Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson
In March, Amy’s dad died in a car accident. As Amy’s junior year ends, her brother is in rehab in North Carolina, and Amy’s mom has decided to move from California to Connecticut. Amy hasn’t driven since the accident, but her mom wants Amy to bring the family car with her as she makes the move to Connecticut. So Amy’s mom enlists the help of her old friend’s son Roger, who is also on his way east to spend the summer with his dad in Philedelphia. The trip is all planned out – four days on the road, hotels booked. But as they hit the road, Amy and Roger decide to chart their own way across the country. As they see new places and meet new people, they each experience a personal journey – Amy as she grieves for her father, and Roger as he comes to terms with a lost relationship. They also take a journey together, discovering in each other something that they need.
This is the best kind of warm and fuzzy book. It was heartwarming, humorous, but delightfully un-cheesy. I liked that Amy and Roger had never seen much of the U.S., so they got to discover things like the vastness of Nevada and Utah, and new foods like roadside diners, Sonic, Chic-fil-A and sweet tea. Even though the book could be viewed as light and simple, each part of their trip moved the stories and the characters forward; it wasn’t stagnant. I also really appreciated the romance in the book because it wasn’t a typical “love at first sight” love story, but a love story that developed. So refreshing! Lastly, I really enjoyed the scrapbook touches in the book – pictures, receipts, journaling, playlists. It really contributed the road-trip feel of the book. And it made me want to go on a road trip!