Simon & Schuster Children's Books
Publication date: 7th July
My rating: 5 out of 5
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
I loved, loved, loved Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour (I'm going to use the word love loads I just know it). I loved that Amy and Roger in going on a real journey from California to Connecticut both went on a personal journey too (sounds cheesy I know). Amy was able to come to terms with the grief of loosing her Elvis loving Dad and start to move on, both reconnecting with her her brother and to a lesser extent with her Mum (who I didn't like one bit- a very cold fish) as well as getting behind the wheel again and getting back out in the world. Equally, Rodger was able to finally get some closure from that god awful bitchy girlfriend Hadley and move on.
I thought the addition of the clippings in Amy's travel scrapbook from each state they visited, the snacks receipts, tickets and flyer's added to the whole road trip vibe. I loved all the details Amy wrote about the different states they had visited, the food they tasted and the different pictures of the landscapes it really made me want to go on a road trip. I found myself so engrossed in the book I genuinely worried for them as they drove along the loneliest road in America. I especially loved all of the different characters they met along the way, in particular Bronwyn who provided Amy a whole new capsule wardrobe which gave Amy a little bit of her confidence back. Rodger's song play lists were also a fantastic addition to the whole vibe of the book. I found myself looking to see what songs I knew, and laughing at some of the songs added in for that particular state "Can't go back now" in California to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" in Kansas to "How to Say Goodbye" in Pennsylvania.
The slow building relationship between Amy and Rodger was absolutely perfect. They progressed from the initial polite awkwardness at the start of their forced car trip to sliding in their socks down the aisles of Wal-Mart type of friendship. I was really rooting for them throughout to get together.
Amy and Rodger's Epic Detour has a really cool adventure feel to it, with great characters, romance, loads of laughs and some really touching moments I loved every minute of it. It's got movie written all over it. One of my favourite quotes from the book came from one of the characters they met along the way Walcott as Amy speaks for the first time about loosing her Dad.
"Tomorrow will be better"
"But what if it's not?" I asked.
"Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better."
I'm going to remember that quote.