The premise is that Amy’s family have recently suffered the loss of her father and she, her mother and her brother have basically splintered and each now live as far away from each other as it’s possible to be whilst still being on the continental U.S. Amy’s mother has just sold their family home and wants Amy to bring her car up from California to Connecticut. Trouble is, since the car crash that killed her dad, Amy is shy to get behind the wheel of a car again. Enter Roger... Roger doesn’t have anything like Amy’s tragic past, but he has his issues too and over the course of the book and an Epic Detour from the route plan Amy’s mother provided them with, they start to let go of the pain of their pasts and look forward to the future.
The plot is a kind of self-discovery thing, and also an America-discovery thing. I live in England, so there were points where I had to have my iPad next to me with a picture of the U.S. so I could work out where they were talking about, but that was a good thing. I learned stuff. There wasn’t instalove (good), I really liked Roger’s thing about explorers, and I really, really liked the ending and the way things between Amy and Roger panned out.
Amy was a great MC. She was witty and bright, even in the midst of grief and proved to be a great tourguide of the U.S.!
One of the only problems I had about this book was such a ridiculous thing, I don’t even know if I should mention it, but I’m going to anyway. Here goes:
My friend’s dad is called Roger.
Ach! I know you should look past a name to the character the author is trying to portray and focus on that, but every time I read ‘Roger’, all I could think was, ‘Roger, my friend’s dad’ and I got a picture of a middle-aged guy with a comb-over and a protruding chin.
And this totally isn’t the author’s fault: she doesn’t know Roger-my-friend’s-dad, but I couldn’t help it. I just kept picturing him.
Still, despite this I really liked Roger. I like it when an author doesn’t feel the need to have her male MC all brooding and mysterious and constantly leaving the female MC wondering if he likes her or if he’s off shagging loads of other girls, and gives some love action to the boy-next-door type instead. This is good. This is progress.
Okay, and while we’re on the subject of boys, can we get a WOOP! WOOP! DICKWEED ALERT! for Amy’s ex-boyfriend, Michael. Seriously, who takes their girlfriend’s virginity half an hour after her dad’s funeral? Who DOES that? Wankers, that’s who. And yes, I know she went over to his dorm room and I know she was begging for it, BUT YOU DON’T DO IT! Plus, also: why wasn’t he at her dad’s funeral. Why did he leave her to deal with it on her own? <Shakes head>. Dickweed.
So in spite of the unfortunate-Roger-nomenclature and the duckweed ex, I’d still thoroughly recommend this book.