Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A Morgan Matson Double Header

I'm not going to lie, I've fallen pretty behind on reviewing books lately.  Today I'm going to post reviews of two of Morgan Matson's books--Amy and Roger's Epic Detour and Since You've Been Gone.  This seemed fitting because summer is coming up, and Morgan Matson's books are perfect for summer.  Also, she has a new book called The Unexpected Everything coming out in May which I've already preordered, and I'm hoping my reviews will persuade you guys to pick these up if you haven't already.

Anyways, onto the reviews!

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
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.

(Summary from GoodReads) 

I’ve been excited about Morgan Matson’s books ever since she first started publishing books.  I picked up Amy and Roger’s Detour when I wanted a contemporary that was guaranteed to have some cute moments. This was definitely an adorable road trip story that I would reread, though I didn’t love it quite as much as some of Morgan’s other books.
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour has a bit of quirky formatting, including playlists, photographs, and quotes from song lyrics at the beginning of each chapter.  While this is a fun idea, these are not typically the traits that make a book super memorable for me, although I know some readers may feel differently.  At times I wonder if I would have connected more with the story if I’d visited some of the places where these characters had been.  As I’ve grown to expect from Morgan Matson, Amy and Roger’s relationship had just the right amount of awkwardness, and Matson did a great job of dealing with the tough experiences that Amy has gone through.  

When I say this is not my favorite Morgan Matson book, what I mean is that it’s still absolutely adorable and discusses hard topics well.  I think readers who have different taste in music than I do and have more experience with the places in the novel will enjoy it even more than I did!  

Since You've Been Gone It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.

 On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back? 

Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough. 

Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not? 

Kiss a stranger? Um... Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane's list. Who knows what she’ll find?  

Go skinny-dipping? Wait...what? 

(Summary from GoodReads)  

My memories of reading Since You’ve Been Gone are very clear.  Every time I see this cover, I think of how I read it as I sat in a sweltering waiting room full of people, waiting to be drug tested for my new at the time job.  I think of how I happened to read it the week I saw my best friend for the first time in three years, knowing I’d get to see her much more often.  Matson’s third novel is a book that came to me at just the right time in my life.  Since You’ve Been Gone is a story about learning to enjoy life, and about the roles that complacency and acceptance play in our relationships with ourselves and others.
Emily reminded me of myself in some ways. I can be awkward, and sometimes follow rules to a fault.  Of course, as always, I love a main character who runs.  The list that Sloane leaves her nicely toes the line between fun things to do and slightly outlandish.  This story is also believable because while Emily has fun completing these tasks, she has her moments of awkwardness and discomfort as well.  I also think Matson nailed the ending of this story, because there is resolution, but you also know that the characters are still working on growing their relationships once the novel is done.

Read Since You’ve Been Gone if you want a summery read with friendship and an utterly charming love interest named Frank Porter. Grab yourself some heart shaped sunglasses and ice cream while you’re at it—you’ll be needing both.


  1. I remember really liking Amy and Roger' Epic Detour just for the fun roadtrip aspect of it. It just really made me want to plan a road trip with a music playlist and snack menu and all! haha.

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