Author: Morgan Matson
Release Date: May 4th, 2010
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Genre(s): YA Contemporary
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.
This book was just lovely, really. It was sweet, and I loved all the characters. The heart of this book wasn't so much a plot, but just a road trip to find themselves.... But then the romance....
*face palm* I wish this book didn't have the romance. Now, yes, I did want them to end up together (THEY ARE SO CUTE), but not in this forced, really awkward way. But despite that semi-bad ending and the romance, this was a good book. I won't deny that.
So, I'm not a huge fan of road trip novels (I thought they were a bit boring and cliche), but if all road trip novels are like this (disregarding the *romance* of course), then I want to get my hands on ALL OF THEM. :D
What I loved the most about this book was how the road trip became sort of a symbolic journey for them finding themselves through the various stops- and they do. I also really liked the pacing of the book; I thought it was slow enough to bring the reader closer to them, but fast enough to keep our interest (their character development... not their romance ~ugh~). I thought it was nice how the author revealed pieces of background information along the way too, like we were on a road trip ourselves, instead of dumping the info like road-kill. (Sorry! It's not often I get to play on words related to roads. I'm milking it for what it's worth. ;) )
As for the characters, I loved getting to know Amy and Roger!!! I really liked their friendly chemistry with each other; it was a bit awkward in the beginning, but they warmed up to each other, and their easy banter was pretty cute. xD No cardboard here; multi-dimensional all the way. ;)
I LOOOVE books that suck me in, and this book was no exception. The details in this book were so pretty!! I think my favorite part of the road trip was the description of Utah. Even though I've been through Utah several times, I've never really looked out the car window and observed the landscape (too busy reading a book ;) ). But because of that scene, next time, I'm going to be looking out that window to really see that beauty -and loneliness- for myself. ;) I also found some pretty awesome music (their playlists!!) through this book. I totally recommend playing some of it while reading the book. :)
I also liked the themes of the book, and how the book balanced the fluff and the non-fluff. This book seems like a fluff book: fluffy title, fluffy cover, and fluffy synopsis. And while, it is a bit fluffy, it's also a lot deeper than I expected it to be. The biggest themes I thought were finding yourself and dealing with your past- both which I thought were dealt nicely in the book (until that ending D:).
And now... finally... I will address...the Romance (dun dun dun).
To put it bluntly, the romance ruined this book. No, it wasn't a love triangle- but there was this sort of weird insta-love going on at the end. BUT it wasn't exactly insta-love because their attraction to each other was (arguably) growing throughout (well, more from Amy's side than Roger- Roger actually had a bit of insta-love), but the romance did feel VERY forced at the end. It definitely needed to be more fleshed out- and I HATED IT SO MUCH. I felt like the ending just undermined the whole point of the book, the deeper parts of it, and the characters themselves/ their journey as well. (And yes, I did have high expectations for the romance due to the lack of insta-love; it was suppose to be the cherry on top. Oh well... I never really liked cherries anyway. xD )
Final thoughts? A fun book, despite the ending/romance, that'll make you want to go on an epic road trip! :D
Thanks for reading!:D