ve come to expect from Matson. I liked how the main plot was supplemented by playlists and emails and other types of documents that gave you a sense of the other people in Amy’s life and augmented the characters. (Like, what can we tell about Roger from his musical tastes, handwriting, and the cute little drawings he makes?)

Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable book that discussed things like death, family, and guilt in a serious but gentle way. It didn’t make me reconsider who I am or such, as I said in my first paragraph, but it was good.

Writing: 3/5

Setting: 4/5

Plot: 3/5

Characters: 4.5/5

Total: 3.5/5

Have you read this? Do you think road trips books are totally about character? How do you feel about the figurative/literal journey analogy? Do you like road trip books? Do you like reading? (If not, you probably shouldn’t be here. Just saying.)


13 thoughts on “Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

  1. This book sounds pretty interesting! I remember one of my friends reading it quite a while ago O.o I’ll probably give it a go, although I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary YA. I’m glad you got to see Into the Woods! My school did ItW for our spring musical last year and it was pretty amazing. Have you seen the movie? Also: *forgives you for saying that North (or is it South?) Carolina is in the northeast* 😛 Fifty states can be pretty confusing for people who don’t live in the U.S.!


    1. Yes, US geography confuses me. I actually haven’t seen the movie, which is something I should really do something about. Watching all our teachers play al the hilarious parts was, well, hilarious. Your school sounds like ours! We always have a play in fall and a musical in the spring. I like contemporary YA for it’s fluffiness.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I do want to read this eventually, buuuut…I mean I LOVED Since You’ve Been Gone but then I loathed Second Chance Summer. *hides* So I’m kind of scared to try another of the author’s books?! I’ll get over it eventually, I suppose. 😛 But YUS. That’s why I haven’t read this one yet.
    I’m giggling over your comments about the scenery…I don’t care <– ME FOR AMERICAN ROADTRIP BOOKS TOO. I mean, I like roadtrips, but the states and roads and towns mean nothing to me XD


    1. I actually haven’t read Second Chance Summer but I did love Since You’ve Been Gone (probably a bit more than this tbh) Like, I’m sure all those studious u.s geography students love road trip books (if they love reading that is), but I’m just a confused pineapple like ‘oooakay. You have two states called Virginia.’ or whatever.


    1. I like contemporaries, although I find them less deep and meaningful and usually more fluffy and fun. But trying genres you don’t always read is good, right?


    1. It wasn’t too stressful, but it was interesting.Then again, I adored Paper Towns, so maybe we have different tastes? Anyhow, this is a good book if you’re interested in the aftermath of death, broken families, or character development and cute romance 🙂


  3. Great review! 🙂 I really enjoyed this book, too, and I think Morgan Matson always manages to create great main characters. Road trip books are so much fun, but, now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t think I’ve read tons of those…if you know any good road trip book, that’d be awesome 😀 I really like the fact that the characters just go on their trip and it’s really all about, as we move along, developping, changing, evolving as a character. I just love it. I don’t know if I’m making sense, ahah. Great post! 🙂


    1. I think you’re making sense! Other good road trip books I can recommend are paper towns (which isn’t just about a road trip but whatevs- I LOVED it) , Let’s Get Lost by Adi Alsaid- again, I really, really liked this one, and How To Be Bad (a collab- and I’ve actually reviewed this on the blog), which is funny and about friendship and issues.

      Liked by 1 person

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