Published May 4th 2010 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
352 pages |
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.
Contemporary romances are tough for me to enjoy. I feel like this is a good place to start..but let me explain. I am one of those people who believe that reading is a way to escape from reality. So why spend your escape route thinking about things that actually exist? Which is why I find it really hard for me to get sucked into contemporary novels..maybe I should stop buying them? I should probably stop buying them.
Anyway (enough rambling) I truthfully really did enjoy Amy & Rogers Epic Detour, but the elements I enjoyed weren’t necessarily the main parts of the story. I loved the little photographs throughout the novel and how Matson actually took the road trip. This being said, at times I did feel as though the novel was more of a travellers guide than a novel. Towards the end I did find myself skipping over some of the sight seeing because it just was a little dull….and I was waiting for a make out session. (Don’t deny you don’t wait for make out sessions)
My major downfall with this one was that I didn’t find the characters at all interesting. (Yes this is a very blunt statement, I apologise) But Amy was very difficult for me to identify with, which is fine because you don’t have to identify with a main character to enjoy the story. The point is that she did things that were completely illogical. For instance telling strangers her deepest thoughts after only meeting them a few hours ago. This does happen in real life, so that bit isn’t completely the issue. It is more that she opened up at the randomness of times…like the silliest moments you could think of her opening up and she would just start talking about her feelings. And I assure you that you will also think ‘huh, why tell him?’ Yes I understand that she was holding onto deep regret and sorrow in regards to what had happened to her father, but this revelation that had ‘occurred’ prior to her spilling her deepest thoughts wasn’t that revolutionary…in my opinion.
Maybe I am a little older and in my old age I see the world a little differently. And yes the fact that I am unable to relate to the situation probably has something to do with my lack of empathy towards Amy as a character. These things are most likely true. This being said, I just didn’t feel anything for her or her relationship with Roger.
There was little humour throughout it, just a lot of revelations that occurred at the weirdest of times. And Roger just kept on banging on about Hadley..who we all knew wasn’t going to be an issue once he realised that Amy was his one and only. And maybe that is the problem that I have with contemporary novels, they are predictable.
Whilst reading it I did enjoy it and it is only now upon reflection that I am able to nit pick at elements I disagree with. It is a fun and entertaining read, and I desperately want to go on a road trip around the US..mainly because I want to go to Memphis…just saying. But overall I felt as though this book wasn’t supposed to be just a light hearted novel, that it was attempting to be something a little bit deeper and a little bit more thought provoking. And for me it just didn’t hit that mark.
Have you guys read this one? What did you think?