GoodReads Summary: 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.
My Thoughts: I hate driving. I despise being couped up in a tiny little car for 60 minutes to drive to/from work everyday. I could never pull an Amy and Roger and trek across the entire United States. I just don't have the patience and I'd have to get out and stretch every hour or so. HOWEVER, I no longer need to! Because Morgan Matson has shown me everything I needed to see in A&R's Epic Detour! (And HECK YES for the Kentucky mention.) YAY! Thank you, Morgan, for saving my nerves, circulation, and my bank account from utter destruction.
I had seen rave reviews scattered about the blogosphere for this book. They mentioned "playlist" and I was all over this book. Music makes my ears dance. Books make my eyes dance. Music and books together is a straight up sensory ho-down. BRING IT ON. A&R was fabulous because Roger's playlists included some seriously awesome tunes from: The Weepies, The Spill Canvas (YES YES YES!), R.E.M, The Rocket Summer, Damien Rice, The Format...and some stuff I haven't heard of. I love music, so this book made my eyes twinkle with treble clefs.
Matson's innovative book style totally appealed to me. I love seeing little photos, receipts, and "handwritten notes," because it really drives home the book's personable-ness (which probably isn't a word.) It offers a more intimate glimpse at the characters and the more I can fall in love with a character, the better.
Amy, Amy, Amy...could she be anymore beautifully written? Her grief over the death of her father had my heart in a vice and waterfalls of tears from my eyes. Death, in general, is hard to read about. Death of a parent, being one of my biggest fears, is devastating. The way that Amy reminisced about her father and her family made me think about my father and my family. More eye waterfalls. I can't explain it any better than it absolutely broke my heart. All of the characters were so delightfully raw, it was an privilege to suffer along with them.
A&R's slow-building romance was perfect. I can't tell you how tired I've grown of the automatic "OMG ILY! 143!" I am. Gradual growth of a literary romance = deeper investment in a storyline, because it shows that the author truly loves her characters and isn't just writing lovey-dovey mush for the sake of writing mush. Even the small roles were memorable (e.g. Roger's friend who hacked "Honor Quest" to be able to alter the Princesses name to reflect his crush of the day. WIN!)
This is absolutely a Top Ten Books of 2010 for me. I'm not at all surprised that I'm absolutely enamored with this book. Morgan Matson = auto-buy.
Source: I purchased this book.
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing, 344 pages (May 4, 2010)