Published Simon & Schuster UK 2011
Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road--diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
I honestly don't know why I didn't read this sooner. I love YA fiction that features road trips, and I've read quite a few, but I honestly think this just might be the best one of all.
Amy Curry's life sucks. Her family has all but completely fallen apart due to her dad's death three months ago, and her mum decided to move to Connecticut to start fresh. Amy's been living by herself in their California home for the past month or so, but now the house is close to sold and it's time to get up to Connecticut. Problem is, Amy hasn't been able to drive since the accident. Enter Roger Sullivan, an old childhood friend she can only vaguely remember, but he's cute and seems nice. Amy and Roger are supposed to follow the directions her mum gave her, but they decide to take a little detour to make things more interesting...
Amy is one of the most loveable and real characters I've come across. I found that her narrative flowed incredibly nicely and I never once was bored. The turmoil that she's been experiencing since her dad's death is beautifully written, and Amy gets tons of character development throughout the book in that aspect. She really grew as a character and came to terms with it. She also had a very interesting personality, and she seemed like one of those people who can get along with anyone because they're that likeable.
Now, on to Roger. He is like the poster boy for boys in contemporary fiction and how they should be. Not only is he cute, he's understanding, a good listener and not to mention that he has an amazing taste in music, which is evident in his playlists that appear throughout the book as Amy and Roger enter a new state on their road trip. Roger also got a little sub-plot of his own, which I found really interesting and I appreciated it. Both Amy and Roger have to come to terms with their own issues, and they help each other along the way, making each other better. That's my favourite thing about this book.
Another of my favourite things about this book is the fact that there are pages of small notes written by Amy as they pass through each state, which contain facts and funny comments. I really enjoyed those, and they added nicely to the story, not to mention that I learned quite a bit about a few American states! As I mentioned above, Roger's playlists are also featured in their own pages, and they're fantastic. The playlists were relevant to what each new state brought to Amy and Roger, and helped to capture the mood of that particular part of the trip. I looked up some of the songs after I finished reading, and I actually quite like most of them! Things like receipts from various places, postcards and napkins were featured, and I loved the song lyrics at the start of every new chapter.
The host of characters that they met along the way were amazing. They each had their own place in the story, and I enjoyed every one of them. In fact, I can say that I loved every character featured in this book. The ending was beautiful, and felt right. It was a satisfying ending, but at the same time I didn't want it to end because I didn't want to say goodbye to all these amazing characters, especially Amy and Roger. The trip only took 4 days, but they had come so far, both in the literal sense and in relation to character development. One of my most favourite books for sure, and my desire to go on a cross-country American road trip is stronger than ever!