My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
Beware spoilers ahead!
I was hesitant to read this. After reading Since You’ve Been Gone which is by the same author, I assumed that I would not like this. I liked the authors writing but I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the plot. I added after Julie recommended to it to me. I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised!
This book is written in first all in Amy’s point of view. What’s really cool is that to give it that road trip feel there are picture’s of the places they went to, Amy carries a book in which she writes some facts about the places she’s visited, there are receipts of the hotels they went to and places they ate at, there are playlists which they listen to, some doodles on those playlists, some notes that are passed between Amy and Roger, and pictures of emails. The chapter titles are some quotes from Dolly Parton, Elvis, the author of The Wizard of Oz, etc.
Amy’s life has not been easy. A few months prior to the book Amy’s father died in a car crash. And she was behind the wheel. Since they her mother and her brother have not been able to look at her. She blames herself for everything that has happened. After his death her brother Charlie was sent to rehab because his drug abuse was getting way out of control. Her mother left Amy in California to work in Connecticut. Amy has been living on her own since then.
Amy is an actress. She’s been performing in shows since the beginning of high school. After one of her shows her mother calls her and asks to bring the car over. Her mother cannot afford the movers to bring it over along with paying for Charlie and Amy’s move. Amy freaks out (rightfully so) and tells her mother that she isn’t driving anymore. Her mother then explains that she is having a friends son pick Amy up to bring the car. This son is Roger. Amy is baffled that her mother is leaving her with someone she has no recollection of. She tries arguing this but gives in.
Upon Rogers arrival Amy offers to navigate while he drives. As they look at the places her mother has suggested they realize that her mother picked a rather boring route. Amy feelings rebellious asks Roger if he wants to take a detour. He agrees and this is where their journey’s begin.
I should’ve known that I would love this. I happen to love road trips, which is what made it easy to connect to Amy. She would be astonished that all these places she visited were in America and that she was surprised that there was so much to the world. I completely understood this, having thought this myself. I liked how the author incorporated the pictures and whatnot! It made is interesting. I actually did not want to read them at first but then a doodle on one of Rogers playlists caught my eye and I made it a point to study them.
I liked how the author portrayed Amy’s grief as well as the rest of her family. It was realistic. It was nice when she finally started opening up about her emotions and even talked to her brother about it. Roger supported her a 100%. And was there for her when she needed to talk. He was actually pretty patient about the whole thing. She does end up deciding to work out everything with her family and her best friend Julia. At some point she starts driving again. To say the least her journey was beautiful and realistic.
While Amy was on a journey of self-discovery, Roger was on a journey of understanding. He and his ex-girlfriend Hadley broke up a few months ago. He has no idea why she dumped him and sets off to try and understand what happened between the two of them. At first it was annoying to read about the amount of time he mentioned Hadley but as I read on I understand why he mentioned her. He needed to talk about her before she just became some memory and he needed to let it off his chest. At some point he realizes that it doesn’t matter why they broke up but that they were over and have been for awhile.
The interactions between Amy and Roger were sweet. It was nice how they went from strangers to friends. I really enjoyed the fact that they started off as friends then became a couple. The romance is slow burn and that’s just how I like it. The character growth was phenomenal!
Overall this was a beautiful story! I recommend this to everyone because we can all relate to this and take something from this. The most important thing that I have taken is this not everything goes according to plan and sometimes great things come from that. I recommend that you read a physical copy because it’ll be much easier to read the notes and stare at the pictures. Also on a side note the author did actually take a road trip with all of the destinations that Amy and Roger took.