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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour Hardcover – May 4, 2010


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An Ember in the Ashes
"An Ember in the Ashes"
When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—After Amy's father dies in a car crash, everything that this California girl took for granted changes overnight. Her twin brother Charlie is shipped off to rehab in North Carolina. Her mother accepts a teaching position in Connecticut, leaving Amy home alone to finish her junior year of high school. Then her mom arranges to get Amy to Connecticut via a cross-country drive with a family friend, 19-year-old Roger. The pair quickly ditches the pre-planned itinerary in favor of more spontaneous detours to Yosemite, Colorado, and Graceland. Amy's mother is predictably furious and cuts off her credit card, leaving the teens on a shoestring budget. Along the way Amy gradually opens up to Roger about her father's accident and her repressed feelings about it. During a stop in Louisville, Roger finds closure with the girl who recently dumped him, leaving him available for a relationship with Amy. The theme of her emotional journey meshes well with the realistically rendered physical journey across the U.S. Playlists, pages from a travel scrapbook, well-drawn supporting characters, and unique regional details enhance the narrative. Flashback chapters shed light on Amy's life before her father's death, without breaking the steady pacing. One sexual situation is discreetly described. Overall, this is an emotionally rewarding road novel with a satisfying, if not totally surprising, conclusion. It's similar in theme and tone to Sarah Dessen's The Truth About Forever (Viking, 2004).—Amy Pickett, Ridley High School, Folsom, PA
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Review

"The narrative keeps its momentum even through flashbacks that gradually reveal more about Amy’s family tragedy and interspersed pages from Amy’s travel scrapbook, which includes jotted state overviews, souvenir menus, and long, keenly apt music playlists that’ll send readers off to downloading. If all road trips were like this, nobody’d ever stay home."--Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books
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An Ember in the Ashes
"An Ember in the Ashes"
When Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.Learn more | More in Teen and Young Adult

Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416990658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416990659
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (148 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,365 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hi! I'm Morgan. (I've always found the third-person biography thing pretty weird.)

I write YA novels, usually about a girl, a summer, a boy, sometimes a dog, and always lots of coffee and ice cream. I love road trips and traveling, old black & white movies filled with repartee, summers, Starbucks, and fountain diet coke.

I'm originally from the East Coast, but I now live in Los Angeles with my dog Murphy, in a house I wish was closer to the beach.

Customer Reviews

These are two really great main characters.
Rachel McWilliams
I've read good books lately, but I haven't read one in quite some time that actually made me laugh out loud.
Jasmine Baggenstos
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is the best road trip book ever.
Cozy Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lauren on May 2, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't know about you but I love debut novels. One of the main reasons why I do is because you seriously do not know what to expect, unlike, say, picking a novel up by one of your favorite authors. They can rock your socks and make you have a new favorite author or you can end up detesting the book and have an author you're not too sure about. Though either way you still get a taste of something new and exciting. Thankfully, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was one of the former of those two ways debut novels can go because, quite honestly, it was outright amazing in a way that I loved.

This book was sweet, funny, touching, and, well, basically all the positive adjectives out there, which made this one book I could not get enough of and sure many others will feel the same exact way!

In the start of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, I wasn't too found of Amy. I didn't like how closed off she was from the world around her and how awkward she was around others. I mean I understand why she was that way, I would be too if I was her, but it just bothered me a bit. Though as the novel progressed she began to be a better improved version of her prior self as she made amends with her past, learning how to move on yet remember, and shinned in result, leaving her to become someone I truly cared about. Adding to this, I adored Roger! He was swoon-worthy in a way that only literary male characters can be and I loved how he ended up being one of the main people along the trip who made Amy come out of her shell. While the minor characters parts were small, they still ended up leaving a big punch and made you wish that they had page space a bit longer than what they did.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By YA book lover on October 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am not a big fan of formulaic, Sarah Dessen-type summer YA romances, but the reviews of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour were so glowing, I wanted to give it a try. I did enjoy it, as much as I can enjoy a story that employs such genre cliches as makeovers and two teens sleeping in the same bed because, oh my!, there are no other options available.

The book is cute and sweet, engaging and a very quick read. The main characters, albeit fairly superficially drawn, are nice, likable people. Although Amy is in a state of grief over her father's death, her narration, to my relief, never becomes an overblown angstravaganza (like, let's say, Revolution - another YA novel about grief and guilt). Unhealthy, stalkerish and abusive relationships are not promoted here. The format is great too, it is sort of scrapbooky, with tons of notes, pictures, and receipts. I have to say, however, some of the scrapbook pages are not inserted into the narration very well, they interrupt the flow of the story. But it's a minor flaw.

As for negatives, they are mostly genre-related - the story is fairly predictable, the characterization is basic and the dialog is not as interesting as it could have been. My major beef with the novel is the hook-up scene in the end (it's fade-into-black BTW). Amy's first encounter with her college BF is handled well, but when it comes to Amy's tryst with Roger, the author never explores the emotional implications of non-committed sex. Why would Amy feel differently about sex this time is unclear, after all she was in love with both guys. I wish this scene would never have been in the book, but I guess the genre requirements called for it?
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Katie Dahlberg on July 20, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Oh gosh, how do I even sum up my love for this book with words? To start off with, I wasn't expecting it. A book about a road trip? How exciting and enthralling could that possibly be? But it completely took me by surprise and left me flabbergasted when I found that putting it down was nearly impossible.

Amy's character is closed-off and quiet, while Roger is a bit more outgoing and boisterous. The first few chapters of the road trip are a bit awkward, but instead of their personalities clashing, they start to rely on each other. After that, the relationship that forms is one that will be on a lot of my favorite lists for a long time. Roger is funny and Amy is sarcastic, and I loved every second of it.

Another thing I absolutely loved was the visuals. Several pages of the book are devoted to flyers, schedules, emails, purchases/lodgings receipts and pictures of the places that they visit. It also included hand-written pages of Amy & Roger's road trip play-lists, which featured hilarious doodles from Roger. The book still would've been amazing without it, but I thought it was incredibly neat to actually see what we were reading and I hope more novels take notice! (At first, I thought somebody actually drawn Roger's doodles into my copy before sending it to me!)

Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. Cracked into my top ten favorite list, even! Amy's slow but progressing reveal of her past and Roger's determination for his uncertain future with his ex-girlfriend makes for a great adventure that will evoke so many emotions. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone.
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