Simon & Schuster, 2010
Book Source: Public Library
Since the death of Amy's father, her family has gone their separate ways, literally. Her mother has started a new job in Connecticut and her twin brother is in rehab in North Carolina, leaving Amy to finish her junior year of high school in California. At the end of the school year, Amy's mother hires Roger to drive Amy from CA to CT in four days and provides them with an itinerary to follow. When the new duo decide to deviate from the route, Amy's summer finally looks like it will be interesting.
Judging by the cover...: I like that there are no faces shown, but I'm not so keen on the hand holding. When I first glanced at it, I thought this story would be all about the romance. Luckily, the cover lies.
- Road Trip! - I'm all about traveling in books, especially if the characters are going to real places. I've never been any farther West than the DFW area, so to hear about California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado was very interesting.
- Journals - Amy's mother sends her a road trip journal before the journey begins, and Amy is faithful about filling it out. The journal includes pictures, receipts, and information about each state, and a copy of Roger's carefully picked out soundtracks for each state. I felt at times that I was right there with Amy experiencing the road trip with her and even hummed some of the songs in the soundtrack while reading.
- Food - For someone who's constantly hungry, all of the talk about delicious food was almost torture! At each stop, Amy and Roger make sure to taste the local fare. In and Out Burger, Chick-fil-a, and Sonic make appearances, along with loose meat hamburgers from Kansas and Derby Pie from Kentucky.
Amy and Roger both take multiple journeys during the book, becoming more at peace with themselves as well as others, allowing themselves to change before the reader's eyes. This change, however is so gradual that it's almost the end before you realize what has hit you. After going through this cross country journey with Amy and Roger, I almost feel as if we're best friends. We went experienced the highs and suffered the lows together and made it out in one piece, each of us growing with the experience. Matson has a style of writing that draws the reader in, making them forget that they are actually at home reading instead of in a car for hours at a time. If I hadn't just been on an exhausting road trip myself last year I might consider going on one after this story.
Recommendation: This is a great book for those who want to travel the country without really making the epic journey that it is. Those readers who would like a little romance, but not so powerful that it smacks you in the heart will find a fulfilling story here, too.