Morgan Matson – Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Synopsis

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.

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Nagyon szeretem a Road trip-es könyveketepicdetourplaylist, és ez a kötet igazán egyedire sikerült. Rengeteg rajz, fénykép, számlák, belépők találhatók a könyvben, amellyel az írónő elérte, hogy az olvasónak valóban olyan érzése legyen, mintha egy igazi útinaplót lapozgatna, és valóban részt venne Amy és Roger utazásán. Külön megemlíteném, hogy minden államhoz készült egy tracklist, ami összesen majdnem 150 zeneszám! (Lentebb meg is hallgatható). Ezt már Leiner Laura könyveinél is imádtam, hogy szánnak arra időt, hogy kellő alapossággal kiválasszák az odaillő zeneszámot. Ez rengeteg belefektetett energia, de valahogy tökéletesebbé teszi az egész könyvélményt. Nagyon tetszett és feldobta az egészet. Nekem néha kicsit túl YA volt ez a könyv, néha már „túl édes volt”, annak ellenére, hogy természetesen ez is megtört lelkű fiatalokról szól. Picit kidolgozatlannak éreztem a karaktereket, ezen azt hiszem kellett volna még dolgozgatni, de a végére is így megkedveltem őket.

ar2A történetet úgy kezdődik, hogy Amynek Kaliforniából Connecticutba kell költöznie, ahova már egy hónappal azelőtt édesanyja el is költözött, miután Amy apukája tragikus hirtelenséggel elhunyt. Mivel Amy ikertestvére, Charlie, Észak-Karolinában van, Amy egy hónapig (a gimi harmadév végéig), egyedül él a házukban. Mikor elkezdődik a nyár és közben a házuk is eladásra kerül, Amynek el kell utaznia, hogy elkezdje az életét Amerika másik végében, egy teljesen új helyen. Mivel Amy nem vezet, így anyukája egy régi barátnőjének fiát kéri meg, hogy vezesse el a kocsit és hozza el Amyt Connecticutba (aki egyébként Pennsylvaniaba tart, hogy apukájával töltse a nyarat). Habár gyerekkorukban együtt játszottak, Roger mégis teljesen idegen Amy számára és kicsit megijeszti, hogy négy napot kell eltöltenie egy idegen egyetemista fiúval, főleg úgy, hogy édesapja halála után Amy teljesen elzárkózott mindenkitől, megszakította az összes barátságát és teljesen elhagyta a régi életét.

Rövid összebarátkozás után Amy és Roger úgy döntenek, hogy kicsit kezükbe veszik az irányítást, és letérnek a lány anyukája által diktál útvonalról. Felütik a térképet és elindulnak az általuk kiválasztott útvonalon, az általuk kiválasztott helyekre. Egyszóval csinálnak egy detour-t… 🙂 Talán egyikük sem akar olyan hamar odaérni a végső úti céljukhoz (végül bőven túl is lépik a négy napot), talán mindketten kalandozni szeretnének, talán mindketten gyógyulni akarnak (Amy a gyászból és bűntudatból, Roger egy szerelmi bánatából).

Más volt ez a könyv, olyan ar6szempontból is, hogy nem igazán nevezetességek megnézéséről szólt, hanem inkább mindig volt egy úti cél egy-egy államban ahova tartottak (egy-egy személyhez, vagy egy-egy „küldetésre”). Út közben nem sok minden történik, inkább csak megtudjuk, hogy milyen a táj (sivatag, vagy hegyvidékes), milyen az időjárás, és főként, hogy milyen különleges ételeket találnak. Az biztos, hogy minden felkeresett államot megismertem kulinárisan, ami egyébként nagyon tetszett! 🙂 Kicsit furcsa volt néha a könyv stílusa is. Az tetszett, hogy ugráltunk az időben és így egyre inkább megismertük Amy múltját és kapcsolatát a családjával, de az, ahogy a jelentek között ugráltunk számomra elég idegesítő volt. Volt, hogy egy jelentben barkóbáztak , aztán a következő bekezdésben minden átmenet nélkül már hamburgereznek, aztán a következő sorban, már megint úton vannak… Biztos nagyon egyedi akart lenni az írónő, vagy azt akarta, hogy ne legyen unalmas ezért rövidke jelentekkel tűzdelte tele a könyvet, de ez így nagyon szaggatottá tette a történetvezetést…

A vége nekem nagyon lezáratlan lett. Jó, hogy Amy kezd rendbe jönni és gyógyulgat, de mi lesz ez után? Mi lesz vele és Rogerrel? Mi lesz Charlieval? Mi lesz az anyukájával? Mi lesz új életével? Egy epilógus nekem borzasztóan hiányzott…

Érdekességek a könyvről

A 2010-ben megjelent Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour -t Morgan Matson három, az Államokat átszelő utazása inspirálta. A könyv az alábbi díjakat nyerte el: ALA Top 10 legjobb könyve ifjúsági kategóriában,  Waterstone’s Book Prize jelölés, Publisher’s Weekly “Flying Start” könyv.

Érdekesség, hogy a könyvben található fotókat valóban Morgan Matson készítette utazásai alkalmával, így végül is ő valóban részt vett Amy & Roger utazásán. 🙂

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My review in English

I really love road trip novels. This one was really ar3good too, and it was a little different. There are a lot of unique things in this book, for example drawings, photos, food receipts, tickets… etc. It really felt like I’m holding a real travel journal in my hand and it made me feel like I was on this trip with Amy and Roger. It is really remarkable that every State they go to had an own playlist. This is almost over 150 soundtracks (You can find the YouTube link below)! I really appreciated the effort to choose every song that fits just right. It is a huge work and lots of energy invested, but I think this makes every book much more perfect and it give so much for the whole book experience. Sometimes this book was too YA for my taste, too sweet, despite the fact that this book is about kids with broken souls, too. I think the characters could be more developed and never felt any real chemistry between them, but at the end of the book I came to like them.

ar9It starts off with Amy has to move to Connecticut from California. Her mother has already moved there a few months ago after her father died. Because Amy’s twin brother, Charlie is in North-Carolina, Amy has to live alone in their house for a whole month until the school year is over. When the summer begins and their house is sold, Amy has to hit the road and move across the country to start a new life in a different place with new people. Because Amy never drives, her mother asks one of her friend’s sons to bring Amy to Connecticut with her car. He would travel to that direction anyway because he has to spend the summer with his father in Pennsylvania. Although they played together when they were kids, Roger is just a stranger to Amy so she is a little freaked out about the fact that she has to spend four whole day in the car with him, especially that she doesn’t allows anyone close to her after her father’s death.

After a short amount of time they become friends and they decide that they leave the planned rout to make a detour. 🙂 Maybe none of them wants to arrive to their destination so soon (and they really do over the 4 days), maybe they both want to take part of an adventure; maybe they both want to heal (Amy from the grief and remorse, Roger from a broken heart).

This book was different so ar11many ways. It was not about seeing famous or remarkable places. It was about always reach an exact destination in an exact State where they had some kind of mission or they have to meet with someone… etc. Not much happens with them when they are on the road, there is a lot of description about the landscape (it is a desert or mountains), about the weather, and mostly what special food they found in the local restaurants. I liked these parts a lot, because I really could learn about the culinary of the different states. 🙂 Sometimes the writing style was odd and it is jumped in the time a lot. For example one page they playing “Twenty Questions” (I haven’t read about this much “Twenty Questions” in my whole life… :D), than the next scene they are eating hamburgers, then the next moment they are in the car again. I think these strange scene changes made the whole style incoherent and a little annoying. Maybe the author wanted to be really unique with this style, but I just couldn’t like it.

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Overall I liked this book. It was a sweet story about self-discovery and healing. Yet the ending of the book was so unclosed for me! Okay, Amy starts healing but what happens after? What happens with her and Roger? What happens with Charlie? What happens with her mother? What happens with her new life? So many unanswered questions… I really-really missed an epilogue…

 

 Intresting Facts

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan Matson’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.

And intresting fact, that the pictures in this book where actually taken by Morgan Matson. So she did go on this road trip with Amy & Roger. 🙂

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„The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.” 

„It’s really not about the destination. It’s getting there that is the good part.” 

„You know what my grandma used to say?”
„There’s no place like home?” I asked, trying again for a smile, this one less trembly than before.
„No,” he said, still looking serious, still holding on to his end of the CD. „Tomorrow will be better.”
 

„But keep in mind, my good friend,” said Drew, „Don Quixote never found his Dulcinea, did he? He did not. There sometimes isn’t much difference between a knight’s quest and a fool’s errand.” 

„Tomorrow will be better.”
„But what if it’s not?” I asked.
Walcott smiled and let go of the CD. „Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”
 

„Even before it had happened, people had always seemed surprised to hear I was an actor. But I’d always loved the chance to become someone else for a few hours. Someone for whom the words had been written, every gesture and emotion plotted, and the ending figured out. Almost like life. Just without the surprises.”

4.5- Detour- Stars

4,5 stars

 Amy and Roger's Epic Detour

amy & rogers epic detour map

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Author Bio

Morgan Matson was born in 1981 and grew up in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut. She attended Occidental College in Los Angeles but halfway though a theater degree, she started working in the children’s department of Vroman’s Bookstore and fell in love with YA literature.

Following college graduation (and the proud bearer of an incredibly useful theater/English degree) she moved back East to attend the New School, where she received her M.F.A in Writing for Children.

Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, inspired by Morgan’s three cross-country road trips, was published in May 2010. It was named an ALA Top Ten Best Book, a PW “Flying Start” book, and was shortlisted for the Waterstone’s Book Prize.

In the meantime, Morgan moved back to California, went back to school again and in 2011 received an M.F.A. in Screenwriting from the University of Southern California.

Her second book, Second Chance Summer, was published in May 2012. It was inspired by her experiences spending
summers growing up in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. It was named to the ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults list, and selected as a School Library Journal Best Book of 2012.

Her third book, Since You’ve Been Gone, will be published on May 6th, 2014.

Morgan’s work has been published all over the world, and translated into 10 languages so far.

She lives in Los Angeles, though she loves to travel and does it whenever she can. She is currently writing another book, to be published in 2016.

Learn more about Morgan Matson here.

Roger Playlist #1:

“‘Leaving California'” aka ‘Hitting the Road’ aka ‘Snacks are Important, But Not Quite as Important as Tunes'” (p. 44)

“Going to California” – Led Zeppelin
“Drive Away My Heart” – Ida Maria
“California in Popular Song” – The Lucksmiths
“I See You” – Mika
“Travel Song” – Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin
“Miss California” – Jack’s Mannequin
“The General Specific” – Band of Horses
“I’m Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)” – Billy Joel
“Life in the Fast Lane” – Eagles
“Birds of a Feather” – The Rosenbergs
“Limelight” – Rush
“All My Stars Aligned” – St. Vincent
“Unhurried Heart” – Harlem Shakes
“The Wild” – Princeton
“I Stand Corrected” – Vampire Weekend
“In California (Live)” – Neko Case
“Nobody Lost, Nobody Found” – Cut Copy
“Vanilla Twilight” – Owl City
“Adrift” – Jack Johnson

Roger Playlist #2: 

“‘What Do You Mean We’re STILL in California?!’ aka ‘The Very Long and Winding Road’ aka ‘The Ballad of Amy’s Lost Sunglasses'” (p. 77)

“Wine Red” – The Hush Sound
“Heartbeats” – The Knife
“16, Maybe Less” – Calexico/Iron and Wine
“Human” – The Killers
“West Coast Friendship” – Owl City
“Forest for the Trees” – Alright Alright
“Buildings and Mountains” – The Republic Tigers”
“Transcontinental” – Pedro the Lion
“It Won’t Be Long” – The Smithereens
“Drive Away” – The All-American Rejects
“She’s the One” – Caribou
“Next Exit” – Interpol
“We Are Lost” – The Like
“Get Back (Where we Started From)” – Army Navy
“Get Gotten” – Ben Lee
“Wandering” – The Hidden Cameras
“What Else Is There?” – Röyksopp
“Can’t Go Back Now” – The Weepies

Roger Playlist #3: 

“‘Road to Nowhere’ aka ‘Cruise Control on Highway 50′” (p. 90)

“Long, Lonesome Highway Blues” – Steve Earle and the Del McCoury Band
“Go Places” – The New Pornographers
“I’m With You” – The Ponys
“Live to Tell the Tale” – Passion Pit
“Highwayman” – Willie Nelson
“Stunner Shades in Heaven” – Princeton
“Fake Empire” – The National
“They Are Night Zombies!! They Are Neighbors!! They Have Come Back from the Dead!! Ahhhh!” – Sufjan Stevens
“Moonshine” – Feeder
“Familiar Landscapes” – A New Found Glory
“Show Me What I’m Looking For” – Carolina Liar
“Le temps perdu” – Carla Bruni
“Sons and Daughters” – The Decemberists
“Strangers” – The Kinks

Roger Playlist #4:

“Hillary & Edmund Hit the Highway’ aka ‘People Who Take Pictures of Trees” (p. 110)

“Colorado” – Grizzly Bear
“Young Folks” – Peter, Bjorn and John
“I Am John” – Loney, Dear
“Unknown Legend” – Neil Young
“Break It Out” – The Rocket Summer
“No You Girls” – Franz Ferdinand
“Surf Colorado” – Bowling for Soup
“Just Like Heaven” – The Cure
“The First Single (You Know Me)” – The Format
“Gravel” – Ember FX
“Rootless Tree” – Damien Rice
“I Figured You Out” – Elliott Smith
“Baby, It’s Fact” – Hellogoodbye
“Free” – cat Power
“Don’t Forget to Breathe” – Beulah
“Love Like a Sunset, Part I” – Phoenix
“Nobody Move, Nobody Get Hurt” – We Are Scientists
“A Year in the Past, Forever in the Future” – Dashboard Confessional

Roger Playlist #5:

“‘No Place Like Home’ or ‘Why Won’t Amy Buy Sunglasses?’ or “The Sunflower State'” (p. 157)

“Where Is Home?” – Bloc Party
“Jolene” – The Weepies
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” (cover) – Call Me Kevin
“Brand New Day” – Joshua Radin
“Starlight” – Muse
“Even Fairy Tale Characters Would be Jealous” – PlayRadioPlay!
“Daylight” – Matt and Kim
“The Dark in You” – Plushgun
“100,000 Fireflies” – The Magnetic Fields
“Wake Up” – The Secret Handshake
“Dust in the Wind” – Kansas
“Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” – Elton John
“I’ll Do the Driving” – Fountains of Wayne
“Time After Time” (cover) – Quietdrive
“Faith in Fast Cars” – The Format
“Wonderful You” – The Dandy Warhols
“Take a Chance on Me” – Erasure

Roger Playlist #6:

“‘Tornado Season??’ aka “Ice Cream Frozen Custard Headache'” (p. 181)

“Ghost” – Neutral Milk Hotel
“November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses
“Sugar, We’re Goin Down” – Fall Out Boy
“Route 66” – Chuck Berry
“Morning Calls” – Dashboard Confessional
“All My Days” – Alexi Murdoch
“Not the Same” – Ben Folds
“Hearbeats” – José González
“Here (In Your Arms)” – Hellogoodbye
“The Weight” – The Band
“The Bird and the Worm” – Owl City
“Cast No Shadow” – Oasis
“It’ll All Work Out” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“This Time Tomorrow” – The Kinks

Roger Playlist #7:

“‘Missouri-Illinois-Indiana-Kentucky’ aka ‘When will Amy be the DJ? WHEN?’ aka ‘1500 miles on 400 dollars…'” (p. 207)

“Come On! Feel the Illinoise!” – Sufjan Stevens
“Going Back to Indiana” – Jackson 5
“The Trick to Life” – The Hoosiers
“No More Runnin” – Animal Collective
“Globes & Maps” – Something Corporate
“All Hail the Heartbreaker” – The Spill Canvas
“Old Flames” – Harlem Shakes
“Don’t Wake Me Up” – The Hush Sound
“My Beautiful Rescue” – This Providence
“Beating Heart Baby” – Head Automatica
“Song in My Head” – Sherwood
“Nightswimming” – R.E.M.
“Ulysses” – Franz Ferdinand
“Good Arms vs. Bad Arms” – Frightened Rabbit
“Late in the Evening” – Paul Simon
“After Hours” – Caribou
“The Good Ones” – The Kills
“Sunlight in a Jar” – The Lucksmiths
“Where the Story Ends” – The Fray

Amy Playlist #1:

“‘Going to Graceland’ or ‘Roger Gets an Introduction to Musical Theater'” (p. 272)

“Avenue Q” – Avenue Q
“One Short Day” – Wicked
“All That’s Known” – Spring Awakening
“Someone Like You” – Jekyll & Hyde
“When I Look at You” – The Scarlet Pimpernel
“All the Wasted Time” – Parade
“I’d Give it All for You” – Songs for a New World
“I Believe” – Spring Awakening
“I Can Do Better Than That” – The Last Five Years
“The Best of All Possible Worlds” – Candide
“Bill” – Show Boat
“Consider Yourself” – Oliver!
“This Night” – Movin’ Out
“Where Did We Go Right?” – The Producers
“Wheels of a Dream” – Ragtime
“Still Hurting” – The Last Five Years
“You Can’t Stop the Beat” – Hairspray
“For Now” – Avenue Q
“Nothing in Common” – Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes
“Remember?” – A Little Night Music

Amy Playlist #2:

Pay No Attention to the Boys Behind the Curtain/The Henry Gales (p. 284) [a fictional demo/band]

Roger Playlist #8:

“‘Pennsylvania, Here We Come’ aka ‘Journey’s End'” (p. 335)

“How to Say Goodbye” – Paul Tiernan
“It’ll All Work Out” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
“The Trees and the Wild” – Matt Pond PA
“No Myth” – Michael Penn
“Slow Pony Home” – The Weepies
“How We Roll” – Plushgun
“The Resolution” – Jack’s Mannequin
“World Spins Madly On” – The Weepies
“Signal Fire” – Snow Patrol
“Live to Tell the Tale” – Passion Pit
“What’s So Bad (About Feeling Good)?” – Ben Lee
“Young Folks” – Peter, Bjorn & John

Amy Playlist #3:

“‘The End of the Road’ or ‘The Beginning'” (p. 338)

“All Shook Up” – Elvis Presley
“I Guess This Is Goodbye” – Into the Woods
“New Music” – Ragtime
“The Joy You Feel” – The Light in the Piazza
“I’d Do Anything” – Oliver!
“Goodbye Until Tomorrow” – The Last Five Years
“All That I Am” – Elvis Presley
“It Would Have Been Wonderful” – A Little Night Music
“We’re Okay” – Rent
“With So Little to Be Sure Of” – Anyone Can Whistle
“Come What May” – Elvis Presley

Tracklist by http://jareads.blogspot.hu

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