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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, Morgan Matson

2010/08/22

A road trip across the country is a quintessential high school thing to do, but for Amy, making this trip across the country to be with her mother will only be a constant reminder of her father’s death. And being stuck in the car for the better part of a week with the son of an old family friend doesn’t sound ideal either. But then she meets Roger, who is cute, funny, and has great taste in music, and begins to realize that this might not be so bad after. As she and Roger get into the spirit of road tripping, they decide to take a few side trips, starting off by heading north from Orange County to Yosemite, since Amy’s family was integral to the establishment of the historic camp Curry Village, and soon they have completely abandoned the carefully pre-planned itinerary, and are off on an epic detour. The plot flips back and forth between Amy’s present road trip, and the years leading up to her father’s death.

I was particularly drawn to this book, having made the drive across the country myself in past years, although with far less detours and adventure. The book is illustrated with picture postcards, receipts from diners and gas stations, snapshots from their stops, and facts about each state. There are also playlists to go along with the spirit of the trip with fun names like “Leaving California aka Hitting the Road aka Snacks are Important, but not as Important as Tunes,” “Road to Nowhere aka Cruise Control on Highway 50,” and “Hillary and Edmund Hit the Highway aka People Who Take Pictures of Trees,” which have both fairly current and classic pop hits listed. Chapters are also headed by song lyrics. This is a fun read, although if I think about it too much, I find things to worry about, like the fact that Amy’s mom thinks it is a smart idea to put her teenage daughter and a teenage boy in a car together for five days.

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