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Month in review

Reviews
The Accidental Law Librarian by Anthony Aycoch
Along a Long Road by Frank Viva
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
As Simple as It Seems by Sarah Weeks
Beating the Lunch Box Blues by J.M. Hirsch
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Binky the Space Cat by Ashley Spires
Birds of a Feather by Francisco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais
The Bride's Kimono by Sujata Massey
Claude Monet: The Painter Who Stopped the Trains by P.I. Maltbie
City of Thieves by David Benioff
Devil May Care by Elizabeth Peters
A Dog's Heart by Mikhail Bulgakov
The Dogma of Cats for Kids by Debra Snyder
Drive by Andrew Bush
Everything but the Horse by Holly Hobbie
Firestorm by Nevada Barr
The Floating Girl by Sujata Massey
For the Love of Autumn by Patricia Polacco
Fuddles by Frans Vischer
I'm a Shark by Bob Shea
A King's Ransom by Jude Watson
Lettice the Flying Rabbit by Mandy Stanley
The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson
The Many Faces of George Washington by Carla Killough McClafferty
The Power of Thinking Differently by Javy W. Galindo
Saints by Gene Luen Yang
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 2 by Gail Carriger
Tina's Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary by Keshni Kashyap
The Whale: In Search of the Giants of the Sea by Philip Hoare
Wind Song by Carl Sandburg

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Amy and Roger's Epic Detour: 12/22/13

cover art

In the introduction to Worlds Reborn, William L. Siemens says that the hero with the most influence on the novels of the new world is Odysseus. Any long journey — regardless of purpose — is called an odyssey. I agree with Siemens's thesis and will add, that in the United States, there is a subgenre of odyssey born out of the wide expanses of the American landscape — the road trip.

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson is a YA road trip novel. Roger, a distant friend of the family, has been recruited by Amy's mother to help her drive the family car from California to Connecticut. They are moving there after the unexpected death of Amy's father. How and when he died is slowly revealed as Amy makes her way back East.

As the title includes "epic detour," Amy and Roger don't follow her mother's carefully crafted itinerary. They don't make the first stop even — detouring instead to Yosemite. Although they manage to keep their detour a secret for the first day or so, the truth comes out soon enough. Although there will be consequences when they finally arrive — Amy and Roger know they can't be stopped from taking the trip they need to take on their own terms.

Peppered in with the chapters describing their trip, are playlists, receipts, and touristy ephemera. I loved these added details and listened to a number of the playlists suggested at the start of each chapter. Most of the playlists are Roger's as it's his problems that are dealt with first. As Amy comes out of her shell, her personality begins to affect the trip and the associated ephemera.

While it's not EPIC in terms of adventure or danger, it is a very American novel — and I think relatable to a wide range of readers.

Five stars

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