- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
- Format: Hardback | 343 pages
- Dimensions: 140mm x 211mm x 36mm | 431g
- Publication date: 4 May 2010
- Publication City/Country: New York, NY
- ISBN 10: 1416990658
- ISBN 13: 9781416990659
- Edition: 1
- Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
- Sales rank: 28,615
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
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By Alice 28 Jun 2014
All the lovely pictures compliments the story, and really gave me an idea as to what Amy was referring to in the book.
Reading this book has made me want to take a road trip myself! ^.^ ( I hope I'll get the chance to do that soon! :D )
***Review also on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/899940173?book_show_action=false
By TeensReadToo 28 Sep 2010
I am proud to say this book is going on my keeper shelf. Road trip novels always held a special appeal to me, so this book was always going in my TBR. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2010. From the cover, to the first sentence, all the way to the ending - it held me in a way few books do. I am proud to say it both met and surpassed all expectations I had.
Amy is home alone in California, packing up to drive across the country to her new home in Connecticut with her mother and her twin brother, Charlie. Roger is sent with her to supervise, drive, and hitch a ride to Philadelphia himself. They were old childhood playmates, but they hardly remembered each other. Amy is barely getting over her father's recent death, and Roger is dealing with the harsh break-up of someone he thought he loved. Needless to say, we are met with two needy and complex protagonists, and they give us one heck of a ride.
What mainly follows is a series of detours. Amy and Roger decide to ride through Yellowstone, bypassing her mother's preplanned route; hotel reservations and MapQuest directions included. With caution thrown to the wind, we see these two characters change and build a relationship unlike any other. Amy deals with fears and her inability to be adventurous, as well as with a not-so-smooth mother/daughter relationship. Roger deals with trying to move on from a relationship that was never quite right, and with his new experiences with Amy.
The writing and layout of this book was, in one word, perfect. It flowed and had the fun campy quality of Johnson's 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and the depth of BECOMING CHLOE. Out of all the road trip novels I have read, this is so far the tops in terms of writing. The reader is also treated to the occasional email or music playlist. Though they don't show up constantly, but just enough to leave a lasting impact. Oh, and the rare receipt thrown in also had a lasting effect. Let me just say that this method ties into the ending in a way that left me utterly reeling with joy.
Characterization and plot are no strangers to the power of this simple yet complex writing. Amy and Roger grow so slowly, yet exponentially, that the reader is left with a sense of completion upon finishing each chapter. The actions and growth are so subtle, yet hit the reader like the impact of an ocean wave on a tiny plastic boat. Even the side characters are perfect; their formations are great, and they don't ever feel like they are dropped, which is usually the case with novels like this. Even stationary novels have trouble with wrapping up characters, yet Matson does it with an ease and clarity that is appreciated greatly.
Quotes begin every chapter section and fit together very well with the overall theme of the novel. This book is romantic and cute, but it manages to have several layers to it. The overall themes involving traveling and home and letting go are hit hard and in just the right spots to make the reader think without over-analyzing anything in the text. Even the references in theatre and song that dot the text have meaning aside from the obvious.
A spot on the keeper shelf is nothing to this book. Really, I could give it a whole wall and it would not be enough. I loved everything about it; plot, writing, characters, themes...This book has it all. Even at hardcover, I would not hesitate to pick this book up. I would tell anyone to read it, just for the sweet romance and the idea of learning more about yourself and the people you know and love.
*Gold Star Award Winner!
By papalbina 02 Sep 2010
I had never read a road-trip novel before, only saw movies which I found quite boring. That's why the travelling part of the book surprised me positively. I found myself enjoying the "little detour" as much as the characters to the point that I'm beginning to think that such a road trip through the USA will be a good alternative for my vacation.
The rest is just Amy and her grief. It's easy to figure out what her problem with driving is from the beginning and at some point it was annoying to see how she could open to other people but not to Roger. At the same time it felt liberating every time she got a step further, you could be happy for her and that felt right. I loved Roger - ex-girlfriend obsession included. He's cute and funny and cuddly. All the people they found in their journey made the book special, interesting and worth the reading.
The book is about a girl recovering from her father's death, about how important it's to talk about what's troubling you and it's about grief and how overpowering it can be. A&R may not be the most romantic story I've ever read, but it's one of the most special ones.
"The narrative keeps its momentum even through flashbacks that gradually reveal more about Amy's family tragedy and interspersed pages from Amy's travel scrapbook, which includes jotted state overviews, souvenir menus, and long, keenly apt music playlists that'll send readers off to downloading. If all road trips were like this, nobody'd ever stay home."--Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books