Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew--just in time for Amy's senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she's always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy's mother's old friend. Amy hasn't seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she's surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she's coming to terms with her father's death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road -- diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards--this is the story of one girl's journey to find herself.
Amy has it tough at the moment; her brother in rehab, dad died in a car accident that she caused, and her mum moved on to a new life before Amy's school has finished. But after being on her own for a month, she needs to get the car from their old house to the new one, only she hasn't driven since the accident. So enter Roger, who will act as her driver.
What I loved about this was the literal and metaphorical journey that Amy and Roger go on. It was a proper road trip, with little detours and sight-seeing, making random friends and going to college parties. As for metaphorical journey's, they start the journey as strangers - its amazing how a stranger can be the best person to talk problems with. Amy's problems were obvious, she's still grieving her dad and her broken home. Roger had some relationship trouble, his girlfriend dumped him and then refused to talk to him; he just wants an explanation, some closure, and so is trying to track her down. Things came trickling out as they got to know each other, trust each other, and especially in Amy's case, find the courage to speak things out loud that she hasn't before.
The random trouble they get into was very fun, from pretending to be newly weds to get the last hotel room, to eating a picnic on a golf course. The people they met also helped in bringing Amy out of her shell and push her and Roger closer together. It was a story of finding yourself while travelling, seeing the sights and driving for hours on end, just talking about anything and everything. I loved the character progression, the scenarios that explored trust and getting to know new people, and of course the back roads of America.
Published 4th May 2010 by Simon and Schuster.