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Belle's Bookshelf

"With a dreamy far-off look, and her nose stuck in a book..."

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What Maisie Knew
Henry James
My Friend the Enemy
Dan Smith
Worlds of Arthur: Facts and Fictions of the Dark Ages
Guy Halsall
Amy & Roger's Epic Detour - Morgan Matson This review originally appeared at http://bellesbookshelf.blogspot.com/There are some books that are so lovely, they actually make you do a happy sigh and smile as you close them. This is one of them.That's not to say it's all fairy floss, sunshine and unicorns. Quite the opposite - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour tackles some pretty serious issues - like heartbreak, death and grief - but it does so in such a tender, realistic way that it's not morbid or depressing at all. The story focuses on Amy, who is just barely recovering from her father's death in a car accident three months prior. She hasn't gotten in a car since, let alone behind the wheel, so when she has to get their car across the country, Amy's mum enlists Roger, an old family friend, to drive.Roger and Amy haven't seen each other since they were kids, but being crammed in a car together for hours on end certainly helps them get to know each other pretty damn quick. They're both dealing with their own issues, but as they open up on their crazy detour, they make discoveries about themselves and are able to move towards feeling better - not to mention towards each other. Ahem.Before reading this I was worried it would be a bit angsty and emo, given the subject matter, but as Roger and Amy zig-zag across America, they encounter a lot of amazing places and quirky characters, and it's actually a really fun ride. Amy and Roger are themselves very likable characters, and Matson's writing is clean, straightforward and well-paced. I loved the scrapbooky details scattered throughout - the photos, playlists and random notes enhanced the story and enforced the feeling that you're taking this journey along with Amy and Roger. In fact, this book will totally make you want to take a road trip. And see America. And listen to new music. And make awesome playlists. And eat lots of junk food. And kiss cute boys. And cry a little. And smile a lot.