Impressions: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour | #UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatsonWeek

May 10, 2016 / 52 Comments / Feature, Giveaway Closed, Personal, Review

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Today for Morgan Matson Week, I’m taking you way, way back to the beginning of my love affair with Morgan Matson’s books to her debut, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Each part of this post was written at a different time – weeks before re-reading, right before, and after. Writing this post has been a journey into my memories and who I was five years ago – and how much I’ve changed (thank you, Morgan, as usual, for the reflective inspiration!).

And, so you don’t think it’s just me who’s having a nostalgic moment, Ambur at Burning Impossibly Bright is also talking about her first impressions and playlists for Amy & Roger.

If you’re new to Morgan Matson and you haven’t read A&R, though, Meghan at Living a Life in Books has a post just for newbies like you!

Impressions: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour | #UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatsonWeekAmy & Roger's Epic Detour

Author: Morgan Matson
Find the author: Website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr
Also by this author: The Unexpected Everything, Second Chance Summer, Save the Date
Publication date: July 7th 2011
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
My rating:
Buy It: | | The Book Depository | iBooks | Google Books | Audible

Amy Curry is having a terrible year. Her mother has decided to move all the way across the country and needs Amy to drive their car from California to the East Coast. There's just one problem: since the death of her father, Amy hasn't been able to get behind the wheel of a car. Enter Roger, the son of an old family friend, who turns out to be unexpectedly cute… and dealing with some baggage of his own.

Meeting new people and coming to terms with her father's death were not part of Amy's plans for the road trip. But then neither was driving on the Loneliest Road in America, seeing the Colorado Mountains, visiting diners, dingy motels and Graceland. But as they drive, and she grows closer to Roger, Amy finds that the people you least expected are the ones you need the most - and that sometimes you have to get lost in order to find your way home.

Gentle spoilers for Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour. Read at your own risk.

First Impressions: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Picture this: it’s July 2011. I’m in Vancouver, British Columbia for a friend’s wedding. My friends and I are piling into a rented MINI, heading up to Hope, the small, mountainous town where they filmed the Sylvester Stallone movie Cliffhanger.  I’m flying solo this week, having left my boyfriend back in Toronto. Consequentially, I’m feeling a little off about going up to this cabin with two couples.

I’ve packed a couple of books for the journey and the destination, just to make sure I have enough to do. One of them is a library book I’d recently picked up because it was about a road trip. It was YA, my preferred genre, although I was a little hesitant to announce that in company.

Tiff in BC 2011
This is me at Hell’s Gate, which is the area of BC where Cliffhanger was filmed.

I started Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour that night, while rain poured down onto the roof of the cabin. It was dark, stormy, and because I was alone, I was sleeping on the sofa. I thought Amy & Roger would be light, fluffy, and just what I needed to take my mind off of the gloomy wetness. Ten pages in, I stopped and realized that this was going to be a lot more than I expected.

Over the next two days, while a torrential flood made going outside near impossible, I went on a journey with Amy Curry and Roger Sullivan. While I was making a pie from scratch, I was on the Loneliest Road in America. While we played cards, I saw the sculptures in Lucien’s garden. And late at night, when everyone was sleeping, I fell for Amy, Roger, and hoped for them to get together SOON DAMMIT. And between it all, I was thinking about the journey that Amy was taking, not just physically, but emotionally. Learning to appreciate what she had, accept what she’d lost. And being able to take joy in music and learning another person.

Lasting Impressions:

I read Amy & Roger at a time in my life when I was rediscovering my love of YA and way, WAY before I started blogging. My memories of this book are very much steeped in where I read the book and what I learned from it. I remember the playlists very vividly. I remember the Graceland moments. I remember that Amy and Roger were very dressed up for their date. And I remember how their date ended and how the book ended.

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson book coverAnd I remember thinking…this is what I want to do. I want to write a book like this, one that looks at a physical journey as an emotional one, and looks at life in this whimsical, precious way.

I started writing for the first time in years that night in Hope, in my head, trying to uncover characters that I might be able to mine for that same experience that Morgan Matson gave me. And I started writing those thoughts down on paper (or a computer, rather) as soon as I got home from that trip.

Even though I’m nowhere near a finished manuscript, for me, Amy & Roger is the book that made me want to write something that would make someone else feel the way I did when I finished – empty, but in a good way. Ready to take on the world, but having learned something from grief and pain and what you get just by living and putting yourself out there. 

Rereading Impressions:

I re-read Amy & Roger for the first time just last week, half on audiobook, and  it’s a different book than when I first read it. Maybe because I’ve read and written so much more, I’ve gone through some serious adulting (getting married, buying a house, getting a stable job) and so has Morgan. Here are some of the thoughts I had:

  1. Whoa, 2010 technology! Netmail! Like hotmail? And texting clearly wasn’t happening at this time, since the characters are all leaving each other voicemails.
  2. I’d forgotten about the travel scrapbook that Amy’s mom sends her in order to help document her trip – it was so fun to delve into the visual parts of this book again.
  3. I’d definitely forgotten that Amy was a theater geek who only listened to show tunes, while Roger was a history major obsessed with explorers.
  4. I’d also forgotten the reason that Amy wasn’t driving through most of the book. And the flashbacks. Whoa.

    Tiff getting driver's license
    This is me after I passed my driving test in Dec 2014 (yes, it took that long!).
  5. I didn’t know how to drive when I first read this book! It makes a huge, huge difference to how I see the characters…and how much I understand what they’re both going through as they wend their way through America.
  6. I never, ever forgot about the Loneliest Road in America. It sounds terrifying. And amazing.
  7. There are a lot more burger places than I remember. And I really, really want to try that crumbly Kansas burger.
  8. A lot of the stuff I remember most happens right at the end…which means the ending was good. But also, I think it says something that I prioritized the ending more than the rest of the book in my memories. I also prioritized the romance over everything else.
  9. This time around, I love, love, LOVED the secondary characters so much more. Bronwyn and Lucien are my favorites, but there are so many more we meet throughout Amy & Roger’s journey, and I think they really signify what’s to come in Morgan’s writing and her interest in all of her characters’ backstories and found families.
  10. Wow, these playlists are amazing. So amazing that I started putting them together on Spotify as I was writing this, AND I got my Ambur to do a post inspired by Amy & Roger music. You’re welcome.

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So…in case you’re new to Morgan Matson, today I’m giving away one finished copy of any of Morgan’s books! This giveaway is international as long as The Book Depository ships to you. No contest accounts, please!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mostly YA Lit's Unexpectedly Epic Morgan Matson Week buttonCheck out the rest of today’s #MorganMatsonWeek posts!

Living a Life in Books: For Morgan Matson Newbies
Burning Impossibly Bright: How AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR Began My Love of Contemporary Fiction

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52 responses to “Impressions: Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour | #UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatsonWeek

  1. Sandy S.

    I would like to read this novel as I have it on my TBR pile but just haven’t got around to reading it yet. Summer is coming and what a great book to read for summer. Thanks for the giveaway.

  2. _Sandra_

    I would pick The Unexpected Everything ’cause I’ve already read and loved her other books (especially, Since You’ve Been Gone!). Love her writing style and this one just sounds like another perfect read.
    Thanks for the giveaway! 🙂

  3. I loved Amy and Roger when I read it, especially the playlists throughout. I think I have a list of the music somewhere on my laptop for when I want to listen to something different. (And it probably helps that I love musicals, and so I thought all of Amy’s playlists were great). 🙂 I was so desperate for them to get together too! How was it listening to it on an audiobook?

    • I felt like I was missing a few things in the audio – you don’t get that visual experience of seeing the scrapbook even though it’s read to you. I liked the narrator, but I had to switch back to paper after awhile.

  4. Tammy V

    I would pick Second Chance Summer. I read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and loved it. It was a unique read with some humor in it. Had my daughter read it too after I did.

  5. I would love a copy of Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour! I read it as an ebook and really enjoyed it. Definitely need a copy to put on my shelf and reread again and again 😀 Thank you for the chance!

  6. Szelina

    I would like The Unexpected Everything cause I have already read most of her other books Thank you for the giveaway! :))

  7. Oh, Tiff!!! 😀 I absolutely LOVED getting to see your different reflections on AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR!!! And you’re so right…I got just as nostalgic over it as you did. ;D Thank you again for letting me join in on the fun and rave about how amazing Morgan’s debut was. Also, I had no idea you were writing something on your own! That’s wonderful, and I’m so glad to hear that AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR inspired you to want to write a story that would move readers just as much as it moved you. 🙂

  8. I recently read Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and I fell in love! I loved this book just as much as Since You’ve Been Gone, which I read last summer. Morgan Matson is quickly growing to become one of my favorite authors!

  9. I have loved all of Morgan’s books. I think one of my favorite parts about her books is how she always incorporates music. I love creating my own perfect playlists for different occasions, and Morgan’s books include some really great music.

  10. Jenn

    I would love Second Chance Summer!! It seems like a book I would thoroughly enjoy, since I loved Amy and Rogers epic detour! hanks for the chance!

  11. I would pick The Unexpected Everything or Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, as I just finished Second Chance Summer and previously read Since You’ve Been Gone.

  12. I would pick The Unexpected Everything because the cover is awesome and what first caught my attention. Now I am seeing it everywhere and hearing great things and I want to read it even more.

  13. Viviana Murgoci

    I would chose Since you’ve been gone because I’ve been meaning to read it for a while now but never picked it up from the bookstore so this would be the perfect opportunity, plus that I love the premise of this book and I heard nothing but great things about Morgan Matson’s writing style.

  14. Kat

    I have been waiting to read Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour for a while, as well as Second Chance Summer. So far, I have only been able to read Since You’ve Been Gone, which was AMAZING! I still really want to read The Unexpected Everything as well. In general, I just want to read all of Morgan Matson’s works.

  15. Leocadia

    I think I’d choose the Unexpected Everything, because I haven’t read it yet, and I love the cover!

  16. Isabella

    I would pick Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour because it’s her debut book, and I think it would be a lovely book to have!

  17. Claire Lundin

    Second Chance Summer is the only one of Morgan’s books that I do not own, but I’ve read it and loved it as much as her other three! I definitely need to finish off my collection of her wonderful books – especially since they’re my default re-reads!

  18. Emma A

    I would choose The Unexpected Everything or Since You’ve Been Gone. The covers on these are so adorable, both of these look like they would be the perfect summer read!

  19. D

    I would choose The Unexpected Everything because I really loved the book and for me, it’s her best book yet. Or Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour because that’s the book made me fall in love with her words. 🙂

  20. I would probably go for the Epic Detour, since I am a total sucker for road trip novels. I’ve read Since You’ve Been Gone last summer and it was beautiful! ^_^

  21. Zaira Fs

    I would choose The Unexpected Everything!! I’ve read her other books before so I have no doubts about the good things I’ve been hearing about her latest release! 🙂

  22. I love ALL of Morgan Matson’s books. The only one I don’t own a copy of is Broken Hearts. She’s one of my very favorite authors! <3

  23. Rebecca

    I’m excited for The Unexpected Everything and already own or have read her others, so that’s my pick!

  24. Rebecca

    Love that you revisited the book! Amy and Roger was my first book I read by Morgan Matson, so it’s pretty special to me. I’m not a big re-reader, but maybe I’ll return one day and see how much it’s changed in the time since I last picked it up 🙂

  25. Bashayer A

    I’d like to read the Unexpected Everything, everyone seems to love it and I think I will. 🙂

  26. Kathleen P

    I’d probably choose Second Chance Summer since I haven’t read that one yet, but it would be nice to own Amy & Rodger’s Epic Detour.

  27. sam

    I would choose the new book, because I have read all the others (and LOVED them!). I seriously devoured every word Morgan Matson said during her BookCon panel. I regret not making it to the ice cream party. =(

  28. Nicole O

    I would choose The Unexpected Everything because it’s the only book I haven’t had the chance to read yet and based on what I’m hearing about it, it’s pretty amazing!

  29. Brittani

    I would choose Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour! It was my first Matson book, and the only one I don’t have a physical copy of, which makes me sad.

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