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AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR by Morgan Matson

After the death of her father, Amy, a high school student and Roger, a college freshman, set out on a carefully planned road trip from California to Connecticut, but wind up taking many detours, forcing Amy to face her worst fears and come to terms with her grief and guilt.

From the Publisher: Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her dad recently died in a car accident, and her mom decides to move from California to Connecticutjust in time for Amy's senior year. To escape from it all, Amy embarks on a road trip, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining her is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, but her feelings for Roger develop as the miles roll by&. Told in traditional narrative and filled with memorabilia from the road, this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.

After Amy's father dies, her mother moves from California to Connecticut, leaving Amy and nineteen-year-old Roger, a family friend, to drive out to meet her. The teens diverge from Amy's mother's itinerary in favor of exploring the country, discovering things along the way they didn't even know they were looking for. Likable characters and unpredictable adventures propel the sometimes slow plot.
Kirkus Reviews (April 1, 2010)

After a recent car accident claimed her father's life, high-school actress Amy refuses to drive anywhere, so her mother arranges for rising college sophomore Roger, the son of a family friend, to drive Amy and the family car from their house for sale in California to a new home in Connecticut. Quickly detouring from the route carefully planned by Amy's mother, the young adults go where their hearts lead them, taking in breathtaking sights and regional fast food along the way. As they visit old family vacation spots, track down Roger's ex and sneak into the drug-rehab center where Amy's twin brother is recovering, Amy and Roger begin to let go of their pasts and focus on the future--together. Adding to the fun of this debut novel are photos, maps, receipts, playlists and other passages from Amy's Traveler's Companion scrapbook. Appealing to Sarah Dessen, Deb Caletti, Cecil Castellucci fans and the like, this entertaining and thoughtful summertime road trip serves up slices of America with a big scoop of romance on the side. (Fiction. 13 & up)
Publishers Weekly (May 10, 2010)

In the summer following her junior year, Amy is nursing the loss of her father in a car accident-and the burden of believing it was her fault. With her mother relocating the family to Connecticut and her brother in rehab, Amy is left to get the car from California to their new house. But since the accident, Amy won't drive. Enter Roger, the 19-year-old son of a family friend, on his way to visit his father in Philadelphia. After a few bumps, Roger and Amy are on their way-he to help her face the grief and truth about her father's death, and she to help him move on from a painful breakup. Debut author Matson ably evokes the places, tastes, and tunes of this unforgettable cross-country trip, and the incorporation of b&w photos, receipts, playlists, sketches, and quotations about the states they pass through make it feel all the more real. The duo's budding romance is especially satisfying given the deliciously slow speed with which it builds. A near perfect summer read that should leave readers with a thirst for travel and romance. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal (June 1, 2010)

Gr 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 2010 Reed Business Information.