Review: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour {Morgan Matson}

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

Amy's brother is in rehab, her father is dead and her mother has already moved to their new house in Connecticut. She's the last one left in California.

But now she has to make the trip cross-country to her mother, only Amy doesn't drive any more. Ever. Enter Roger, a family friend's son who is heading to Phili to visit his dad and has been tasked with being Amy's Hoke Coleburn.

Amy's mum has everything planned: the route, the hotels. But Amy and Roger realise that this drive may be their only chance to work through all the things that have been haunting them.

So they decide to take a series of epic detours, ignoring the plan and turning the cross-country drive into a road trip of a lifetime, giving them both the clarity they've been searching for. With scraps from the road weaved through the narrative (like diner napkins, receipts  postcards and other goodies), this book proves that it really is the journey that counts.


 Morgan Matson knows how to write. Her story flows seamlessly, her descriptions are beautiful and effortless and the use of scrapbook pages weaved through the narrative was awesome. It made me feel like I took the trip with Amy and Roger and I was able to experience everything as they did. (I'll remember to buy cream soda if I'm ever in the states!)

Each chapter starts with a playlist and a lyric, which was fantastic. The melodies really set the tone in a way that completely immersed me in the characters' journey. Suffice it to say, after reading this I spent a lot of time on iTunes.

Both Amy and Roger are such well-developed and well-rounded characters. And, more importantly, their relationship was well-developed. Sure, there was romance, but that's not what this book is about (and I mean that in the best way). It's about the dynamic between them and what they teach each other. So watching their friendship blossom and reading how they were able to grow and form a truly deep connection was actually quite riveting.

This book deals with some pretty serious issues and I was surprised at how involved I became in Amy's grief. There are several flashbacks and, coupled with Amy's graceful narrative, it all just hits the exact right spots.

Amy's character was a joy to read – we get to experience her emotions first-hand and, as she learns how to overcome her sadness and deal with her guilt I, as a reader, learnt a lot about myself too.

This book really  captures the beauty of the world. It made me want to road trip around the US, so if anyone's planning their own epic detour, I'm volunteering as a tag-along! I want to go down the Loneliest Road in America. I want crumbly burgers and Walcott's demo. I want a Bear Essentials shirt. I want to decapitate a moose head (which, by the way, was the funniest passage I've ever read).

"The best discoveries always happen to the people who weren't looking for it. Columbus and America. Pinzon, who stumbled on Brazil while looking for the West Indies. Stanley happening on Victoria Falls. And you. Amy Curry, when I was least expecting her."



Allie is a Pimm's-obsessed reader, who dreams of road tripping over America, learning to surf & becoming fluent in all the languages of her heritage (which, sadly, does not include Elvish). If she's not reading or blogging, you can find her catching up on Teen Wolf, or reigning supreme with Scrabble/Mario Kart.


  1. I have been wanting to read this book forever, and just haven't gotten around to it! I didn't know, but I love the idea of the playlists and scraps from their road trip. I love when authors are creative!
    I don't think I've really read many road trip novels...I suppose in Angel Burn they do go on a road trip, but it's not really the focus of the story.

    Loved your review, I'll be sure to check this one out finally :)

    Amy @ The Reading Realm

    1. Ooooh you definitely should! Morgan Matson did such a cool job with this book and you can really tell she went that extra mile with all the songs and road trip goodies. It just gives the book that little something extra to really pull you in to the story!

      I've never heard of Angel Burn before - I'll have to go and stalk Goodreads and see what it's about :)

  2. Every time I come here, I fall a little more in love with your blog. It's the dang birdies.

    The first thing I thought when I saw the cover was exactly what you said: fluffy. But it's good to hear that's not the case. I just got back from a cross country road trip, so this definitely appeals to me now.

    1. It's the orange birdie that gets me - his eyes follow you wherever you go :P

      Where did you road trip to? I'm seriously envying you right now - I've always wanted to go on a road trip, but none of my friends ever seem up for the adventure!

  3. My sister and I haven't yet read Amy and Roger's Epic Detour, despite it being on our shelf for a very long while; both of us are hoping to read it soon.

    Great review! I can wait until I get to read it : )

    1. Let me know what you think once you've read it!

      The entire book is really personalised and the characters are awesomely written, so I'm sure you and your sister won't be disappointed.

  4. Great quote. I remember reading this book :D