Published by Simon & Schuster on May 4th 2010
Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way.
If this review reaches you in a state that is in any way coherent, it will be a miracle. I have eyed up Morgan Matson’s books for a while now and swooned at the pretty covers and said to myself “Oh I must get to them soon”. So when 2015 came around, I foolishly thought “Hey, let’s get the year off to a good start” and I opened AMY AND ROGER and when I closed it, I experienced a six week reading slump that was only cured by – guess what?- another Morgan Matson book. It was painful but gosh darn it was worth it!
I just want to climb inside her books and live with these characters, hang out, make awesome playlists and feel all the feels! Matson has the warm, witty way of writing that makes you fall in love with her characters and ache at the realisation that with every passing page, you are a little closer to the end.
In AMY AND ROGER, Amy Curry needs a ride across America as her mom has moved the family to Connecticut and the family car needs to move there too. Enter Roger – recruited to drive Amy and the car across the States in an impeccably laid out plan of routes, hotels and timetables. Amy and Roger have had a rough couple of months respectively and when the idea is posited to maybe not follow the rules but see where an adventure takes them, they take a detour that changes them in more ways than one.
Amy and Roger are officially two of my favourite fictional characters. I loved how they interacted with each other as they’re thrown together in what could potentially be the most awkward of situations – stuck in a car with a complete stranger for days on end. As they plan their route as they go, getting into all manner of scrapes and hijinks, meeting weird and wonderful people on their travels not to mention instilling the greatest case of food envy in a person ever, we watch them grow and blossom both individually and as a pairing.
I adored Amy as an MC and really felt connected to her as we learn about the grief that hangs over her as a dark cloud, as she struggles to cope with the death of a loved one. I love her awkwardness and uncertainly as she slowly gets to know Roger and opens up to him with every day that passes and the adventures they experience. Music plays a big part in their connection and how it develops and I loved how Matson weaves it into their story. Roger – with his easy grace and big hearted nature, is just what Amy needs right now and while he doesn’t realise it, she’s just what he needs too. Dealing with a frustratingly obtuse ex girlfriend, his motivations for accepting to drive Amy across America may not have been entirely transparent but we see him too slowly come to terms with his situation through his conversations with Amy and their time together.
The ease at which Matson evokes the powerful imagery of life on the road is simply stunning. With every page, the dust from the roadside, the blistering heat from the packed freeways to the magic of possibility in a seemingly endless highway is achingly real and makes the reader want to hop in the car with Amy and Roger and experience this precious opportunity for themselves. The secondary characters in this book add a richness to the tapestry of adventures Amy and Roger embark on and they intensify the emotional depth of their exploits and the memories they garner as each meeting offers the wisdom and advice the characters need even if they don’t realise it until much later.
A beautifully written, honest and warm-hearted book about friendship, family, trusting your gut and taking the road less travelled, AMY AND ROGER is simply unforgettable and a book I will treasure forever.