Estelle: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 3, 2011
Pages: 368 pages
Target audience: Young Adult
How I found out about it: On Anna’s Reads.
Format: Hardcover borrowed from the library.
Summary: After her dad dies in a car accident, the only thing Anna wants is to be left alone. But when her mom puts the house up for sale and relocates to the other side of the country in Connecticut, Amy soon finds herself road tripping to her new “home” with Roger, a guy she knew when she was little. Roger has troubles of his own to the tune of the unexpected end of a relationship. The two decide to ditch Anna’s mom’s road trip itinerary and go for a little adventure on their own, accompanied by only the best playlists.
Just like The Gap Year, I can’t stop yakking my head off about how amazingly wonderful this book is. What is there not to love about a book featuring two people road tripping across the country with some awesome tunes on the radio. The book could have easily fallen into the realm of cliché, but Roger and Amy’s characters are both so well-developed and with every passing day in that car, the change in each of them is evident.

First of all, as a huge fan of theatre myself, I loved that Amy was an aspiring actress and fan of Sondheim. (I love him too.) It’s also awesome that she loves a good diner. (Being originally from Jersey, I understand this.) Second, I love that she doesn’t feel the need to “make friends” with Roger at first. She’s dealing with so much, and I think Matson does an amazing job of creating this internal Anna. She’s down to earth. She’s honest. She’s hurting and her emotions are raw. The flashbacks are smoothly woven within the present day story and I feel with each chapter, we get a better grasp as to the blame Anna is placing on herself for the end of her family as she knew it, and also this rebirth of hope for the future.

Roger, at the same time, is trying to figure out why his relationship just ended. He’s also stuck in the car with a girl he hardly knows and who just went through some traumatic events. He is a trooper, he is a rock, and he never pushes. For a change, it’s nice (well, you know what I mean) to see a boy who is constantly calling a girl who won’t call him back and is giving him vague answers to questions.

In addition, every character they meet up with has a hand in helping these characters discover the truths about themselves and push them closer together. I’m not dense. Even from the cover, you realize somehow, someway, these two are going to end up together. (Even if Roger and Amy had no idea.) Whether for an evening, or for something more meaningful. They need each other. And when we finally reach that point, it’s perfect even though their future together remains unknown.

There are some lovely, touching moments in this book. Particularly when Amy reaches Graceland and visits her brother in a rehab facility. The experiences that unfold when they are trying to track down Roger’s ex are also very unexpected but genuine and important.

I can’t say enough fantastic things about this book. I was truly sad when it was over, knowing it was going to take something spellbinding and absolutely groundbreaking to make me feel as complete and as changed as Amy & Roger did. One more amazing detail: I love when books use other mediums to tell a story – like the travel scrapbook and the playlists I have printed out and are waiting for me to make them myself.

Do you get what I’m saying yet? READ THIS BOOK.

10 thoughts on “Estelle: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

    • Estelle says:

      i cannot cannot stop telling people about it. I still want to listen to the playlists but I haven’t gotten around to it! Maybe this weekend… that would be be nice background music when I’m supposed to be writing like a fiend. Thanks for the comment as always! – E

  1. Samual says:

    I like the cover, and I think it is very cute. I cannot wait to read this book! I always like this kind of story. It sounds like a fun adventure! Great review! Thank you for sharing!

    Your color scheme looks pretty! It matches the type of books you girls read.

    I always like simple background and header. Your blog is a little simple, which I like it a lot! What you post is what matters!!

    Sam
    Books For All Seasons

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