Review: The Road Trip (Beth O’Leary)*
“The fields are sun-kissed and yellow-bright on either side of the road. It’s the sort of day that tastes of crushed ice and suntan lotion, ripe strawberries, the sweet head rush of too many gin and tonics.”
– The Road Trip (Beth O’Leary)
*AD – Gifted proof copy
The Road Trip (Beth O’Leary) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend’s wedding in rural 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 400 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?
Beth O’Leary’s first novel, The Flatshare, is one of my all-time favourite books, and Beth set the bar incredibly high for herself!
The story alternates between Addie and Dylan’s perspectives, and jumps between “Now” and “Then”. I really enjoyed learning about their relationship and how they met, and I was very intrigued by their relationship, and how Marcus, Dylan’s best friend, fitted into it. There are a lot of characters introduced fairly quickly, so I did have to check back a couple of times to remind myself who knew who and from where, but I loved getting to know them. It took me a bit of time to warm up to Addie, not because she wasn’t likeable, I think it just took me a bit of time to “get” her.
Deb was my favourite character, fun, feisty and I really liked her storyline of her baby (plus I totally related to the need to pump breastmilk in weird places, though thankfully I’ve never had to resort to pumping in a service station…)
I think The Road Trip is a very unique story, I actually forgot they were heading to a wedding, and was genuinely surprised when they arrived! There are a few fun little sub-plots, namely Kevin the trucker and Rodney, and some more serious ones. While The Road Trip is ultimately a romantic comedy, it’s so much more than that. Similar to The Flatshare, the story deals with darker issues, including depression, alcohol abuse and sexual assault, and I think it’s dealt with well, and sensitively.
I absolutely love Beth’s style of writing, it’s so warm and personable. One thing I felt, particularly in this book and The Flatshare, is that she manages to make conversation feel natural rather than forced or over-cheesy, and it makes the book flow really well! The Road Trip is funny and charming, with enough depth to make it so much more than just another rom-com.