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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

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.…

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

by Morgan Matson

Overall Book Review:

If you don’t have plans in the near future to go on a fun road trip, but are in desperate need of a vacation, this book will fill that yearning. I grew up in a large family that took day trips, not vacations. I was always super jealous of my friends that went to the Grand Canyon and Disney World. So instead of actually going on trips, I would live vicariously through the lives of characters in books. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is just as amazing as its title. Two teens who barely know each other, driving across the USA, and making lots of different pit stops along the way? Where’s my ticket? I want to go!

This book was lovely in several ways, though not all of them were quite believable. Amy has basically been abandoned by her little family. Her mom has moved out in pursuit of a job, and her brother has been out of it since the day that changed all of their lives. (Actually, he’s never been that “with it”.) The first thing I thought was a little odd was that a mother would leave her child at home for an extended length of time, even though Amy is a teen and is fully capable of taking care of herself. The second is that she would ask her daughter to ride in a car with an almost stranger for miles and miles, and this stranger just happens to be a boy that just happens to be kind of cute:  Roger.

Amy and Roger were otherwise quite realistic. I loved how the author kept spitting out little bits of information that gave an idea of what had happened in the past, but didn’t tell the whole story. It wasn’t until the end of the book that everything fell into place perfectly. (Or not so perfectly, depending on how you look at it.) Teens will love this book, and even adults will be intrigued. It’s a win-win. Oh, and the playlists and other memorabilia that is included on the pages of this book? They just add to the awesomeness!

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  4 religious exclamations; 2 mild obscenities; 2 religious profanities; 2 scatological words; 5 F-Word derivatives.

Violence/Gore:  An accident is referred to; a brief scene of a car crash with one casualty occurs with no explicit detail; a girl says her father died in an accident.

Sex/Nudity:  Minors kiss multiple (24) times; a girl refers to a “make-out session” between her and her boyfriend; two minors kiss each other and start to undress each other (take off shirts); minors are implied to have had sex/be sexually active, with no detail; adults kiss one time; a minor female observes a minor male going to bed shirtless in a non-sexual scene; a minor boy does yoga in just his underwear in one non-sexual scene, a girl observes this.

Mature Subject Matter:

Death, coming of age, personal crises, death of a family member, divorce.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

A minor drinks bourbon; a minor is in rehab for drug use; a minor uses pot; a minor is said to hang out with the “stoner crowd”; minors drink keg beer; meth manufacturing is mentioned.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

Books and reading have always been an important part of my life. When I was very young, my grandma was the library director at our local public library. Years later, after she had retired, I became a librarian at the same library and worked there for several years before taking a part-time job at a local coffee shop, which gives me more time to do what I love, to read and to review books! A few of my favorite authors are Aimee Bender, Diane Chamberlain, and Curtis Sittenfeld however, I will read almost any book I come across! In my spare time you can find me reading (of course), volunteering at a wildlife animal rehab, or hanging out with my two house rabbits.