Recenzie / Review: Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour, by Morgan Matson



Am mai citit eu romane Young Adult, sau pe româneşte, „pentru adolescenţi”, şi înainte de vara lui 2013, însă de atunci şi până acum se pare că am dezvoltat o adevărată pasiune pentru ele! Îmi aduc aminte că am început cu „Roşu de rubin” al lui Kerstin Gier, despre care habar nu aveam că scrie şi cărţi pentru adolescenţi, am continuat cu „Sub aceeaşi stea” şi „Căutând-o pe Alaska”, şi încet-încet am ajuns la „Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour” de Morgan Matson. Se pare că acest roman întruchipează toate motivele pentru care eu ador să citesc acest gen de ficţiune: e un montagne-russe de emoţii care te poartă printr-un vârtej ameţitor şi care nu-ţi oferă un moment de respiro decât atunci când dai şi ultima pagină. Dar poate vă întrebaţi ce m-a determinat să ajung la această concluzie…



I have read Young Adult books before the summer of 2013, but it seems that from then and till now I have developed a serious crush for them! I remember starting this semi-obsession with Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier, of whom I had no idea that she also wrote novels for teenagers, I carried on with The Fault in Our Stars and Looking for Alaska by John Green, and I slowly inched towards Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. This last novel seems to be the embodiment of all the reasons for which I love to read this genre: it’s a rollercoaster of emotions that carry you into a head-spinning swirl and offer you no moments to catch your breath, except for when you turn that last page. Maybe you’re wondering why I reached this conclusion…

For starters, Amy Curry is a seventeen year-old girl whose father died three months prior. Amy is in deep pain and to make matters worse, her drug-addicted brother starts having an even more difficult behaviour, practically forcing their mother to put him into a rehab institution. And as if this isn’t enough, Amy’s mother moves to another city (another state, actually) where she’ll be waiting for her daughter to come and start over their lives and forget the pain of her husband and Amy’s father’s death. So this is how for a whole month Amy lives alone in a house that is filled with the memories of a somewhat happy family, and she experiences this isolation as a silent torture, a dull ache that makes her distance herself from all her friends and even from her best friend. Amy also harbours a secret, that I shall not reveal ( 😀 ) here since it’s a… well… secret! But I’ll tell you one thing: when you’ll find out her secret, you’ll suffer with her, you’ll cry with her and you will want to take that burden off her soul at any cost.

Roger… Roger is a kid from Amy’s childhood, with whom she and her brother used to play when they were little, during the summer holidays. Now, of course, Roger is no longer a kid, he’s a college student, he’s nineteen and he stirs in Amy certain feelings that take her by surprise but also thrill her. For the first time in three months, she feels alive, she feels that her life also has a future and not only a past. Roger is entrusted with the task of traveling across the United States to take Amy’s mother’s car to the city where she moved. With Amy in it, of course. Although at first the air between them is tense, Amy notices that Roger doesn’t know her secret and because of it, she can be more relaxed, calmer, more like the Amy in the past with him. In a way, Roger is her salvation. All the things they go through close the distance between them and create a bond stronger even than the one that is formed between people during several years. They get to know each other, to know their preferences, their gestures, the various tones of their voices and, inevitably, they fall in love with each other.

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour is not a book centred on love but rather on self-discovery, on exploring new land, on spiritual healing. With the help of this trip, Amy rediscovers herself, she grows up and she finally manages to communicate with those she loves: she finally finds out why her brother is in the rehab clinic and why her mother moved to the other side of the country. She realizes that the world doesn’t revolve around her but with her, and that it is a wonderful feeling to be part of something and no longer stand on the sidelines of life like an eternally grounded kid.

Pay extra attention to Roger’s playlists from during the trip! I had the fortunate idea to look for the songs before I actually started reading the book, and it’s a great thing that I did. Morgan Matson put together some lists with songs that perfectly match the story of the novel and that manage to convey the feelings that Amy is also probably having next to Roger in the car. After all, no trip is a good trip without a well-chosen playlist and good company, right? I’m sure your answer is affirmative, so once again I urge you to sink your teeth into this book, give it a go and let yourselves be carried away by Amy and Roger in their voyage of self-discovery that offers both of them the hope of a brighter future, filled with promise!

Currently the book is only available in English, but it will soon be released in Romanian at Epica Publishing House.

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