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Amy & Roger's Epic Detour Paperback – May 3, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 178 customer reviews

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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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

“This is an incredible book—heartbreakingly funny and utterly un-put-down-able.” --Lauren Myracle, New York Times Bestselling author of Thirteen and TTYL

"One of the most touching, irresistible, and feel-good road trips I've been on in a long, long while. AMY & ROGER is a book to love." --Deb Caletti

* "A near perfect summer read that should leave readers with a thirst for travel and romance." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This entertaining and thoughtful summertime road trip serves up slices of America with a big scoop of romance on the side." --Kirkus
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (May 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416990666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416990666
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (178 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This one for me, 2 1/2 stars. Hmmm, I'm not really sure why this book got so many high ratings. I found it on a book list for similar reads to 'Anna and the French Kiss' which I LOVED. This book, however, not so much.

It started out promising enough, girl loses father, brother is in rehab, mom moves across country to buy a new home and set up leaving said girl to bring the car a month later with a guy who will be living in Philadelphia with his father for the summer. Sounds good, right? I was really looking forward to this book. Well, it totally fell flat, SO flat. I kept waiting for the 'getting to know you' part and it didn't come until SO far into the book (like about 70% or more in) that I didn't really care as much anymore (and even when it came it wasn't even that good).

I have read MANY books before about teens with problems (every kind you can imagine) and Amy was no different except that the author gave you nothing to really want to root for her. She wasn't interesting . I kept waiting for that WOW moment when I just started falling in love with her, wanting her to have dialog instead of all these vague internal references about why she was the one who killed her father. There really was not much more to it. She just sat in the seat beside Roger and stared out the window for 90% of their trip. BORING. Then Roger, who was much more interesting than Anna in the beginning, also didn't contribute much either. I was actually really sad about this because he could have given SO much more to the story. He started out interesting to me and fun, and I wanted to know more about him, but the more hours that stretched by in the car the more irritated I got when absolutely NOTHING was revealed.
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