Tuesday, 10 May 2016

#UnexpectedlyEpic #MorganMatsonWeek: How AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR Began My Love of Contemporary Fiction

Thank you for checking out my post for Mostly YA Lit's Unexpectedly Epic Morgan Matson Week!!! I'm extremely excited to be a part of Tiff's awesome weeklong celebration of all things Morgan Matson! Like Tiff, I'm a big fan of Morgan's and I couldn't resist being a part of this amazing event!!

I decided to write about how much Morgan Matson's debut novel, AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, means to me. So, without further ado, here's my post on how I felt when I first read it! I hope you enjoy. :)

How AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR Began My Love of Contemporary Fiction

I still remember when I first picked up AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR. It was in 2010, just shortly after the beginning of the second year of my undergrad. I’d fallen in love with the library the previous semester. I’m from a small town, so seeing the magnificent selection of books that the city’s library had was amazing, and visiting the small on-campus EPL (Edmonton Public Library) Go location quickly became one of my favourite pastimes. Sadly, this location is no longer there, so let’s all take a moment to mourn the loss of one of my favourite little spots on the University of Alberta campus! Any who…back to the story.

Near the end of my first year, I’d switched programs, so it was my first full school year majoring in English…and even though I was totally swamped with readings all the time, I still always made sure to find time for recreational reading. When I found AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR at the library, I was immediately intrigued! Before it, I’d pretty much exclusively read YA fantasy and paranormal stories, so I attribute my current GINORMOUS love of contemporary stories to this book…it’s what made me fall in love with stories about real life, and I’m still extremely glad that I picked it up. I was hooked right from the start. It made me laugh, cry, and even now, years later, I’d still say it’s my absolute favourite contemporary book⎯YA or adult!!

When I saw that Tiff was hosting an event devoted just to Morgan Matson around the release of her newest book, THE UNEXPECTED EVERYTHING, I jumped at the chance to be a part of it because I absolutely ADORE Morgan Matson, and I really wanted to share my love of AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR with you all!!

So, I’ve told you all about when and where I found AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, but now I want to break it down and tell you all about why I love it so much and I’ve got a couple of Amy-and-Roger-esque playlists to share with you all because the musical and graphic aspects of the book were some of my favourite parts! You might notice that I’ve structured them like Roger’s playlists in the book.

Here’s my AMBUR PLAYLIST #1:

Listen to AMBUR PLAYLIST #1 on 8tracks.
This playlist is inspired by where I was in my life when I found this book. I don’t have an actual playlist from that specific time-frame, so I’ve just pulled songs that I know I was obsessed with at the time. I still love all of these songs, but I have to admit that nowadays I love a couple of these for nostalgic reasons more than anything. :P While they don’t have an obvious cohesive theme, they’re all songs that resonated with me in some way during that age. I was also totally smitten with GLEE during the early years of my undergrad…and my love for Zac Efron never seems to quite go away. :P And I guess I did switch programs just shortly before I found this book, so in a way, that was my own epic detour!

When I first read AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, I felt SOOOO many things! While my mom is one of my absolute best friends and we’re very close, I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. My dad and I have similar personalities, so we tend to sit and just quietly enjoy each other’s company. I can’t imagine losing my dad, and a few months before reading this book, I did have a brief period of time where my dad had a health scare, so I immediately connected with Amy. The loss of her father in the story immediately hit me super hard, and her grieving process moved me so much. I was completely overwhelmed (in a wonderful way!), and extremely immersed in the story right from the start. I loved seeing Amy bond with Roger, and I loved seeing her come to terms with her grief and remember her father throughout the trip. It was such a moving story, and every time that I’ve reread it since, I’ve loved it just as much. It's one of those stories that just gets better and better with each reading. Each time I’ve read it, I’ve been moved more and more by how Morgan Matson has written the story and her skill at writing such vibrant, dynamic characters also just blows me away!

Now, here’s my AMBUR PLAYLIST #2:

Listen to AMBUR PLAYLIST #2 on 8tracks.
This playlist is where I’m at now. I’ve moved across the country (from Alberta to Ontario) on my own in August of 2015 and mostly what I’ve been focusing on lately is just getting used to being more independent. I’ve been working on my career and focusing on me. I still talk to my family every day, but it’s been quite the adjustment being so far away and being so independent. This playlist has a little bit more cohesion than the previous one, and they’re mostly songs that amp me up and inspire me to never give up on my goals. It also includes a couple of songs that I just love from TV (i.e., “Monsters” and “Fade Into You”), which are just songs I love, but don’t exactly fit my life right now. Obviously, I’m a big fan of soundtrack music…and like my love of Zac Efron, that’s not likely to change any time soon. ;)

Now, it’s been a while since I’ve read AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, and I unfortunately was a little too busy with work recently to reread it right before #MorganMatsonWeek, but all of this excitement has me raring to read it again!! Even thinking back to my first experience reading AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR, and flipping through it to prepare for this post has gotten me all amped up! My love for this book seriously never wanes! I’ll be taking a trip home in the next little bit to visit my family, and I think it’ll be the perfect book to read during my time back home. :)

I hope that I’ve inspired you all to check out AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR! It’s one of my favourite books, and has an extremely powerful message. It’s also hard not to love the unique little add-ins that pop up in the story during Amy and Roger’s “epic detour” and it’s pretty much impossible to not love the characters, Amy and Roger are both absolutely fantastic! And if you’ve read it already, I’d love to hear about your own reading experience, and if you have some playlist ideas of your own, please share!!

I'd like to take a moment to thank Tiff for letting me be a part of her fabulous weeklong event for Morgan Matson! It’s been a pleasure sharing my love of AMY & ROGER’S EPIC DETOUR with all of my fabulous readers as well as hers!!!

Make sure that you check out the rest of Tiff's Unexpectedly Epic Morgan Matson Week! She has so many great posts lined up, and some fantastic quizzes and giveaways, too! You really don't want to miss any of it! :)

What do you think?
Did you love AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR, too?
Do you have a book that opened you up to a whole new genre?
Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts on playlists. Did you have a playlist, or even a song, that you thought of while reading AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR or my post?


  1. Lovely playlists!
    This book was definitely one of those contemporary books that got me hooked on more, too! Good luck with your move, that is a pretty long drive! I often drive from SK to AB for school, and my friend and I usually end up with a 90's-esque playlist, haha.

    1. Thanks, Cyn! I'm glad you liked them! And I'm glad AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR got you hooked on more contemporary, too!! I've actually already moved. I moved about 9 months ago. :) Thank you for the luck though. It was definitely a long drive, but I was lucky to have my parents come along with me for the drive, so I didn't have to make it alone. :) Road trip playlists are always the best and I love them even more with some good 90s music on them, too. haha :D

  2. Awesome post Ambur. Contemporaries are still hit or miss for me, but I'm trying to read more of them to give them a chance (right now I'm reading Paper Towns and it is good!). I haven't read any Morgan Matson yet, but I'm going to the used book sale in Calgary this weekend, so I will keep an eye out, since so many people seem to love her.

    Anyway, I miss seeing you at blogger meetups!

    1. Thanks, Megan! :) They're definitely not for everyone, but I'm glad you'd found some that have been hits for you. :) Oooh! I'm glad you're enjoying PAPER TOWNS! I really enjoyed that one. Good plan!!! :D

      I miss seeing you at blogger meetups, too! It's been far too long since we saw each other last!

  3. I love this! Contemporary is my favourite genre and it makes me happy to know Morgan Matson got you hooked on it, and introduced you to a whole bunch of new books. Amy & Roger was also my first book I read of hers and it made me a fan, so I'm excited for The Unexpected Everything!

    1. Thanks, Rebecca!!! :D I absolutely love it, too...it's been over six years since I found Amy & Roger, and I haven't looked back since. ;D Yay!!! I'm glad you loved Amy & Roger, too, and same!!!


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