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Road Tripping – Nov Book Club

So have you done any thinking about what you would need on a road trip? Me? I think there are two things that are essential; good company and a good soundtrack. Of course along the way you will need to fill up on plenty of junk food an drinks  but that really goes without saying. A plan on the other hand is something that will work or not, it’s up to you and the circumstances. How nice would it be to be able to pack up and just drive off into the where ever, no plan and no cares.

In Amy & Roger’s case the company was thrust on them. Fortunately they found a way to make it work. They each had their own agendas but were able to incorporate both in the trip. A road trip would be a total shocker if one person made all the choices. The theme here, strangers by need or accident on a road trip together, is a theme that has been used effectively in quite a few road trip stories. Can you think of any films or books that use this. And no I’m not feeding you the answers right now.

Now onto my other essential ingredient. Music. Music is a vital component of any road trip. Roger provides an eclectic and fun soundtrack. If some of them aren’t familiar then it’s no surprise it really is an eclectic list. Don’t believe me, check song list 5. On this one list you will find – Elton John, Erasure, The Dandy Warhols and Muse. Muse would certainly make my travel playlist. Other bands that would make the cut include Within Temptation and Nickelback. Hmmm, maybe I should leave it there but then it is no secret that the actree in me likes showtunes and that’s all I will say. Obviously though the random function on an MP3 player is a really great function. Are there any bands or songs you would have to have on playing on your road trip?

Finally there is of course one problem when it comes to contemplating a road trip – money. Driving on a whim simply isn’t cheap. So if money wasn’t an issue then would you take part of you summer and head off on a road trip? If so where would you go? Somewhere familiar, would you stay in relative luxury? Or would you be more adventurous and willing to try something a little out of the box?

Book Club November 2011 – Amy & Roger

Book : Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

By: Morgan Matson

Genre: Fiction, Real Life


Amy Curry’s life is not what it once was. The accident tore her family apart first emotionally and now literally. her mother has decided the thing to do is move and has given Amy the task of getting the car across the country. This isn’t something Amy will be doing alone as she hasn’t actually driven since the accident. Amy’s mother has arranged for Roger, the son of a family friend to do the driving.

They are barely on the road before the strict itinerary Amy’s mother outlined, has gone out the window. They both have reasons for wanting the detour. Roger has come off a confusing relationship break-up and Amy is still lost in the wilderness of life after the accident. Their journey takes them to Yosemite, down America’s loneliest road and even to Graceland, along the way Roger finds answers and Amy learns to live again, Sometimes taking a different path is exactly what you need and it really is the journey that matters not just the destination.

My Initial Thoughts

This is a wonderful, fun and heartfelt journey. Matson slowly opens the central characters up as the miles pass away. The prose is fluid and is broken up by journey playlists and funny little travel journal entries. The mood is a times tense and at others relaxed, as the characters begin to to grow comfortable with and begin to trust each other.

The road trip is beautifully punctuated by the varied characters Roger and Amy meet up with along the way. Bronwyn was a particular highlight for me. Of course all these characters add poignant moments to the story, some deep and some simply joyful fun.

This is a well balanced story that seems to move along at just the right pace. Matson has captured the feel of a leisurely road trip, there is little frantic about it as you are caught up in the need to just get away and experience new things.

Did I Like It

Yes. I don’t read a lot of general fiction, I have found people often read genre or general and I am more a genre type. In fact I think I always have been, so it may be a case of genre nurture. That said I like discovering new authors and stories that interest me.

This story is one I think quite a few people can identify with. I know I can. I was quite a bit older when I did my version of a road trip, for me it was overseas travel. Though with Australia being so big it would be very possible to do a road trip, the main difference is that we have so much open space.

I think one of the core topics in this book is identity, discovering something that is at the heart of you. For Amy it was getting to say and do some of the things she didn’t think she could, and overcoming her fear. For Roger it was facing a certain person and accepting the truth of what they were like. Both characters had to learn to let go of the past and be willing to face the future and find the good in it. This is a lesson we all need to remember at times.

So if anyone has read this book let me know what you thought about it.

Tomorrow The Book Club Starts

Tomorrow is November and the start of our YA Book Club.

The first book this month is Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour. A novel about a road trip. With the end of school year coming up and our longest holidays on the way I thought this would be a good choice. It will give us the chance to think about where you might go if you got the chance to go on a road trip amongst other things.

Second up I decided to throw in something just for fun. The second of the Heroes of Olympus books by Rick Riordan has just been released so I thought we’d look at the first, The Lost Hero. If you’ve come through as a younger reader on the back of the Percy Jackson books, you are probably a fan of these. I know I am. I love the mythology and with these books we can look at the comparisons of the Greek and Roman mythologies.

So starting tomorrow I will repost my initial reviews with a little added and we can start the talking.

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