Release Date: May 4th 2010
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Purchase: The Book Depository | Amazon
❝ Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it’s Amy’s responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn’t ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip – and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar – especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory – but Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.❞
Most of the story took place in a car and it takes a lot of skill for an author to make the concept of sitting in a car interesting. The adventurous side of the road trip (visiting places) was naturally interesting, but the author managed to make the driving and car conversations worthwhile too! This was also improved by inserted notes about every state, playlists (The author has amazing music taste), photographs and receipts. It was nice to not only focus on text for a change but also on visual additions. It was very fitting for the road trip theme and gave the book just that extra touch of authenticity.
Though Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is essentially a ‘light’ read, it isn’t just sunshine and rainbows. Some complex and dark issues got addressed, like the accident. There also wasn’t nearly as much focus on the romance as I had expected. Instead, it focused more on the way Amy and Roger both went through some character growth. Amy slowly but surely became more outgoing and at ease with herself, Roger found out along the way that his ex was far from perfect and that he deserved better. It made it a lot less superficial than it possibly could have been.
The one thing I did not like was the that any description of what Amy was going through, of her grief, was dreadfully repetitive. The book is filled with allusions about the accident, how it was all Amy’s fault. I was under the impression that the author meant to make it a mystery, but I figured out very soon what possibly could have happened to make Amy feel so guilty about it. The allusions got annoying at a certain point. Furthermore, I hated how quickly Amy got over this very guilt the moment Roger made clear the accident wasn’t her fault. People had been telling her that for months, so why now, why so quickly? It was weird and unrealistic.
That’s about the only thing I didn’t like though. A lot of aspects were good and I finished the book pretty quickly. While it was good and I enjoyed it, it wasn’t great. I liked it, but simply didn’t love it.