Tuesday, May 21, 2013

book review: roger and amy's epic detour by morgan matson

Title: Roger and Amy's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers (2010)
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.
Okay, let's start with this:  I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. In fact, it was one of those books that I just had a hard time finishing because I wanted it to last so much longer than it did. Seriously, when I had five pages to go, I put it off for a week just so I could still look forward to reading it. Why did I love it so much, you ask? Here are only a few reasons (there are infinitely more):

The characters were so marvelous in this book. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than stock characters. Sure, they can drive a point home if you have a limited time to present someone, but in a novel you have the time to get the story behind every character. That said, I was really impressed with the story that each character told, even the smaller characters that Amy and Roger visited or ran into during their stays in different states. I really liked the way Roger was portrayed in this book, too. Often in YA, guys typically seem to be crafted with a one-size-fits-all mold; that's not true for Roger. He has layers, responsibilities, worries. So does Amy. And just to tack this in on the end:  I love that Amy loves musical theatre. I got all the references, which may have been a reason why I appreciated her character so much. The well thought-out characters set up the book for the success it definitely has today.

The plot is something I cannot say enough about, not only because it's so detailed but because it's so much more than a plot. It's... well, it's... it's an experience, a metaphoric roadtrip, if you will. There's one road that continues on between Amy and Roger, and then there are pit stops where little vignettes of situations teach them a story they have to learn about themselves and each other because the end of their journey. The fact that the chapters can seem somewhat short and postcards, journal entries, etcetera are incorporated into the story should definitely NOT deter you from reading. It did for me when I first found it on the shelf of my local bookstore, but don't make that mistake. How the characters interact, relate to each other, and finally end up is just... it's like nothing I've read before it. The situation that Amy goes through and overcomes with her brother, father, and mother are incredibly original. It's AMAZING. Like I said, it's an experience... an experience that everyone should have.

The writing was SOOOOOOOOO fantastic. Morgan Matson, if you're reading this, I loved it; you made some pretty acclaimed authors out there look foolish with the caliber of your writing. Thank you for preserving the English language in such a beautiful way. *End personal note to Morgan Matson.* Okay, but it really is fantastic guys. I can't even describe in more than one word:  perfection.

As a wrap-up, this book ain't no pithy rom-com. This is pure gold. A whirl-wind cross-country, rubber-meets-road adventure that not only impressed me with its wit and fast-paced drive, but with its sudden bursts of true emotion and beauty. THIS book reflects the human condition. Amen.

Verdict: You must read it.

I'll leave you with this:

'Til next time!

1 comment:

  1. It looks fantastic! I want it now! Thanks for sharing, great review!


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