cutie’s epic detour

Posted 17 August, 2010 by Danny in / 2 Comments

Have you ever read a novel that stole your breath away?
And not because it was full of super-natural twists and turns,
but merely due to the pureness… the realness of the story.
A story that makes you tear up, laugh out loud, and simply feel
good inside. One that you wished would never end because
the characters become apart of you and you need to know
what happens next. I (literally) just got done reading a quirky,
heart felt novel by a debuting author and I just have to tell y’all
why I *heart* it so much.
I know it’s not a Thursday!
I know I’m bustin’ out of my corner.
But damn it!
Sometimes these things just have to be shared!!!
Get ready, my friends, for the top five reason why I adore:
by Morgan Matson
Published Date: May 2010
(follow her lovelies she’s adorable)
And if y’all are rrrrreally good on this lil trip
I just.might. give ya musical bonus here and there.
Yep, I’m a giver.
What can I say?
A Brief Description:

After the death of her father, sixteen year old Amy has felt like her life has fallen apart. Not only is her father gone, but her mother has decided to move the family (Amy and her twin brother Charlie) from sunny SoCal to Connecticut. Having lived for a month on her own while her brother is in rehab in NC and her mother sets up house in Connecticut, Amy feels alone, isolated, and guilt ridden, haunted by what was and what will never be.

Needing someone to drive the family car from California to the east coast, Amy’s mom devises a plan which includes Amy taking a pre-planned four day trip cross country with a family friend Roger (a college freshman) whom Amy hasn’t seen since they were both kids and hardly remembers. But things don’t go as smoothly as her mom planned when Roger and Amy decide to take a small detour and what had started out as a simple trip becomes one of self discovery and healing.

1. I’ve Been Everywhere Man

“Oh beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain.
For purple mountains majesty above the fruited plains…”
– America the Beautiful

Weaved throughout the novel & playing a central role is
the good ol USofA. From sunny Southern California, across
the lonely and forgotten desert of The Silver State, past the
purple mountains of Colorado, through the beauty of the south,
and up the coast of New England Amy & Roger take us along
as they discover the beauty of the country. They remind us all
that we need to grab a map, get a good navigator, some
excellent tunes, a few snacks, and take our own little trip
searching out places we’ve only heard of yet never seen!
All the while meeting people who can give us a different perspective,
not only on this country (or any country for that matter), but on life.
some of cutie’s favey fave traveling songs:
1. Not The Same – Ben Folds
(Honestly, anything by Mr. Folds will do.)
2. Going the Distance – Cake
3. Crazy – Gnarl Barkely
4. How The Day Sounds – Greg Laswell
5. New Slang – The Shins
2. Hot Funk, Cool Punk, Even If It’s Old Junk
“So if this is going to be a real road trip,” he said, backing out of the
parking space and heading towards the exit,
“we need to get some road trip essentials.”
“Like gas?”
“No,” he said. “Well, yes,” he amended, looking down at the gauge.
“But there are two things that are absolutely
necessary if you’re going to be hitting the road.”
“And what those are?”
Roger smiled at me as he paused at a stoplight. “Snacks and tunes,” he said.
“Not necessarily in that order.”

As Amy & Roger take the reader across the United States
they give us a taste of the local fares from In-N-Out Burgers
in SoCal (my favorite fast food joint hands.freaking.down),
Chick-fil-A in Kentucky, Hot Browns, and NuWay crumbly
(huh?) burger in Kansas. Amy & Roger document not
only their eating adventures (which you get a sneak peek at
their tabs, pics, and doodles throughout the novel) but they
also share their playlists which include show-tunes from
Avenue Q to little know bands like Pedro the Lion
(whom I’ve been in love with for years!).
As a reader I felt immersed in the story and loved all the
visual aids sprinkled throughout the novel.
cutie loves Roger’s playlists:
1. Daylight – Matt and Kim
2. Transcontinental – Pedro the Lion
3. Dust In The Wind – Kansas
4. Just Like Heaven – The Cure
5. This Time Tomorrow – The Kinks

3. She’s a Good Girl, Crazy About Elvis

“He who transplanted sustains.”
– Connecticut’s state motto

You can have a million bells and whistles in a novel,
an awesome soundtrack and a cool cover, but if the
characters aren’t relate-able, if we aren’t cheering for
them then it’s all for naught. Ms. Matson not only steps
up to the plate, but hits a home run. Amy as the main
character, and the person who’s perspective the story is
told from, is a sweet, beautiful, witty, and clever character
who tugs at your heart strings. She’s broken when the novel
begins (understandably so), yet as the story moves along
Amy is open to healing. She doesn’t rely on Roger to save her
or make her better, but finds comfort in his steady reassuring
presence. The story is told in the present with flashbacks to the
past that help define who she is as a character (faults and all)
and how she grows into her budding adulthood.
It’s a very beautiful thing.
cutie lubs herself a good musical:
3. Run and Tell That – Hairspray
4. Marian the Librarian – The Music Man
5. Singing In The Rain – Singing In The Rain
4. With My Feet On The Dash The World Doesn’t Matter

Useless fyi: This is the mister & I’s song.
“My hopes are so high that your kiss might kill me.
So won’t you kill me, so I die happy.”
– Dashboard Confessional

As they travel together, Roger & Amy find a simple ease to
their friendship. Almost as if they were two piece of a puzzle
fitting together perfectly. And together, these two lost and hurt
souls find a home together with a back seat as their kitchen
table and the world for their backyard.
I fell in love with Amy & Roger and
long for all the best this world
has to offer them…
Really, there’s nothing more to add.
I just felt warm and gooey all over after reading this novel.
love songs cutie thought of whilst reading Amy & Roger’s story:
1. Sweet Dream – Greg Laswell
2. Romeo & Juliet – Dire Straits
3. First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
4. Hands Down – Dashboard Confessional
5. The Sea and The Rhythm – Iron & Wine
5. Just the Beginning…
I’m awake, you’re still sleeping
The sun will rise like yesterday
Everything that we are now
Is everything we can’t let go
Or its gone forever, far away
I hope tomorrow is like today
– Guster

As their trip comes to an end and Amy & Roger
must come back to reality there’s a hopefulness at
the end of the novel that filled me with…
well… hope.
Hope for Amy’s healing.
Hope for Roger and her’s relationship.
Hope for Amy’s relationship with her mother and brother.
Hope that one day, very soon, Roger and Amy will
grab their iPods, a few sodas
(cream soda & root beer of course)
and explore more together.
Map in hand.
Destination unknown.
The road stretched out before them.
The novel doesn’t close with a “the end” but with a
“the beginning.”
There are no goodbyes only possibility.
“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.”
– Roger
songs for Amy & Roger from cutie with love:
1. Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol
2. I’d Rather Be With You – Joshua Radin
3. The Longest Time – Billy Joel
4. I Won’t Back Down – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
5. And Then You – Greg Laswell
Final Verdict
“aka cutie slaps a Bewitched rating on this bad boy”
“aka cutie’s rambling is coming to a close”
I couldn’t put this novel down,
and immediately after reading it bought it from B&
Plus, I’m already planning a re-reading this evening.
So I’m thinking —


cutie pays homage to The King
1. Can’t Help Falling in Love With You
2. America The Beautiful
3. All That I Am
4. All Shook Up
5. Blue Suede Shoes

Read the book and this will all make sense, my friends.
Pinky swear.
In conclusion:
Head over to your local library or bookstore
and procure yourself a copy of this novel (or download this on
your kindle/nook thingies), my friends. This is a MUST read in my mind.
The end.
Until next time –
Stay classy Bookworms.
Yours forever truly,

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Obsessive Reader by Night - Scientist at Day! You can also find me on goodreads. I'd love to get to know you so, don't be shy and say Hello!

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