It's Road Trip week!! We can't have a celebration of all things contemporary without some mention of these wonderful books. All this week me and Liz will be covering all things road trippy on our blogs and to start off, I have a review of Amy and Roger's Epic Detour:
Released: 7th July 2011 (UK)
Publisher: Simon&Schuster Children's Books (UK)
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.
Amy Curry has not had it easy. Her dad is dead, her brother is in rehab and her mother is moving her across the country so she can start a new job. And to make matters worse, Amy has to be driven there by the son of a family friend whom she hasn't seen for a long time.
I liked Amy as a character, she was shy and awkward and understandably so after what she's been through. I liked how she slowly came out of her shell, how the people she met, conversations she had and places she visited slowly helped heal her. I liked how she stood up to her mum and did something for herself, rather than abiding to the strict schedule left for her.
It took me a little longer to warm to Roger, but eventually I liked him too. I could totally empathise with his confusion at the abrupt end to his relationship, but I did kinda wish he'd had more dignity about the whole situation. He made the right call in the end, but for a while I did feel like telling him to get a grip
The relationship between Amy and Roger developed fantastically and very naturally. I loved how Amy was instantly aware that Roger is attractive, and how uncomfortable this made her, which combined with her awkwardness from lack of social interaction made for an interesting start to their dynamic. Roger on the other hand was clearly more outgoing and I liked seeing how he managed to get some interactions out of Amy. By the end they were enjoying each other's music, choosing each other's snacks, sharing in jokes and games and experiences. The road trip felt largely organic in terms of what it consisted of, the people they ran into and the things they did. There were a couple of moments where it felt a little too convenient or set up, but I wasn't too bothered by that.
My only major issue with this book was I felt a lack of emotional depth. I don't know if this is because I read Saving June first, which is a very emotional story, but I just felt like there wasn't enough there, it didn't move me to the extent I expected, there wasn't as many breakthroughs or realisations as I expected, and the chemistry between Amy and Roger was very mild and at times a little lacklustre in my opinion. I also wasn't a fan of what Amy said and did when she visited her brother. Aside from these little niggles though, this was a fantastic road trip book. I loved the inclusion of all the music, the little scrapbook elements, all the food/snacks and the emotional and mental journeys of the characters as well as the physical one they went on. I also really liked the ending, I thought it was superb and I couldn't have imagined a better one.
And don't forget to stop by our various giveaways! You can win a complete set of Ally Carter books (UK) or a Contemp YA book of your choice here, a complete set of Keris Stainton books + a copy of Graffiti Moon here, a copy of Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby here and finally a set of Julia Green books here