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.
Find the book here on Goodreads.
If you’re a watcher of Booktube, odds are you will have heard of this book. It came back into my life most recently in Fran Dalfthegrey’s Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me About This Book?! video, where she explained that the book is not just the fluff you might be thinking it is. Well. So. One trip to the library later, I had a copy in my hands.
I’ve found myself on one of the biggest YA kicks I can remember, but I don’t want just any YA. Oh, no. I want my YA well written and with a side of… tragedy? Heart? Either way, this fit the bill. You’ve got your attractive couple starting out as strangers but quickly becoming friends thanks to confined quarters, but you’ve also got a girl with a closed off mother, drug addict brother, and recently deceased father. While I didn’t love Amy, I really felt for her and quickly became invested in her character and her relationship with Roger. I also liked that Amy and Roger got along so well, but sometimes a girl needs a bit of “I hate you but I secretly love you”… you know?
At certain points the plot felt a bit contrived, like an almost stranger throwing out Amy’s clothes and replacing them with her own, more fashionable, pieces. Or the whole trip to Kentucky. The dialogue didn’t always come across as realistic, and there were times when I kind of felt like I was being hit over the head with symbolism, but over all I enjoyed the writing style. Matson does a great job of illustrating the vastness and the beauty of the country, and even though my copy comes in at under 350 pages, the story did feel kind of, well, epic.