Amy & Roger's epic detour

Morgan Matson

Book - 2010

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

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YOUNG ADULT FICTION/Matson, Morgan
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Subjects
Published
New York : Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers 2010.
Edition
1st ed
Language
English
Physical Description
343 p.
ISBN
9781416990659
1416990658
Main Author
Morgan Matson (-)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

In the summer following her junior year, Amy is nursing the loss of her father in a car accident--and the burden of believing it was her fault. With her mother relocating the family to Connecticut and her brother in rehab, Amy is left to get the car from California to their new house. But since the accident, Amy won't drive. Enter Roger, the 19-year-old son of a family friend, on his way to visit his father in Philadelphia. After a few bumps, Roger and Amy are on their way--he to help her face the grief and truth about her father's death, and she to help him move on from a painful breakup. Debut author Matson ably evokes the places, tastes, and tunes of this unforgettable cross-country trip, and the incorporation of b&w photos, receipts, playlists, sketches, and quotations about the states they pass through make it feel all the more real. The duo's budding romance is especially satisfying given the deliciously slow speed with which it builds. A near perfect summer read that should leave readers with a thirst for travel and romance. Ages 12–up. (May) [Page ]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

Gr 9 Up—After Amy's father dies in a car crash, everything that this California girl took for granted changes overnight. Her twin brother Charlie is shipped off to rehab in North Carolina. Her mother accepts a teaching position in Connecticut, leaving Amy home alone to finish her junior year of high school. Then her mom arranges to get Amy to Connecticut via a cross-country drive with a family friend, 19-year-old Roger. The pair quickly ditches the pre-planned itinerary in favor of more spontaneous detours to Yosemite, Colorado, and Graceland. Amy's mother is predictably furious and cuts off her credit card, leaving the teens on a shoestring budget. Along the way Amy gradually opens up to Roger about her father's accident and her repressed feelings about it. During a stop in Louisville, Roger finds closure with the girl who recently dumped him, leaving him available for a relationship with Amy. The theme of her emotional journey meshes well with the realistically rendered physical journey across the U.S. Playlists, pages from a travel scrapbook, well-drawn supporting characters, and unique regional details enhance the narrative. Flashback chapters shed light on Amy's life before her father's death, without breaking the steady pacing. One sexual situation is discreetly described. Overall, this is an emotionally rewarding road novel with a satisfying, if not totally surprising, conclusion. It's similar in theme and tone to Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever (Viking, 2004).—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA [Page 112]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

After the death of Amy's father, Amy and Roger set out on a carefully planned road trip across the United States, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student, and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

A tale presented in the style of a scrapbook follows the experiences of Amy Curry, who relocates from California to Connecticut for her senior year after the tragic, accidental death of her father, a challenging new start marked by unexpected feelings for a childhood friend. A first novel.

Review by Publisher Summary 5

There were three things Amy Curry didn't expect out of senior year. First: her father's death. Second: her mother's decision to relocate to the East Coast. Third: Roger Sullivan. After her father's sudden death, Amy's mom has decided to start anew'in Connecticut, just before the start of senior year. And she's decided that it'll be Amy's job to get the car from California to Connecticut.The only problem? Amy hasn't gotten behind the wheel since the car accident that took her father's life.Enter Roger, a family friend, tasked by his mother to help Amy drive across the country. Amy's not pleased to be driving across the country with a boy she barely knows, but as Amy gets lost on her cross-country adventure, she must confront the past she's running from, come to terms with the grief of losing a parent, and learn how to open her heart in order to find herself again.

Review by Publisher Summary 6

There were three things Amy Curry didn’t expect out of senior year. First: her father’s death. Second: her mother’s decision to relocate to the East Coast. Third: Roger Sullivan. After her father’s sudden death, Amy’s mom has decided to start anew—in Connecticut, just before the start of senior year. And she’s decided that it’ll be Amy’s job to get the car from California to Connecticut.The only problem? Amy hasn’t gotten behind the wheel since the car accident that took her father’s life.Enter Roger, a family friend, tasked by his mother to help Amy drive across the country. Amy’s not pleased to be driving across the country with a boy she barely knows, but as Amy gets lost on her cross-country adventure, she must confront the past she’s running from, come to terms with the grief of losing a parent, and learn how to open her heart in order to find herself again.