Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on May 4th 2010
Genre(s): Contemporary YA, Romance
Rating: 4 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.
I had super high expectations for this one, because I loved Morgan Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone. And boy, did this deliver! It was such a fun summer read! I loved watching Amy and Roger’s relationship blossom, and seeing all the fun places they visited on their trip.
The Characters: Amy, the narrator, is 18 years old and dealing with the aftereffects of her father’s unexpected death. I was really able to relate to Amy throughout the book, and all her emotions and thoughts felt so realistic and genuine. She also had a really fun and sweet personality.
Roger, the love interest. Oh, Roger. He was so kind and understanding of Amy, and he supported her so much throughout her grieving process. He was also really funny, and had me laughing out loud more than once. I see another possible addition to my book boyfriends list….*wink, wink*.
The Plot: I was really interested in the road trip aspect of the plot, and I really liked learning about each of the places that Amy and Roger visited, but I was truly engrossed in the grief part. I thought the author handled the topic really well, because I know grief is a tough subject to write about. Amy’s emotions and healing process felt so real and raw, exactly how I would imagine them to be in those circumstances.
Another aspect I really enjoyed in the plot were all the music references and playlists in the book. In each chapter, there would be a playlist to show what Amy and Roger were listening to during the trip and they seemed to bond a lot over music. This was a fun addition to the story, as well as all the pictures, drawings, maps, receipts, etc. throughout the book.
The Writing Style: Matson’s overall writing style didn’t seem like anything special or unique, but she still represented the character’s thoughts and emotions well.
“Tomorrow will be better.”
“But what if it’s not?” I asked.
“Then you say it again tomorrow. Because it might be. You never know, right? At some point, tomorrow will be better.”
“The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them.”
“Saying good-bye is basically an invitation not to see a person again. It’s making it okay for that to be the last conversation you have. So if you don’t say it–if you leave the conversation open–it means you’ll have to see them again.”
Final Thought: I would definitely recommend this! I give it 4 stars. The only downside would be that it took me a while to really get into the story, but when I did get into it, I was hooked! Super excited to read Matson’s book Second Chance Summer.
Well, that’s it for my first review. Hope you enjoyed it! Happy reading!