Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Book Review, Exclusive Playlist & Giveaway: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.

Product details:
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK.
Release date: July 7th 2011 (First published May 2010)
Paperback, 352 pages.
Rating: 4½ out of 5.
Ages: 12+
Source: Received from publisher for review.

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 and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson has been recommended to me time and time again, and being a fan of coming of age romances and road trips, I knew right away that I would probably enjoy this book. What I didn’t anticipate was just how much I would fall in love with Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, which is so much more than the light and fluffy summer read I was expecting it to be. This is a stunning debut, inspirational, touching and honest, it deals with themes of grief and heartbreak, love and loss, and learning to live and love again.

Amy Curry is not in a good place. Following a year of tragedy, in which she has witnessed her family fall apart, she has spent the past few months shutting herself away from the world around her, so the last thing she needs right now is a cross-country road trip with a guy she hasn’t laid eyes on since she was a kid. But that’s exactly what lies ahead for Amy as her mom has decided to relocate from California to Connecticut, forcing Amy to leave the life she knows behind. We meet Amy as she prepares to embark on her enforced road trip with family friend Roger, and she’s a little angsty to say the least. She hasn’t seen Roger in years, doesn’t know him well, and expects that they will have no shared interests. What they do have in common, though, right from the start of their trip, is a rebellious streak which leads them to deviate from the route Amy’s mom has all mapped out for them. Suddenly their trip becomes a whole lot more interesting and it soon emerges that Amy is not the only one dealing with heartbreak here. Roger has secrets of his own, and Amy soon realises that they might have more in common than she thinks, and maybe she’s even crushing on him just a little…

Soon we are accompanying Amy and Roger on their tour across America, and I promise you that when you read this book, you will feel like you have experienced this trip right along with these two. Beautifully written, and with a gorgeous layout that incorporates mementos ranging from postcards to restaurant receipts from Amy’s travel scrapbook, I felt like I had lived through the experience of Yosemite National Park, stumbled upon the Loneliest Road in America, and even visited Graceland as Amy and Roger make a quick stop in Memphis, Tennessee. Being a being music fan I also have to give a special mention to Roger’s awesome road trip playlists which are included in this book. I loved this aspect of the book, which adds a real authentic feel to the story. You can tell that this book was a labor of love for Morgan Matson and it really paid off because this is one great read. Heart-warming and funny, it made me laugh and maybe even shed a tear or two when I thought of all Amy had been through and her will to survive. She’s a damaged character, true, but a very likeable one too.

Amy and Roger meet a whole host of interesting characters on their journey, a couple of which I would love to see feature in future books from Matson. Friendly and fashionable Bron, and Lucien, to whom Amy and Roger had a very interesting introduction to indeed, were two characters I totally warmed to, while Lucien’s sister Hadley is a character I just loved to hate!

One of my favourite reads of 2011, this is a must read for summer, and it’s also a powerful one that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final pages. I loved watching Amy and Roger grow closer as their trip progressed, leading to a beautifully realistic relationship, as the two become friends, confidantes and maybe something more. A wonderful debut, this comes highly recommended from me, and I’m very excited to find out about future releases from Morgan Matson!

I recently interviewed Morgan, and she was kind enough to share her latest play list for me.  It features some great songs - Nightswimming by REM, a song I have always loved, Someone Like You by ADELE, which is just amazing (love her voice!) and Dark Halls by Au Revoir Simone who are one of my favourite summer listening bands! 

You can find the rest of the songs on the playlist by clicking: HERE.  Bring this one with you on your next road trip! :)


I'm giving away one shiny new UK copy of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
To be in with a chance to win, just fill in the form below.
Competition is INTERNATIONAL (wherever Book Depository ships) and ends July 29th.



  1. This sounds like a great summer book. Thanks for the giveaway! :)

  2. I have heard so much about Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. I was expecting it to be a light read without any depth. I am really glad to hear that it deals with issues like grief and loss. I love books that involve any kind of travel, so this is definitely going to be on my TBR.

    Thanks for the giveaway, Leanna!

  3. I love that the book includes little mementos from their trip, it makes the story all the more tangible and real:) I love this cover too, much more interesting than the US one I think! Amazing review Leanna, I need to read this one:)

  4. I ordered this one today! Cannot wait until it arrives! :)

    Amy @ Turn the Page

  5. I'm so glad you enjoyed this book. I love it! I think it's the perfect beach read. One of my favorite aspects of this book was the postcards, receipts, play lists, etc. It made it feel so real. I was ready for a road trip after reading this! Great review, Leanna!

  6. Thank you for the giveaway! This book looks fab!

  7. I love that this book has pictures inside that relate to the road trip. Thanks for the review!

  8. Ah, this is a book that I initially dismissed but the more I read a bout it the more I think it's the perfect slightly-more-than-fluffy summer read. I'm really looking forward to it now. :)

  9. Loved this book. So perfect for summer.

  10. Great giveaway! I love how this book is more than just a story - the scrapbook element elevates it to something special. I can't wait to read it.

  11. Great review! I love road trip books :) & thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Awesome review! I loved everything about this book. I really can't wait to see what Matson writes next.

  13. I'm so happy you picked it up! It was one of my favs from last year! I've been contemplating re-reading it lately!

  14. Thanks for the giveaway! Book sounds great.

  15. I've seen this book around a lot and I've read some reviews, but I never really got into it until reading your review. I like the set up for why they're on the road trip together. I definitely got "light and fluffy" vibes from the covers, so good ot know it's deeper than it seems. I don't mind fluff, but I like knowing what I'm getting into.

  16. Oh my gosh - what a fab review. Being a travel junkie, I myself love going on road trips so reading about them are definitely something I want to do as well. I've heard nothing but great things about this book and the fact that you're giving it a huge thumbs up, definitely spells a WIN for me. Thanks for the giveaway. *Holding thumbs*


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