20 October 2010

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amelia Curry's dad died three months ago.  She's having a heck of a time admitting that this is her real life now.  Her mom decided that it was a good idea to move to Connecticut, so she's been there setting things up, and Amy is still on her own in California while they sell the old house.  When her mom decides that it's time for Amy to come "home" to the east coast, she sets her daughter up with a neighbor's son to travel across the country together, since Amy refuses to drive since the accident.  She gives them a strict itinerary, making all of their hotel arrangements and travel instructions.  When Roger suggests a detour, Amy quickly chooses Yellowstone National Park, where her dad used to take her and her brother, Charlie, when they were growing up.  From there, they embark on a journey that no one could have planned, especially not Amy's grief-torn mother, or even Amy herself.  Once Amy's cloud of grief clears just enough to notice how amazing Roger is, she's already comfortable with him in a way that can only come from sharing a car, money, and alternate identities.  In between bouts of 20 Questions, they help each other deal with their individual crises and give each other strength to deal with whatever lies ahead.

Not all loose ends are tied up neatly, and Amy and Roger don't offer any pat solutions to life's problems.  This story is about taking a journey, not always staying on the path that someone else might choose for you, and deciding that it's okay to make your own way, on your own or by accepting help and support from friends and family.  Recommended to all high school readers, mostly girls who are in search of a happily-ever-after (but without the whole "riding into a sunset" cliche).  
Call number: YA MATSON (Teen Room)

Reviewed by kate the librarian.

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