I put this book on my Christmas list b/c of a comment someone made. Can't remember the exact words or who it was--but they basically said: if you want a great YA romance, you NEED to read this book.
I wish I did remember so I could thank them.
Road trip books are pretty big in YA. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was my first, but it won't be my last. There is a certain draw to that plot device (the road trip) that I never really considered before: The main characters are stuck together. There's no escape. Romance--or some kind of emotional connection (but hopefully romance J)--is almost sure to bloom.
While it didn't feature the writing style I typically go for (snappy one-liners, fast pace), the book sucked me in. Morgan Matson is such a terrific writer I didn't even realize it. I loved how Amy and Roger had their own motivations for going on this trip. And I also loved how they threw out all of Amy's mom's careful planning. They mapped their own route and encountered so many wonderful things along the way. What teenager doesn't want to do that?
I thought the format of the book would annoy me, but it so didn't. There are these pages littered throughout the book: actual receipts from diners, hotel receipts, brochures, pictures, playlists (which were awesome!). Those little extras were so integral to the story. They really made me feel like I was involved.
Like I was on this trip with Amy and Roger.
It took me about a week to read. And I didn't even mind that I had a ton of books in my TBR. I was able to lose myself, to go on this epic road trip with the main characters. And it was totally worth it.
I loved seeing Amy discover herself and make peace with the loss of her father. I loved how Roger couldn't get over Hadley--and then did at exactly the right time J. I loved watching the two of them fall hesitantly, slowly for each other.
The side characters were terrific. I wish I could meet a friend like Bronwyn, who'd accept me immediately and do away with all my crappy clothes without me knowing it. Leonard, the gamer, was hilarious. I loved Drew and Derek, and how the most mundane things could remind Amy of her dad. I really adored Lucien and his grass animals.
There are so many reasons I enjoyed this book. The playlists were like an unexpected gift, little musical gems hidden in the pages. Great story, great characters, The Lucksmiths. If you could hear me now, I'd be saying Morgan Matson's name like it contains only the good letters J. Go ahead and read it. You won't be disappointed.