The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary Book Review

Monday, 17 May 2021

Title: The Road Trip
Author: Beth O'Leary
Pages: 411
Publication date: April 29th 2021
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: fiction, contemporary, romance

Trigger warnings: stalking, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, sexual assault, attempted rape

About the book
Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend's wedding in the north of Scotland. The playlist is all planned and the snacks are packed.

But, not long after setting off, a car slams into the back of theirs. The driver is none other than Addie's ex, Dylan, who she's avoided since their traumatic break-up two years earlier.

Dylan and his best mate are heading to the wedding too, and they've totalled their car, so Addie has no choice but to offer them a ride. The car is soon jam-packed full of luggage and secrets, and with three hundred miles ahead of them, Dylan and Addie can't avoid confronting the very messy history of their relationship...

Will they make it to the wedding on time? And, more importantly... is this really the end of the road for Addie and Dylan?

This was a highly anticipated release from Beth O'Leary and I eagerly awaited publication day after absolutely loving The Switch and The Flatshare, and it makes my heart so happy to say that O'Leary definitely did not disappoint with The Road Trip.

I love the fact that O'Leary made this book a bit darker than her previous two, and whilst, yes, The Flatshare and The Switch did also touch upon some important subjects, The Road Trip delved even father into tackling difficult topics, but once again, O'Leary did an amazing job at doing so and handled those subjects with honesty and integrity and it was definitely the most vulnerable book out of the three she has written. She touched upon very toxic and broken relationships and knowing when to walk away from them, be it friendship, family or romantic and reading about these character's struggles really hit a chord with me.

I'm not usually a fan of a 'then' and 'now' narrative split, but in this case it worked quite well. The lead up to finding out exactly why Dylan and Addie split up was written really well, although, personally, I did prefer the 'now' chapters a lot more than the 'then' chapters, but that's all just personal preference. I just much preferred the awkwardness of the present storyline chapters, not to mention Deb, Addies older sister, who I simply found hilarious and was definitely my favourite character in the whole of the book. In fact, the characters are what sold this book; they are the types of characters who are flawed and imperfect, but ones you equally root for which, for me, makes the story and the characters that bit more believable, especially in the romance genre.

I've been going backwards and forwards as to what to rate this book, but ultimately I've settled on 4 stars. For me, there were certain aspects of the book that felt a bit unfinished, such as the whole Rodney storyline, which was a bit off from the very start and didn't bring much to the overall story. I also felt that the redemption towards the end of the book was a bit lacklustre and I wanted more from it... if you've read it, you'll perhaps know what I'm talking about, but ultimately, there were too many loose ends left unresolved.

Overall though, O'Leary did a fantastic job with this second-chance romance novel and she wrote it full of wit, humour, sadness and angst. I already cannot wait to read her next book.

Verdict: ★★★★

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