Book Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren't looking for them.”
Yet another YA romance novel. I have read several other Morgan Matson books, and recently picked up her debut, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Amy Curry is forced to drive across the country with a family friend after her mother decides they are moving to Connecticut. Only three months before, Amy’s dad died in a car accident; Amy refuses to drive now, so Roger is put in charge of driving Amy across the US. What begins as an awkward road trip, with Amy trying to grieve her father’s death and all the changes in her life and Roger getting over his ex-girlfriend Hadley, quickly turns into so much more.
Amy’s mom has mapped out a route for the two of them, but quickly Amy and Roger scrap that plan and decide to take the scenic route, starting with Yosemite National Park. Amy is pretty much a shell of her former self, only talking to her family members (albeit reluctantly), so she is extremely nervous to be in such close proximity to a cute guy for the duration of the trip. But she quickly realizes that Roger is hung up on his ex-girlfriend, so after Yosemite, they plan to stop in Colorado Springs, where Roger goes to school. He wants to find out why Hadley ended things. But once they get to Colorado Springs, it is clear that Hadley is not there or interested in returning any of Roger’s calls. While they visit Roger’s school, we meet Roger’s delightful friend Bronwyn. She helps Amy get dressed up and ends up hijacking her wardrobe so she has more chic clothes that aren’t Amy’s recent standard wardrobe of t-shirts and jeans. Throughout the trip, Amy begins to open up, not just to Roger, but also to the people they encounter along the way.
Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour makes me want to take a road trip. I have never done one, but it is on my bucket list. Neither Amy or Roger have really traveled too much outside of California, but this trip gives them an opportunity to see things they would never have the option to see otherwise. And by taking the scenic route, they drove along The Loneliest Road in America in the middle of Nevada. While they were a little nervous about the lack of civilization, it makes for a great road trip story. I also loved how quickly Amy and Roger could read the other one and anticipate their snack choices. Because after all, as Roger says, snacks and tunes are essential for a good road trip. I appreciated Amy’s musical theater playlists and am confident she would include Hamilton on there now. I'm thinking Non-Stop would be a perfect road trip song.
I have said before how much I obsess over Matson’s male love interests (hello Clark & Henry), and this time is no different. Roger is a sweetheart; yes, he is a little dense when it comes to the soul-sucking Hadley, but he genuinely cares about his friends, and soon Amy too. When he and Amy play Twenty Questions, he always picks explorers. He constantly rambles on about different movies and tv shows. Roger is just adorable. Matson always writes delightfully nerdy boys who are super cute and sweet; they are some of my favorite YA male characters (also see: Peter Kavinsky).
I am quickly becoming a Morgan Matson completist; I just picked up her latest book, Save the Date, at Target this weekend. I haven’t read Since You’ve Been Gone, but I know I'll pick it up and read that one soon. Matson writes such relatable characters that draw you in and you can’t help but root for. Since Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour was her debut novel, I think she has only improved on her writing and characters. I really enjoyed this book and give it 4 stars!
What is your favorite Morgan Matson book?