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Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour

Eureka [I have found it]


—California state motto

I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac. This was a rookie mistake, one made by countless FedEx guys. There were only three houses on Raven Crescent, and most people had reached the end before they’d realized it. Charlie’s stoner friends had never remembered and would always just swing around the circle again before pulling into our driveway. Rather than using this technique, the Subaru stopped, brake lights flashing red, then white as it backed around the circle and stopped in front of the house. Our driveway was short enough that I could read the car’s bumper stickers: MY SON WAS RANDOLPH HALL’S STUDENT OF THE MONTH and MY KID AND MY $$$ GO TO COLORADO COLLEGE. There were two people in the car talking, doing the awkward car-conversation thing where you still have seat belts on, so you can’t fully turn and face the other person.

Halfway up the now overgrown lawn was the sign that had been there for the last three months, the inanimate object I’d grown to hate with a depth of feeling that worried me sometimes. It was a Realtor’s sign, featuring a picture of a smiling, overly hairsprayed blond woman. FOR SALE, the sign read, and then in bigger letters underneath that, WELCOME HOME.

I had puzzled over the capitalization ever since the sign went up and still hadn’t come up with an explanation. All I could determine was that it must have been a nice thing to see if it was a house you were thinking about moving into. But not so nice if it was the house you were moving out from. I could practically hear Mr. Collins, who had taught my fifth-grade English class and was still the most intimidating teacher I’d ever had, yelling at me. “Amy Curry,” I could still hear him intoning, “never end a sentence with a preposition!” Irked that after six years he was still mentally correcting me, I told the Mr. Collins in my head to off fuck.

I had never thought I’d see a Realtor’s sign on our lawn. Until three months ago, my life had seemed boringly settled. We lived in Raven Rock, a suburb of Los Angeles, where my parents were both professors at College of the West, a small school that was a ten-minute drive from our house. It was close enough for an easy commute, but far enough away that you couldn’t hear the frat party noise on Saturday nights. My father taught history (The Civil War and Reconstruction), my mother English literature (Modernism).

My twin brother, Charlie—three minutes younger—had gotten a perfect verbal score on his PSAT and had just barely escaped a possession charge when he’d managed to convince the cop who’d busted him that the ounce of pot in his backpack was, in fact, a rare California herb blend known as Humboldt, and that he was actually an apprentice at the Pasadena Culinary Institute.

I had just started to get leads in the plays at our high school and had made out three times with Michael Young, college freshman, major undecided. Things weren’t perfect—my BFF, Julia Andersen, had moved to Florida in January—but in retrospect, I could see that they had actually been pretty wonderful. I just hadn’t realized it at the time. I’d always assumed things would stay pretty much the same.

I looked out at the strange Subaru and the strangers inside still talking and thought, not for the first time, what an idiot I’d been. And there was a piece of me—one that never seemed to appear until it was late and I was maybe finally about to get some sleep—that wondered if I’d somehow caused it all, by simply counting on the fact that things wouldn’t change. In addition, of course, to all the other ways I’d caused it.

My mother decided to put the house on the market almost immediately after the accident. Charlie and I hadn’t been consulted, just informed. Not that it would have done any good at that point to ask Charlie anyway. Since it happened, he had been almost constantly high. People at the funeral had murmured sympathetic things when they’d seen him, assuming that his bloodshot eyes were a result of crying. But apparently, these people had no olfactory senses, as anyone downwind of Charlie could smell the real reason. He’d had been partying on a semiregular basis since seventh grade, but had gotten more into it this past year. And after the accident happened, it got much, much worse, to the point where not-high Charlie became something of a mythic figure, dimly remembered, like the yeti.

The solution to our problems, my mother had decided, was to move. “A fresh start,” she’d told us one night at dinner. “A place without so many memories.” The Realtor’s sign had gone up the next day.

We were moving to Connecticut, a state I’d never been to and harbored no real desire to move to. Or, as Mr. Collins would no doubt prefer, a state to which I harbored no real desire to move. My grandmother lived there, but she had always come to visit us, since, well, we lived in Southern California and she lived in Connecticut. But my mother had been offered a position with Stanwich College’s English department. And nearby there was, apparently, a great local high school that she was sure we’d just love. The college had helped her find an available house for rent, and as soon as Charlie and I finished up our junior year, we would all move out there, while the WELCOME HOME Realtor sold our house here.

At least, that had been the plan. But a month after the sign had appeared on the lawn, even my mother hadn’t been able to keep pretending she didn’t see what was going on with Charlie. The next thing I knew, she’d pulled him out of school and installed him in a teen rehab facility in North Carolina. And then she’d gone straight on to Connecticut to teach some summer courses at the college and to “get things settled.” At least, that’s why she said she had to leave. But I had a pretty strong suspicion that she wanted to get away from me. After all, it seemed like she could barely stand to look at me. Not that I blamed her. I could barely stand to look at myself most days.

So I’d spent the last month alone in our house, except for Hildy the Realtor popping in with prospective house buyers, almost always when I was just out of the shower, and my aunt, who came down occasionally from Santa Barbara to make sure I was managing to feed myself and hadn’t started making meth in the backyard. The plan was simple: I’d finish up the school year, then head to Connecticut. It was just the car that caused the problem.

The people in the Subaru were still talking, but it looked like they’d taken off their seat belts and were facing each other. I looked at our two-car garage that now had only one car parked in it, the only one we still had. It was my mother’s car, a red Jeep Liberty. She needed the car in Connecticut, since it was getting complicated to keep borrowing my grandmother’s ancient Coupe deVille. Apparently, my grandmother was missing a lot of bridge games and didn’t care that my mother kept needing to go to Bed Bath & Beyond. My mother had told me her solution to the car problem a week ago, last Thursday night.

It had been the opening night of the spring musical, Candide, and for the first time after a show, there hadn’t been anyone waiting for me in the lobby. In the past, I’d always shrugged my parents and Charlie off quickly, accepting their bouquets of flowers and compliments, but already thinking about the cast party. I hadn’t realized, until I walked into the lobby with the rest of the cast, what it would be like not to have anyone there waiting for me, to tell me “Good show.” I’d taken a cab home almost immediately, not even sure where the cast party was going to be held. The rest of the cast—the people who’d been my closest friends only three months ago—were laughing and talking together as I packed up my show bag and waited outside the school for my cab. I’d told them repeatedly I wanted to be left alone, and clearly they had listened. It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. I’d found out that if you pushed people away hard enough, they tended to go.

I’d been standing in the kitchen, my Cunégonde makeup heavy on my skin, my false eyelashes beginning to irritate my eyes, and the “Best of All Possible Worlds” song running through my head, when the phone rang.

“Hi, hon,” my mother said with a yawn when I answered the phone. I looked at the clock and realized it was nearing one a.m. in Connecticut. “How are you?”

I thought about telling her the truth. But since I hadn’t done that in almost three months, and she hadn’t seemed to notice, there didn’t seem to be any point in starting now. “Fine,” I said, which was my go-to answer. I put some of last night’s dinner—Casa Bianca pizza—in the microwave and set it to reheat.

“So listen,” my mother said, causing my guard to go up. That was how she usually prefaced any information she was about to give me that I wasn’t going to like. And she was speaking too quickly, another giveaway. “It’s about the car.”

“The car?” I set the pizza on the plate to cool. Without my noticing, it had stopped being a plate and had become the plate. I was pretty much just using, then washing, the one plate. It was as though all the rest of the dishes had become superfluous.

“Yes,” she said, stifling another yawn. “I’ve been looking at the cost to have it shipped on a car carrier, along with the cost of your plane fare, and well …” She paused. “I’m afraid it’s just not possible right now. With the house still not sold, and the cost of your brother’s facility …”

“What do you mean?” I asked, not following. I took a tentative bite of pizza.

“We can’t afford both,” she said. “And I need the car. So I’m going to need it driven out here.”

The pizza was still too hot, but I swallowed it anyway, and felt my throat burn and my eyes water. “I can’t drive,” I said, when I felt I could speak again. I hadn’t driven since the accident, and had no plans to start again any time soon. Or ever. I could feel my throat constrict at the thought, but I forced the words out. “You know that. I won’t.”

“Oh, you won’t have to drive!” She was speaking too brightly for someone who’d been yawning a moment before. “Marilyn’s son is going to drive. He needs to come East anyway, to spend the summer with his father in Philadelphia, so it all works out.”

There were so many things wrong with that sentence I wasn’t sure where to begin. “Marilyn?” I asked, starting at the beginning.

“Marilyn Sullivan,” she said. “Or I suppose it’s Marilyn Harper now. I keep forgetting she changed it back after the divorce. Anyway, you know my friend Marilyn. The Sullivans used to live over on Holloway, until the divorce, then she moved to Pasadena. But you and Roger were always playing that game. What’s it called? Potato? Yam?”

“Spud,” I said automatically. “Who’s Roger?”

She let out one of her long sighs, the kind designed to let me know that I was trying her patience. “Marilyn’s son,” she said. “Roger Sullivan. You remember him.”

My mother was always telling me what I remembered, as if that would make it true. “No, I don’t.”

“Of course you do. You just said you used to play that game.”

“I remember Spud,” I said. I wondered, not for the first time, why every conversation I had with my mother had to be so difficult. “I don’t remember anyone named Roger. Or Marilyn, for that matter.”

“Well,” she said, and I could hear her voice straining to stay upbeat, “you’ll have a chance to get to know him now. I’ve mapped out an itinerary for you two. It should take you four days.”

Questions about who remembered what now seemed unimportant. “Wait a second,” I said, holding on to the kitchen counter for support. “You want me to spend four days in a car with someone I’ve never met?”

“I told you, you’ve met,” my mother said, clearly ready to be finished with this conversation. “And Marilyn says he’s a lovely boy. He’s doing us a big favor, so please be appreciative.”

“But Mom,” I started, “I …” I didn’t know what was going to follow. Maybe something about how I hated being in cars now. I’d been okay taking the bus to and from school, but my cab ride home that night had made my pulse pound hard enough that I could feel it in my throat. Also, I’d gotten used to being by myself and I liked it that way. The thought of spending that much time in a car, with a stranger, lovely or not, was making me feel like I might hyperventilate.

“Amy,” my mother said with a deep sigh. “Please don’t be difficult.”

Of course I wasn’t going to be difficult. That was Charlie’s job. I was never difficult, and clearly my mother was counting on that. “Okay,” I said in a small voice. I was hoping that she’d pick up on how much I didn’t want to do this. But if she did, she ignored it.

“Good,” she said, briskness coming back into her voice. “Once I make your hotel reservations, I’ll e-mail you the itinerary. And I ordered you a gift for the trip. It should be there before you leave.”

I realized my mother hadn’t actually been asking. I looked down at the pizza on the counter, but I had lost my appetite.

“Oh, by the way,” she added, remembering. “How was the show?”

And now the show had closed, finals were over, and at the end of the driveway was a Subaru with Roger the Spud Player inside. Over the past week, I’d tried to think back to see if I could recall a Roger. And I had remembered one of the neighborhood kids, one with blond hair and ears that stuck out too far, clutching a maroon superball and calling for me and Charlie, trying to get a game together. Charlie would have remembered more details—despite his extracurriculars, he had a memory like an elephant—but Charlie wasn’t exactly around to ask.

Both doors of the Subaru opened, and a woman who looked around my mother’s age—presumably Marilyn—got out, followed by a tall, lanky guy. His back was to me as Marilyn opened the hatchback and took out a stuffed army-style duffel and a backpack. She set them on the ground, and the two of them hugged. The guy—presumably Roger—was at least a head taller than she was, and ducked a little bit to hug her back. I expected to hear good-byes, but all I heard him say was “Don’t be a stranger.” Marilyn laughed, as though she’d been expecting this. As they stepped apart, she met my gaze and smiled at me. I nodded back, and she got into the car. It pulled around the cul-de-sac, and Roger stood staring after it, raising one hand in a wave.

When the car had vanished from sight, he shouldered his bags and began walking toward the house. As soon as he turned toward me, I blinked in surprise. The sticking-out ears were gone. The guy coming toward me was shockingly good-looking. He had broad shoulders, light brown hair, dark eyes, and he was already smiling at me.

I knew in that instant the trip had suddenly gotten a lot more complicated. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Revue de presse

“This is an incredible book—heartbreakingly funny and utterly un-put-down-able.” --Lauren Myracle, New York Times Bestselling author of Thirteen and TTYL

"One of the most touching, irresistible, and feel-good road trips I've been on in a long, long while. AMY & ROGER is a book to love." --Deb Caletti

* "A near perfect summer read that should leave readers with a thirst for travel and romance." --Publishers Weekly, starred review

"This entertaining and thoughtful summertime road trip serves up slices of America with a big scoop of romance on the side." --Kirkus


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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 368 pages
  • Editeur : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; Édition : Reprint (3 mai 2011)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1416990666
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416990666
  • Dimensions du produit: 14 x 2,8 x 21 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (4 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 5.807 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Format: Broché
Gold Star Award Winner!

I am proud to say this book is going on my keeper shelf. Road trip novels always held a special appeal to me, so this book was always going in my TBR. It was one of my most anticipated books of 2010. From the cover, to the first sentence, all the way to the ending - it held me in a way few books do. I am proud to say it both met and surpassed all expectations I had.

Amy is home alone in California, packing up to drive across the country to her new home in Connecticut with her mother and her twin brother, Charlie. Roger is sent with her to supervise, drive, and hitch a ride to Philadelphia himself. They were old childhood playmates, but they hardly remembered each other. Amy is barely getting over her father's recent death, and Roger is dealing with the harsh break-up of someone he thought he loved. Needless to say, we are met with two needy and complex protagonists, and they give us one heck of a ride.

What mainly follows is a series of detours. Amy and Roger decide to ride through Yellowstone, bypassing her mother's preplanned route; hotel reservations and MapQuest directions included. With caution thrown to the wind, we see these two characters change and build a relationship unlike any other. Amy deals with fears and her inability to be adventurous, as well as with a not-so-smooth mother/daughter relationship. Roger deals with trying to move on from a relationship that was never quite right, and with his new experiences with Amy.

The writing and layout of this book was, in one word, perfect. It flowed and had the fun campy quality of Johnson's 13 LITTLE BLUE ENVELOPES and the depth of BECOMING CHLOE. Out of all the road trip novels I have read, this is so far the tops in terms of writing.
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Format: Broché
je voulais tellement continuer l'aventure avec Amy et Roger, deux personnages formidables! J avais vraiment l'impression de voyager avec eux grâce au "carnet de voyage"
Je crois que c'est pour le moment mon livre préféré de l'année 2015! Si vous me lisez, achetez ce livre vous allez aimer... Non plutôt ADORER!!!
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Un très beau livre, qui aborde différents thèmes tels que le décès d'un parent, le poids de la culpabilité, mais aussi un merveilleux voyage à travers l'Amérique pour Amy et Roger... durant lequel Amy apprendra à reprendre goût à la vie...
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Par morgane le 4 août 2014
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
j'ai beaucoup aimé ce livre!! il nous permet de voyager a travers les États unis. les dexu personnages sont attachants et on veut connaitre leur histoire. je recommande grandement ce livre !!!!
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Amazon.com: 148 commentaires
16 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Fantastic Debut 2 mai 2010
Par Lauren - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I don't know about you but I love debut novels. One of the main reasons why I do is because you seriously do not know what to expect, unlike, say, picking a novel up by one of your favorite authors. They can rock your socks and make you have a new favorite author or you can end up detesting the book and have an author you're not too sure about. Though either way you still get a taste of something new and exciting. Thankfully, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour was one of the former of those two ways debut novels can go because, quite honestly, it was outright amazing in a way that I loved.

This book was sweet, funny, touching, and, well, basically all the positive adjectives out there, which made this one book I could not get enough of and sure many others will feel the same exact way!

In the start of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, I wasn't too found of Amy. I didn't like how closed off she was from the world around her and how awkward she was around others. I mean I understand why she was that way, I would be too if I was her, but it just bothered me a bit. Though as the novel progressed she began to be a better improved version of her prior self as she made amends with her past, learning how to move on yet remember, and shinned in result, leaving her to become someone I truly cared about. Adding to this, I adored Roger! He was swoon-worthy in a way that only literary male characters can be and I loved how he ended up being one of the main people along the trip who made Amy come out of her shell. While the minor characters parts were small, they still ended up leaving a big punch and made you wish that they had page space a bit longer than what they did.

As you can probably tell from the title, cover, and summary, road trips, one in particular, played a huge part in this novel and boy did I love that part. Since through Amy's POV and travel notes, you get to feel like you're also part of the road trip along with her and Roger as they go through state after state facing drama and romance along the way. Lastly I loved the fact that there was bits and pieces of different state's history throughout.

And how I loved the ending, even though I hated to see this one end, since it gave you true hope of what's to come for the characters down the road and left me with one big smile on my face!

In all, Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is a debut that you shouldn't miss for anything! Though, word of warning, you'll be dying to go on a road trip along with someone as adorable as Roger when your'e done like I am now.

Grade: A+
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.5 stars. Fans of sweet YA romances will love it 30 octobre 2010
Par YA book lover - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I am not a big fan of formulaic, Sarah Dessen-type summer YA romances, but the reviews of Amy & Roger's Epic Detour were so glowing, I wanted to give it a try. I did enjoy it, as much as I can enjoy a story that employs such genre cliches as makeovers and two teens sleeping in the same bed because, oh my!, there are no other options available.

The book is cute and sweet, engaging and a very quick read. The main characters, albeit fairly superficially drawn, are nice, likable people. Although Amy is in a state of grief over her father's death, her narration, to my relief, never becomes an overblown angstravaganza (like, let's say, Revolution - another YA novel about grief and guilt). Unhealthy, stalkerish and abusive relationships are not promoted here. The format is great too, it is sort of scrapbooky, with tons of notes, pictures, and receipts. I have to say, however, some of the scrapbook pages are not inserted into the narration very well, they interrupt the flow of the story. But it's a minor flaw.

As for negatives, they are mostly genre-related - the story is fairly predictable, the characterization is basic and the dialog is not as interesting as it could have been. My major beef with the novel is the hook-up scene in the end (it's fade-into-black BTW). Amy's first encounter with her college BF is handled well, but when it comes to Amy's tryst with Roger, the author never explores the emotional implications of non-committed sex. Why would Amy feel differently about sex this time is unclear, after all she was in love with both guys. I wish this scene would never have been in the book, but I guess the genre requirements called for it?

Anyway, what I am trying to say, is that after reading YA authors like Melina Marchetta, it's hard for me to sing praises to this particular YA novel. But readers who enjoy sweet, inoffensive, wholesome stories written by Siobhan Vivian, Elizabeth Scott, Robin Benway and Simone Elkeles, will definitely love this book.

If you are looking for another road trip type story, I recommend Paper Towns, which is much more fun and less cliche-ridden.
10 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Read this book NOW! 20 juillet 2010
Par Katie Dahlberg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Oh gosh, how do I even sum up my love for this book with words? To start off with, I wasn't expecting it. A book about a road trip? How exciting and enthralling could that possibly be? But it completely took me by surprise and left me flabbergasted when I found that putting it down was nearly impossible.

Amy's character is closed-off and quiet, while Roger is a bit more outgoing and boisterous. The first few chapters of the road trip are a bit awkward, but instead of their personalities clashing, they start to rely on each other. After that, the relationship that forms is one that will be on a lot of my favorite lists for a long time. Roger is funny and Amy is sarcastic, and I loved every second of it.

Another thing I absolutely loved was the visuals. Several pages of the book are devoted to flyers, schedules, emails, purchases/lodgings receipts and pictures of the places that they visit. It also included hand-written pages of Amy & Roger's road trip play-lists, which featured hilarious doodles from Roger. The book still would've been amazing without it, but I thought it was incredibly neat to actually see what we were reading and I hope more novels take notice! (At first, I thought somebody actually drawn Roger's doodles into my copy before sending it to me!)

Overall, I thought this book was fantastic. Cracked into my top ten favorite list, even! Amy's slow but progressing reveal of her past and Roger's determination for his uncertain future with his ex-girlfriend makes for a great adventure that will evoke so many emotions. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Didn't Live Up To The Hype. 7 août 2014
Par Three Wishes - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This one for me, 2 1/2 stars. Hmmm, I'm not really sure why this book got so many high ratings. I found it on a book list for similar reads to 'Anna and the French Kiss' which I LOVED. This book, however, not so much.

It started out promising enough, girl loses father, brother is in rehab, mom moves across country to buy a new home and set up leaving said girl to bring the car a month later with a guy who will be living in Philadelphia with his father for the summer. Sounds good, right? I was really looking forward to this book. Well, it totally fell flat, SO flat. I kept waiting for the 'getting to know you' part and it didn't come until SO far into the book (like about 70% or more in) that I didn't really care as much anymore (and even when it came it wasn't even that good).

I have read MANY books before about teens with problems (every kind you can imagine) and Amy was no different except that the author gave you nothing to really want to root for her. She wasn't interesting . I kept waiting for that WOW moment when I just started falling in love with her, wanting her to have dialog instead of all these vague internal references about why she was the one who killed her father. There really was not much more to it. She just sat in the seat beside Roger and stared out the window for 90% of their trip. BORING. Then Roger, who was much more interesting than Anna in the beginning, also didn't contribute much either. I was actually really sad about this because he could have given SO much more to the story. He started out interesting to me and fun, and I wanted to know more about him, but the more hours that stretched by in the car the more irritated I got when absolutely NOTHING was revealed. At one point they are on the 'loneliest highway in America' and I felt like I was on the longest boring book I've read. Both seemingly long and hopeless. I mean, I was over half way through the book and the only thing I knew about Roger STILL was he had an ex girlfriend and that Amy thought she killed her dad (still vague at this point as to why, even though it was super predictable and when it was revealed at the end, it wasn't a shock or surprise at all).

I was only going to give this 2 stars, but decided on 2 1/2 because closer to the end of the book when we were actually given some small scenes where you could actually get to know the characters, I started liking it better. Once they arrived at Hadley's house (Roger's ex) things changed a little for me. I really liked Lucian (her brother) and wish he could have been more in the story. Probably because when he was around there was actually quite a bit of dialogue and some fun stuff happens. But there are also scenes from this part of the story that are never explained. What exactly did Roger say to Hadley? And what did he say to her about Amy? That was never revealed...annoying. They could have at least told us in the end.

From then on I did like the interaction with Amy and Roger a little more. Over all though, it ultimately fell kind of flat for me. The interest between the two main characters was sweet, for what it gave us, but compared to other books this was just not anywhere near what I thought it would be when I was going into it. Their potential was never realized and that's what made me the most sad about reading this story because it COULD have been great. The end gives some good resolve though and there are some sweet moments that made it move up to 2 1/2 stars for me in the last several chapters, along with Amy's transformation that I did like.

If you are looking for a book about a super long road trip where almost nothing happens for 75% of the book, this is the one for you. If you want a story where you LOVE the characters and want everything for them because you just love them so much and can't stop thinking about them for days/weeks afterward, go find something else (Fangirl, Eleanor & Park, Anna & the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, and On The Fence to name a few).

**Oh and if you are reading the Kindle edition, the receipts and the scraps of note paper are more of a nuisance than anything else. They are too small to read without enlarging your screen so I ended up not looking at almost any of them. And towards the end, it was like someone forgot to make them look like scraps of paper and just added them into the dialog breaking up pages of text. It totally broke up the flow of the story. Someone should fix that.
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Entertaining, engrossing and philosophical novel 22 juin 2010
Par Megan - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Morgan Matson's AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR is an engaging, touching and ultimately hopeful novel centering around one broken girl and the adventure that begins to heal her. On par with Justina Chen Headley's NORTH OF BEAUTIFUL, one of my favorite young adult novels, this DETOUR was a welcome respite from mundane plots and static characters that can plague contemporary fiction.

There isn't too much to dislike in a fast-paced, engrossing novel like this. Amy's growth from cover to cover is astounding, culminating in all of the daring experiences she wouldn't have even thought of attempting months before. Watching the progression of her feelings for Roger was really sweet and powerful, and it was just as clear that Roger's affection was mutual.

At the heart of the novel is the road trip itself -- unpredictable, wild. While Amy's mom had carefully planned the entire journey from start to finish, complete with hotel reservations, Amy and Roger leap wildly off the path from the start. I loved reading about places I've visited through the eyes of our travelers, relishing in all the funny anecdotes (like having to stuff food or anything attractive to bears in a bear locker while camping at Yosemite) and new friendships. Roger exposes Amy to a whole world -- a world outside herself -- and gently tugs her from the cell of her grief. While sometimes I wanted to shake Amy, screaming that her dad's death was not her fault, I greatly empathized with her. The trip was what she needed to escape, grow and heal.

Multi-layered and boasting a cast of memorable characters, even on the periphery, AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR provided plenty of entertainment while still getting me to hastily wipe tears from my eyes. The incorporation of "real" photos from the trip -- scrapbook pages, receipts, itineraries, Roger's playlists -- added another dimension of the story that really made me feel like I, too, had gone on a trip. And by the time I closed the last page, I didn't want it to end.

Fans of young adult and realistic fiction will enjoy this fresh look at family and love, life and death, and find plenty of humorous moments to balance out the serious, often philosophical tone of the book. Not your average "road trip" novel -- and that's what I loved most about it. Don't hesitate to pick this one up -- especially not with a cover that gorgeous.
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