Where I got it: Inter-library Loan
Rating: 5 stars
Cover Rating: 4 stars (I really like the hands grasping on the open road.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Page Count: 344 p.
Amy's father died. Those words are too hard for her to think, let alone speak aloud. Her mother decides the family needs a new start. With her brother in rehab, and her mother making their new home ready in Connecticut, Amy is left alone in her Californian home. That is until school is over and her mom informs her there is not enough money for her to fly to Connecticut and ship the car too. Amy hasn't driven since the accident, and she doesn't even really like being in cars anymore. It comes as quite a shock when her mother informs her that she will be taking a roadtrip with a boy she hasn't seen in years in order to bring the car to her mother. Amy is totally against this idea, but finds she has no choice. Once in the car with Roger though Amy decides maybe this could be fun, if first they make a detour.
I feel so close to Amy and Roger, like I was in the backseat the whole time. Amy was struggling with the loss of her father, and Roger was struggling with the losing his girlfriend. Though these are certainly not completely comparable, I mean breaking up is not as bad as death, but they are still losses that tugged at the characters and pulled them apart. This novel made me want to hop in the car right away and go on an adventure. It was so hard to stay put while turning the pages. Every fiber of my being was screaming for excitement, adventure and the open road. I know that someday soon, I will have a roadtrip across America, albeit in the opposite direction of Roger and Amy, but hopefully at least half as epic. The relationship dynamic between Amy and Roger was very well written. The tension and the closeness that inevitably occurs when people spend a long time together in such a small space. Roger's ex, Hadley, sounded absolutely dreadful from the very second he spoke about her. I can't imagine him being able to say her name without anything but disgust on his tongue. She just sounded horrible. I loved the scrapbook pages, they added a lot to the story especially when paired with the playlists and Roger's sketches. If you have ever wanted to go on a roadtrip this is definitely the feel-good book to read. It's a fantastic book to read even if you like the comfort of your hometown. I was waiting and waiting to find out how Amy's father died. I felt like a rubbernecker at a traffic accident, I knew it was morbid, but I just had to know what happened and how. The contrast between the grief and the thrill of the trip was very fantastic and kept the book from feeling too heavy. I think this might be a book I'll have to re-read often.
First Line of story:
"I sat on the front steps of my house and watched the beige Subaru station wagon swing too quickly around the cul-de-sac."
"The rain was light at first, just a few droplets, but then it was as though the endless sky above us opened, and bucketful after bucketful was being tossed down onto the car.