Miss Riki’s Review:
After losing her father in a car accident that she feels responsible for, Amy Curry isn’t ready to get back behind the wheel and drive. This forces her mother to get creative when she decides to move the family from California to Connecticut and needs the family car brought over. The solution? Roger, an old family friend who also needs to make a cross-country trip of his own. Amy is less than thrilled at the prospect of spending four days driving through a pre-planned itinerary with a virtual stranger, but when good-looking Roger suggests making different travel plans, Amy agrees. Together, they embark on a journey full of fast food drive-ins, roadside diners, and self-discovery. Told in a unique style combining traditional narrative with scrapbook elements, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is a delightful ride across America.
This was a wonderful road trip book! Despite having two main characters loaded with emotional baggage, the narrative remains lighthearted and fun. Amy and Roger have a really special chemistry that develops naturally through their shared experiences. Besides having two complex main characters that readers will fall in love with, Matson also writes an amazing secondary cast. On each stop Amy and Roger meet people who make their trip memorable, and each character has depth and purpose in the story.
I loved living a cross-country journey vicariously through these characters. From their first awkward moments at Yosemite, to their palpable worry driving along the Loneliest Road in America, and well on to Kentucky where they eat Hot Brown and Derby Pie, I was invested in the outcome for Amy and Roger. Each stop along the way is brilliantly depicted with vivid detail. Combined with the various playlists and other memorabilia spread out throughout the book, I almost felt like I was along for the ride. A good portion of the novel takes place in the car as Amy and Roger are driving across America, which might seem like it could get boring or stale really quick, but the dialogue is snappy and the chemistry between the characters is obvious, making for a really entertaining story.
This book is the perfect summertime read. It’s got everything you could ask for in contemporary YA, including a wonderful cast of characters, plenty of adventure, and a sweet romance.