Monday, May 17, 2010

Book Review and Giveaway: Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson (+ Lenore's Road Trip Playlist)

After her father's death in a car accident, Amy is no longer driving. So when her mother needs Amy to transport her car from California to their new home in Connecticut, she enlists the son of a family friend, Roger, to drive with Amy across country. But instead of following her mother's carefully planned itinerary, Amy and Roger embark on a series of detours and work through their respective issues along the way.

I love road trips, so I was really excited to read this one - and it didn't disappoint. The narrative arc ended up just as a I predicted it would, but the journey there continually surprised and delighted me.

Of course it helped that Amy and Roger travelled some of the same roads I have - it was fun for me to reminisce about my own road trip experiences. But it wasn't just that. Both Amy and Roger were characters imbued with an amazing presence and I enjoyed watching them make their own discoveries. They also had a great rapport and dialogue that cracked me up.

I loved the people they met along the way. Bronwyn and her clothes obsession! Derek and Drew - the Kansas boys who loved Kansas. Lucien and his topiary.

And I can't end the review without mentioning Roger's epic playlists. From the songs I know, I have a feeling Roger and I have very similar music taste, so I can't wait to listen to a bunch of these songs and hopefully discover new favorite tunes.

AMY & ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR is now available in hardcover. You can find out more about it at the publisher's website.

I have a signed copy of the book up for grabs to my readers in the US. Just leave me a comment and tell me a favorite song of yours that you like to blast in the car. I'll leave the contest open until 11:59 pm CST on June 7th. Contest is sponsored by a publicity company.

And for a bit of inspiration, here's my own 20 song road trip playlist!

"Daniel" by Bat for Lashes

(sample lyric: And in the golden blue car you took me to the darkest place you knew and you set fire to my heart)

"Rewind" by Better than Ezra

(sample lyric: In my car we are superstars. Run your lipstick down your chin while up ahead we saw such a crash. Right there a song became a soundtrack for this space in time.)

"Drive" by Bic Runga

(sample lyric: No boy, don't speak now, you just drive. Take me through, make me feel alive.)

"Hunter" by Bjork

(sample lyric: If travel is searching and home what's been found, I'm not stopping. I'm going hunting.)

"Behind the Wheel" by Depeche Mode

(sample lyric: Oh little girl, there are times when I feel, I'd rather not be the one behind the wheel.)

"Tonight We Fly" by The Divine Comedy

(sample lyric: Tonight we fly over the chimney tops skylights and slates. Looking into all your lives and wondering why happiness is so hard to find.)

"Retread" by Embrace

(sample lyric: My girl is just a retread, I lost her when I hit the brake. Our love hit science fiction levels, now I'm bending cause I made a mistake.)

"Sink to the Bottom" by Fountains of Wayne

(sample lyric: Cars on the highway, planes in the air. Everyone else is going somewhere.)

"We Could be Kings" by Gene

(sample lyric: We could be kings, the planet is ours. With love on our side, and the keys to my car. Storm through the city - oh let's drive - hold tight!)

"Pace is the Trick" by Interpol

(sample lyric: I've seen love, and I followed the speeding of starswept night.)

"Eet" by Regina Spektor

(sample lyric: You spend half of your life, trying to fall behind. You're using your headphones to drown out your mind.)

"Leaving New York" by REM

(sample lyric: It's easier to leave than to be left behind.)

"The Cold, the Dark, and the Silence" by Sea Wolf

(sample lyric: So we're lost, we're lost out here on the plains, my love. It's only wind and ice and trees that wave from above.)

"1979" by Smashing Pumpkins

(sample lyric: With the headlights pointed at the dawn, we were sure we'd never see an end to it all.)

"There is a Light that Never Goes Out" by The Smiths

(sample lyric: Driving in your car, I never, never want to go home.)

"Your Ex-Lover is Dead" by Stars

(sample lyric: Captured a taxi despite all the rain. We drove in silence across Pont Champlain. And all of the time you thought I was sad, I was trying to remember your name.)

"Tyler" by the Toadies

(sample lyric: We can drive to anyplace, day and night to cross this state.)

"Hotel" by Tori Amos

(sample lyric: King's Solomon's Mines. Exit 75. I'm still alive.)

"Highwayman" by Willie Nelson

(sample lyric: I was a highwayman. Along the coach roads I did ride.)

"See-Saw" by Youth Group

(sample lyric: Planes go across the sky of Petersham. One day I will see all the hope that's stored in them.)

I'd love to hear yours, even if you don't enter the contest!


Allison said...

Thanks for the contest :)

my favorite song to play in the car (with the volume turned way up!) is The Night The Lights Went Out In NYC by The Ataris. Its from the Spiderman 2 soundtrack :)

allison.d.mason AT gmail DOT com

Carla said...

I just finisged this book yesterday and I agree with you, it was such an amazing read. I loved that even though it was mainly Roger and Amy, I never got bored with their dialogue, it was witty and full of emotion and really shines off the page. Plus, Roger's playlists were epic!!! He has some amazing taste in music. And YAY you picked a Sea Wolf song, I love them!! Fab review :-)

Lenore Appelhans said...

Carla - Cool! I love Sea Wolf too! I wanted to make sure I got them on there somehow.

I could have made a 20 song Tori Amos playlist, but I tried to be more varied, LOL!

Jessica Love said...

1. I love Your Ex-Lover Is Dead, but I can't listen to it anymore. It's almost word for word an actual situation I've had in my life and I seriously can't handle it. Damn music when it reads your mind! ::shakes fist::

2. Right now my fave song to blast in the car is Big Casino by Jimmy Eat World. I like to sing along at the top of my lunchs to that one.

Lyric: And they'll say all the salt in the world couldn't melt that ice

3. This book looks really cute. Enter me, please. :-)

Jessica Love said...

OMG, LUNGS not lunchs. :-\

Anonymous said...

Shall I actually confess one of the songs I turn the volume way up on? Ok, one is I Just Haven't Met You Yet by Michael Buble.


Melanie said...

This looks like such a fun book!

One of my favorite songs to blast in the car is 19 & Crazy by Bombshel. It's so much fun, and I always find myself dancing along. As well as I can sitting down, anyway.

melanie AT

Zibilee said...

My favorite song to play in the car is I Like the Way You Move by OutKast, and I would love to be entered in your giveaway! The book sounds excellent!


Melanie said...

I would love to read this book. Thanks for hosting the contest!

I can't believe you have Bic Runga on your list; it seems like nobody else ever knows who she is, but maybe that's just in the US.

My favorite song to blast in the car (and repeat about 10 times) is Cathedrals by Jump Little Children.


Michelle Santiago said...

my favorite song to blast in my car right now is "cool down" by kolohe kai

thanks for the giveaway :)

bookmakeupreview AT gmail DOT com

Unknown said...

My favorite song to blast in the car at the moment is Your Love Is My Drug by Ke$ha.

Thanks for the contest!

pirate_pony2 at yahoo dot com

Yan said...

I have been slightly addicted to DOG DAYS by Florence and the Machine. It's those drums!


KIKA said...

Lovely contest! My favorite song to blast in my car while driving is "Soul Sister" by Train. It makes me smile all the time. In fact I'm smiling as I write this comment. ahhh, dopey? yes but I love it!

thebookbluff AT gmail DOT com

April (BooksandWine) said...

My favorite song to blast while driving is Hold On by Wilson Phillips. It's such a fun song, and so cheesy.

Also, another great song to play is Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. When we drove to Florida for spring break, my friends and I rickrolled every single state we drove through.


Amy said...

I'm not in the US, but had to say: I *heart* Stars! Do you like Imogen Heap as well?

Lenore Appelhans said...

Amy - Love Imogen! I almost included Goodnight and Go (sample lyric: Follow you home, you've got your headphones on and you're dancing.) But my list was getting long....

D Swizzle said...

Enter me! My favorite song for some reason is that one by Taylor Swift. I sing it soooo loudly in the car...

Dani. said...

This book looks sooooooo good! :]

As for a song I'd like to blast, at the current moment it would have to be "Secrets" by One Republic because it is STUCK IN MY HEAD from those damn Pretty Little Liars commercials. Tho I am dying to see the show:p


Alexandra said...

Right now my favorite song is Katy Perry-California gurls!!


Anonymous said...

I tend to go more of the classic rock route, with things like Life is a Highway, Running on Empty, Sweet Home Alabama and Stairway to Heaven. You know, things that I can sing at the top of my lungs the way I only do in the car where no one can hear me :)

I do love your picks though, and I'm checking some of them out now! Great contest and I'd love to win :)

Jenna said...

My favorite song to play in the car is the Glee Cast's version of Like A Virgin. I'm always singing it at the top of my lungs.

Thanks for the contest!


Jessica Love said...

So, I had to come back to say that I had never heard of Sea Wolf before, but I just checked Twitter and saw they are playing a show at the bar down the street from my house TOMORROW. And I would have never been interested had I not read/commented on your blog today. So thank you...I'm hoping to go check them out. :-)

And I realized I didn't leave my e-mail.
foreveryalit at gmail

Debbie F said...

I love the Black Eyed Peas so any of their songs!

thanks for the giveaway!

dcf_beth at verizon dot net

Lale said...

I like blasting Mr. Brightside on full volume and singing along with my little sister. The fact that she has no clue what it's about makes it even funnier.

Ashley said...

Enter me please!

Currently, my favorite song to blast would have to be Alejandro by Lady Gaga! :]

caspertroll AT hotmail DOT com

Cecelia said...

'You and I' by Ingrid Michaelson. It isn't going to 'blast' if you play it loud, but it does drown out my off-key sing-along. And plus, it's a favorite.

Great contest!


Lisa said...

The book sounds great - I love books about road trips.

One of my favorite oldies to blast in the car is "On the Dark Side" by John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band. Another favorite is "Missionary Man" by Annie Lenox.

Interesting contest and a great review!

Stephanie said...

What a FUN contest!!! I have to have music on in the car while I'm driving. I love blasting anything by Electric Light Orchestra (Evil Woman is my favorite ELO tune), Tom Petty (Don't Do Me Like That, Refugee), Clay Aiken (I adore him, I admit it!), Heart (Alone, Never), James Taylor (everything he's ever done, EVER), and I'll stop there, lest I go on all day. :)

stephaniedekeyser AT

Jennifer Powers said...

I'd LOVE the book--and I love to drive blasting Super Massive Black Hole (pre-Twilight movie) by Muse.

jaspowers at

The Library Lurker said...

The other day I was totally rocking out the Telephone by Lady Gaga. I had it up so loud!

PeechieKeen said...

The Remedy (I Won't Worry) By Jason Mraz.
Ahh, so optimistic...


Anonymous said...

I am loving your road trip playlist! Begins with Bat For Lashes and ends with Youth Group? What could be better :)

One of my favourite road trip songs is Autobahn by Anberlin: "And we're driving just as fast as we can, and we're racing to outrun the wind. / And the stereo sings our song, we don't hesitate to sing along."

Mandy said...

Im embarresed to admit I crank Lady GaGa sometimes while driving (:

Alex Bennett from Electrifying Reviews said...

Monster by Lady Gaga! I'm totally addicted to that song!

alexreadsbooks at gmail dot com

Mariana Paix√£o said...

I love road trips, but I never read a book talking about it. I guess it's amazing! Oh, I really wanna read it! *___* Thanks for the review!

Christa said...

This book sounds *so* fun!

I love to rely on my radio when I'm in the car & driving for a while (with CD/Ipod backup of course, in case I loose reception/no one is playing songs, lol). Right now, I get really excited when anything by Lady GaGa comes on. She's a little eccentric in her videos & most public/media related things, but I can't get over her music, lol!

Would love to win the book. Thanks for the giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at}

Rylie said...

My favorite song to blast in the car is Ave Mary A by P!nk.

bcanyon at gmail dot com

Marie Cloutier said...

I love your playlist! That's awesome.Your Smiths song is one of my favorites.."and in the darkened underpass I thought, oh God, my chance has come at last, but then a strange fear gripped me and I just couldn't ask."

bermudaonion said...

Great giveaway! When I'm not listening to an audio book, I love to listen to Tom Petty, so I'm going to say Mary Jane's Last Dance.

Beth S. said...

Oooh! I can't wait to read this book!

My favorite song to listen to in the car is "Uprising" by Muse.

Staci said...

This one sounds truly delightful and I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

Sara said...

Lately I've been blasting Left and Leaving by The Weakerthans!

Sample Lyrics:
"Count yellow highway lines that you're relying on to lead you home."


Hannah S. said...

I love your song list!
Anyway, I love Regina Spektor, so she's always playing.
Thanks for the opportunity, Lenore!
Love, Hannah

Ann Diana Dinh, said...

This book looks so good!!! And it actually depends for the song. If it were last summer though, the song would definitely be "You Belong With Me" by Taylor Swift.


Sandy Nawrot said...

Personal Jesus by Marilyn Manson!!! OMG I love the idea of this book. I guess I'm not great with road trips usually. I'm normally on a time schedule, and if there are kids involved, it is maddening. But I aspire to a fun road trip someday, and if I do, I will most definitely do a playlist.

rnawrot at cfl dot rr dot com

Cara said...

I haven't even heard of this book before, but now I'm really excited to read it! I love road trip stories, so this is right up my alley.

My favorite driving song is "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." All Beatles songs are great for road trips, but Lucy + the windows down +the sun shining = perfection. (:

Mystica said...

Thanks for hosting.
My favourite song is Summer of 69.


Bianca said...

LOVE this contest! A song that I like to blast in the car (though I don't drive yet) is Can't Buy Me Love- The Beatles

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

karenk said...

i enjoy listening to the music from 'the phantom of the opera.'

kmkuka at yahoo dot com

Gwen said...

I haven't listened to The Smiths in sooooo long, need to load some onto my iPod.

I am not fond of road trips, but the music is the only thing that makes it livable.

One song? Just one? I had a kick blasting Womanizer today in the car with my very straitlaced boyfriend. I am not a fan of Britney in general, but her songs do get me singing and dancing in my seat.

Linda said...

my favorite song to blare in the car is Sweet Home Alabama by Lynyrd Skynyrd!

Unknown said...

I have been DYING to read this book since forever!

And my favorite song in the car would probably be either "Put Your Records On" by Corrine (I really hope I spelled her name right) Bailey Rae, "The Remedy" by Jason Mraz, or "Let the Flames Begin" by Paramore.

Thanks for the contest!

Kelly said...

Thanks for the contest! Please enter me. I love blasting "Love Is My Drug" by Ke$ha right now....It's cheesy, I know. ;)

Jacqueline C. said...

I love all different sorts of music, but for car rides I love to listen to upbeat stuff. Anything by M.I.A., Jay -Z, Lady GaGa, Rihanna and Robyn works. Right now I'm really feeling Hot 'N Fun by N.E.R.D.

Kari said...

Oooh I'm adding this to my 'to-read' pile. I am in major need of an epic road trip.

I have so many road trip favorites. Among them:

"Wake Up" Arcade Fire
"All These Things That I've Done" The Killers
"Bohemian Rhapsody" Queen
"Baba O'Riley" The Who
any GirlTalk album


Emilyandherlittlepinknotes said...

My favorite song to blast in the car is always "Angie" By The Rolling Stones. Currently all I listen to is "High Violet" by The National, too great for words

Amanda said...

I love "Eet," as well.
A song that I would likely blast in my car right now would have to be "Stay Small" by The Receiving End of Sirens--although "Swallow People Whole" and "A Realization of the Ear," from the same album, run a close second.

Sylvia said...

I love Dream On by Tahiti 80! I've been listening to it, nonstop! I love Eet too:)
I can't wait to read the book, it sounds amazing!


Anonymous said...

I love road trips too! I remember once I went straight across the whole country from California to Washington, D.C. on my most epic road trip to date. I loved all the stops, I had so much fun seeing so many sights and wandering around. :D

There are so many songs I love blasting in my car, my favorites change almost everyday. Ah, picking one is such a toughie... My current one I'm having a difficult time changing is Breakeven by The Script. I just discovered it a few days ago but the lyrics touch me on every listen. :D

Anna ♥

Liviania said...

When I'm driving, I like music with a lot of time changes. It keeps me from falling into a lull. I think one of my favorite car songs is "The Patient" by Tool.

(Love your road trip playlist!)

Alice said...

Hmm. Favorite song to blast in the car? Don't Stop Believin' (: Gotta love Glee.


~The Book Pixie said...

Whenever I see my dad and we go somewhere, we always have to play Steve McQueen by Sheryl Crow atleast once. His truck has this awesome stereo system and that song just really emphasizes it when turned up, especially at the beginning. The other one is also one I always listen to in the truck with my dad and it is Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz which we always listen to right before Steve McQueen. I know, not the songs you would've expected, huh?

I'm really anxious to read Amy & Roger's Epic Detour and hope I win. Thanks for the giveaway.


Kristen M. said...

You listen to Gene and Embrace? Yay! And Hunter by Bjork is definitely a car song -- roll down the windows and turn it way up! It's the only time that I wish I had a woofer in the car. ;)

One I would definitely add to the list -- Going the Distance by Cake. It's impossible to not rev the engine to that one.

Jessy said...

My favorite song to play loud in the car is The World at Large by Modest Mouse. It has a really good beat.

Unknown said...

I have two favorite car songs right now This is the Day by The The (it's the song from the end of the movie Empire Records) and Right Here in my Arms by HIM (my fiance and I wanna use it as our song for our wedding cause we love that it's kind of a romantic rock song without being a ballad.)

This book sounds great, please enter me in the contest.

Janssen said...

Jessie's Girl. Oh, I love that song.

Nancye said...

It has to be:

"Brown-Eyed Girl" by Van Morrison
"My Old Kentucky Home" by Nappy Roots

Love 'em!!

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Bookish in a Box said...

"Pickin' Wildflowers," "Hicktown" or anything else country and loud is good for roadtrippin'.

whatinabox at gmail dot com

Laura said...

My fave song is Sober by Pink. I crank it up and sing along.

Lasha said...

i so want to read this book!! the song i love to jump and sing word by word to in the car is "I dont wanna be" by gavin degraw. its the theme song to the show one tree hill!
please enter me!

arudd908 @ gmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I love listening to Sway by Bic Runga. What is it about her music that is so car-playable?

I can't wait to read this book. I love road trip books.

Anonymous said...

Ohh lovee this question!

Juciy - better then ezra

An amazing song to jam out to :)!

duhhitsnicolee(at) dot com

Scarlett said...

I love blasting Faster Kill Pussycat sung by the late Brittany Murphy (who had a great voice by the way).

Favorite lyrics:

"faster kill faster kill pussycat,
those high heels are not your friends,
honey you know where the world is at,
come home with me when the party ends"

info AT bestfantasystories DOT com

Pamela Keener said...

My song blasting on the radio would be All Right Now by Free.
Love & Hugs,

Kate said...

I love blasting Glee soundtracks in my car!! :)

sithereandread (At) gmail (dot) com

Sarah P. Miller said...

This looks like a great book - thanks for offering it!

My favorite song to blast in the car is "X-Ray Man" by Liz Phair. There are many others, but I'm limiting myself to just the one!

mo said...

I've been so excited for this book! Anything involving a roadtrip is fine by me :D

I really like playing:

"Human" by The Killers
"Summer Girl" by Stereos
"Feel That Fire" by Dierks Bentley
"You Found Me" by The Fray
"Boys Don't Matter" by LoveSick Radio
"1901" by Pheonix

I'm a bit of a music junkie. :P Thanks for the opportunity to win this book (signed!)!

simplysnazzy (at) gmail (dot) com

Leslie said...

I love to blast "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode in the car. :)

leslie at bugweb dot net

Sarah E said...

A favorite song that I like to turn up in the car is Summertime by Sam Cooke.

Please enter me in this giveaway!

familyhistree at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Unknown said...

Hmmm.... Love Like Crazy by Lee Brice

Kate said...

Life is a highway.
The Rascal Flatts version is the best.

Dahlia (TheBookShopaholic) said...

My favorite song is Tik Tok by Ke$ha. Perfect to blast off in the car.


Lenore Appelhans said...

THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED! Winner will be notified shortly.