Size Doesn’t Matter (141): Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour; On Tyranny

Size Doesn’t Matter (141): Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour; On TyrannyAmy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Published by Simon & Schuster BFYR on May 3, 2011
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 344
Format: Paperback
Source: Gifted
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Goodreads
three-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.

Morgan Matson backlist reading project completed! Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is Matson’s debut novel (at least under this name), and it’s the last one I read. Unfortunately, it’s by far my least favorite of her four Matson novels; in case you’re curious, my precise order of favorites goes in publication order. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour lacks the shippiness of Matson’s latter books, but it’s a pretty good road trip book nonetheless.

Amy and Roger embark on a road trip from LA to Connecticut to deliver Amy’s mom’s car. Amy’s mom and Roger’s mom arranged it, because Amy refuses to drive View Spoiler » and Roger has to spend the summer with his father in Philadelphia anyway. Along the way, they stop at a bunch of cool places (unlike Amy’s mom’s intended route, on which the most interesting stop was Tulsa) and eat tons of iconic food.

I’m going to be a nitpicky bitch here for a moment. When Amy & Roger stop at Chick-Fil-A, they order “spicy fries” which I’ve never heard of and I’ve eaten tons of Chick-Fil-A; Googling didn’t reveal anything about them ever having had spicy fries, so they were at best temporary, and they should have eaten the famous waffle fries. Similarly, Dairy Queen’s Blizzard is described as a “drink,” when it’s actually thicker soft serve eaten with a spoon and part of the schtick is that they can turn the cup upsidedown before they give it to you and nothing will fall out. It’s actually very similar to the Concrete from Freddy’s which they visited at another point on the trip. These are tiny details, but they removed from the authenticity and made me question the portrayal of the places I haven’t been.

Setting that aside, Amy does have a pretty nice character arc over the course of the road trip. She’s been shut off emotionally ever since her dad died, and she slowly opens up to experiences and finds confidence. I think that’s well done, though some things (like Bronwyn stealing her clothes and replacing them with more stylish ones and just happening to have a bra in Amy’s size to loan and everything—literally who does this? Also, that’s rude, even if well-intentioned and in this case appreciated.) are rather forced.

However, sadly, I find this one of the cases where the romance either needed to be done differently or just not have happened for me to like this book more. Roger’s arc is that he’s obsessed with his ex who dumped him without explanation. They of course track down his MPDG ex, but he realizes that he’s into Amy, even though their banter hasn’t really been that great. I really didn’t feel the connection between these two honestly. If he’d just been on the trip to delay having to spend time with his father and they’d had an amazing bantery connection, obviously I would have looooved this. But that’s not what happened. View Spoiler »

Sorry Lenore. I think maybe if I’d read this when it first came out and quality YA was more scarce, I might have been more impressed.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (141): Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour; On TyrannyOn Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
Narrator: Timothy Snyder
Length: 1 hr, 48 mins
Published by Random House Audio on March 28, 2017
Genres: Politics
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Goodreads
three-stars

An historian of fascism offers a guide for surviving and resisting America’s turn towards authoritarianism.

On November 9th, millions of Americans woke up to the impossible: the election of Donald Drumpf as president. Against all predictions, one of the most-disliked presidential candidates in history had swept the electoral college, elevating a man with open contempt for democratic norms and institutions to the height of power.

Timothy Snyder is one of the most celebrated historians of the Holocaust. In his books Bloodlands and Black Earth, he has carefully dissected the events and values that enabled the rise of Hitler and Stalin and the execution of their catastrophic policies. With Twenty Lessons, Snyder draws from the darkest hours of the twentieth century to provide hope for the twenty-first. As he writes, “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism and communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience.”

Twenty Lessons is a call to arms and a guide to resistance, with invaluable ideas for how we can preserve our freedoms in the uncertain years to come.

As usual, I picked out the On Tyranny audiobook on a whim. It’s precisely what you would expect: a delineation of all the ways that Trump’s campaign hearkened back to historical fascism and information on what we can do to fight back. I was a history major, so I can’t say I got a ton of new information from On Tyranny, but it’s short and to the point, and I think it would be a good read for teens who aren’t sure about the ramifications of a lot of this or the warning signs. It is a little weird that Snyder only refers to Trump as “the president,” perhaps because he’s afraid of retribution. Worth the amount of time I spent on it, but likely better for a person a bit less historical informed.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

 

3 responses to “Size Doesn’t Matter (141): Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour; On Tyranny”

  1. Susan says:

    That’s such a shame you didn’t really love “Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour”. It’s my favorite book by Morgan Matson. 🙁 But I guess at least you didn’t give it one star! LOL.

    Also, they did end up together. In another book, they had a cameo that indicated they were now a couple.

  2. Lenore says:

    Amy & Roger 4-ever
    Lenore recently posted…My Awesome Reads of 2016My Profile

  3. I really liked Amy & Roger but I definitely agree with your points. I didn’t notice the food stuff but I’ve noticed similar things in other books and it takes me right out of the story! And I was bummed about the open ending as well. Not shippy enough like you said! But it was still pretty cute most of the time 🙂
    Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle recently posted…The Intimidating TBR TagMy Profile

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