Friday, October 1, 2010

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

I'm fairly certain that had I read this in June my summer would have been vastly different. Namely, I would have cajoled a girlfriend to road trip with me, which would've resulted in an added 5 pounds from craptacular food, a few small roadkills, that affair with a lifeguard I've been meaning to have, and a notebook full of pictures and playlists. In short: Awesome.

Kind of like this book.

Amy Curry's life has taken a nose-dive over the past few months. Her twin brother is in rehab, her father died, and her mom put their house up for sale and is moving them to Connecticut. All right before her senior year. Mrs. Curry arranges for a friend's son, Roger, who is also headed to the east coast, to accompany Amy on the trip.

I feel that more plotline summary is unnecessary -- just think "Good Read About A Road Trip" and you can probably guess what happens. Adventures/Life Lessons/Tears/Romance/New Friendships all make a flashy appearance. As does a topiary moose, a Stealthy Break-In, and a sock-slide at WalMart.

The Favorite Bits: The pictures -- copies of receipts, flyers, emails and playlists. It makes the journey feel real and personal. Also love that each chapter heading features a song line that ties in somehow. Morgan Matson I approve of your taste in music, and have even looked up a few songs on Roger's playlists. Totes to you, dear lady. Parenthetically, your bio picture is disgustingly adorable.

I also loved Bronwyn (despite her name) with her refreshing kindness (she's from Texas, so...) and"Get up, dress up, show up" mantra. And can I also say how nice it was, for the first time in living memory, to read something that takes place (only somewhat, obviously) in southern California? Finally a book that isn't obsessed with New York! I kind of love Miss Matson more because of her obvious love of the LA area; that, and her featuring of some of the nations' favorite foods -- should I ever decide to go to Kentucky.

The Not So Much: I'll try not to be spoilery, but I rarely succeed at that, so whatever. Here's the thing with Amy & Roger - by the end of the book they've still only known each other for like a week. I know long road trips force you to bond faster yada yada yada. But I REJECT the end. It felt cheap and rushed. Some highway bonding and romantic tension should not an intimate relationship make. Particularly with characters who want long-term commitment. So I'm not buying.

I've heard this book as being touted as something Sarah Dessen could've written. I would qualify that with a "But Not Quite As Innocent" follow-up. The F word is dropped a few times, and there's some hanky panky insinuations thrown in for good measure. I love that I just used the words hanky panky. How pervy does that sound.

Epic Detour is an Ultimate Summer Read that can be enjoyed any season of the year. Two thumbs up for a good exploration.

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