Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is such a little gem of a book! Oh my goodness! This is one of those books that just makes the heart happy, although it has its drawnbacks and its heartaches too.
Amy is having a seriously terrible year. Her dad died (and you get the feeling, right from the beginning that Amy blames herself), her brother is in rehab, and her mom gets a new job and decides to move from California to Connecticut right before Amy's senior year. She decides that it will be too expensive to fly Amy and their car across the country, but Amy refuses and cannot get behind the wheel of a car, so Amy's mom enlists the son of her good friend, Roger, to drive, since he needs to get to Philadelphia. Amy's mom completely maps out the trip — it will take four days, she's made reservations at hotels along the way and it is possibly, the most boring route ever. So, Roger proposes a 'detour' and Amy (uncharacteristically) says, What the heck and away they go.
And what follows is one of the most perfect road trips that could ever be. Both Amy and Roger have their own personal baggage. Neither of them really actually remembers the other (they think they maybe played a tag like game once upon a childhood) but they are virtually strangers. It's awkward at first, but as they spend more and more time together talking and getting to know each other, they also open the door to allow growth and change.
Spending days at a time in a car with no one else to talk to can really help you get to know another person fast. There's not a lot you can hide from a person when you are together and alone for so long.
One of my very favorite things about this book was the inclusion of the receipts, souveniers and playlists that Amy and Roger accumulated on their road trip. I keep weird stuff like that (Not even lying... I just cleaned out my 'keepsakes' box from high school and I refuse to admit some of the stuff I just tossed: P) and I loved seeing it included in a scrapbook like fashion. It just added so much fun to the story and it made me happy every time it showed up.
I will say that there were a few things about this book that didn't have me quite as enamored as the rest of the book. The first is her relationship with her brother. Amy experiences a lot of growth over the course of the novel and she realizes a lot of things about her self, her relationships and life in general. But the quasi resolution between Amy and her brother didn't, in my opinion, meet it's potential. There was so much possibility there that I thought was just skimmed over, almost like an afterthought. The other thing about this book that didn't sit well with me is how Amy and Roger's relationship played out. It is something that I did see coming from the beginning of the book (from the summary, actually) but still bothered me. AND it's kind of a spoiler. YOU ARE BEING WARNED. I'M GOING TO TELL YOU ANYWAY SO LOOK AWAY IF YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW. SPOILER****** I was not really okay with the fact that Amy & Roger have sex. For several reasons. Amy was not really in an emotionally sound/stable place when the trip started AND Roger started the trip believing himself to still be very in love with his ex-girlfriend. To me, sex should not ever be a casual or easy decision, but it was here. Add that to the fact that they wake up and basically have the — Cool, sex is great but this doesn't mean anything really, not a commitment, not a future, not even anything more than we just spent a week together in the car and I think you are hott and oh ya I do also really really like you sooo, I guess we'll see if this goes anywhere, but hey, no pressure — talk and that is also, not cool. *****THIS IS THE END OF THE SPOILERS SO IT'S SAFE TO LOOK AGAIN.
So, other than those two grievances, I really enjoyed this book. And even though both of those things (well, one more than the other) did bother me more than a little, it still wasn't enough to detract from my overall enjoyment of this book. It's a fun book but it has much more depth than I expected and it's really a book that I found to be solidly good. It's for sure one I'd like to reread and it's definitely one I will recommend.