Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So Amy and Roger's Epic Detour wasn't all that epic after all.

It starts off with Amy, living in a house alone in California. Her mother has already moved to Connecticut, her twin brother is in rehab and her father recently died in a car crash. She is the last one left behind, the house is about to be sold and she has to get the family car, a Liberty, from California to Connecticut, where her mother has decided to move after her husband's death. That's when Roger enters the scene. Amy doesn't want to drive across America or anywhere else and Roger, a family friend's son who has to go visit his father in Philadelphia, has been designated her chaffeur for the trip. The route is set, Amy's mom has planned it and booked the hotels. But. Neither Amy nor Roger intend to follow the plan, each for his/her own motives. The trip will turn out as a sort of catharsis for both of them, the first little (or huge, since it's across America) step toward moving on with their lives.

It sounds all pretty good, except my feelings for this book are.... tepid, to say the least.
The first part of the book was very underwhelming, I even got bored a little bit. The story is highly predictable and that would be ok, if I had felt the characters to be more real.
My main problem was Amy. I didn't buy her virginal prudery to sleep in the same bed with Roger because she is, in fact, not a virgin. I didn't buy her grief, it somehow felt contrived to me, her choking up, her chin-trembling and her sunglasses problem.
Roger was, of course, just too good to be true and even his change of heart along the trip didn't exactly come out as natural.

Fortunately, the story picked up quite nicely in the second part of the book and I have to say I was really charmed by all the little notes, pictures and addition to the story (a bit à la The Sky is Everywhere. They give a little something to the narration and certainly make the long trip more interesting for the reader. I
I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending, which was also slightly underwhelming.... again, I was to say tepid. It was way more feasible than if it had ended with an unrealistic declarations of undying love, but still. It ended quite abruptly in my opinion, I wanted to see the conflict between Amy and her mom developed more.

All in all, a decent read but, as far as these "grief" books go, that deal with the death of a loved one OR/AND trips across America, I've read better this year. Amy and Roger's Epic Detour kind of felt like Saving June's ugly cousin.


  1. "Amy and Roger's Epic Detour kind of felt like Saving June's ugly cousin."

    LOL that comment made me laugh! So I was curious about this book but ever since I discovered Saving June, I felt that this one wouldn't live up to that so I haven't picked it up. Your review has just confirmed this.

  2. Yup, I found Saving June WAY better Chachic. But, you might still like this, the tour they take is pretty cool. I enjoy these travel books very much.
    Apparently this book cannot compete with Maja's ugly cousins though :D

  3. Oh, hush, you! Everyone has those cousins, I'm just not afraid to admit it. I have some very pretty ones as well. :P

  4. I'll still include it in my giant wishlist but I won't hurry out and get it. I like reading about characters who travel in novels too.

    Your poor cousins, Maja! Let's just hope they don't see your blog. :P

  5. Interesting! I've been hearing nothing but praise for this one, so it's good to hear the other side as well.

  6. Maybe, if I'd read it before Saving June.... but truth is, it did bore me at the beginning.
    You should try Anaavu, you might like it more than me!


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