Thank you to the publisher Quercus for providing me with an arc copy of this book via NetGalley.
Title: The Road Trip
Author: Beth O’Leary
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: 29th April 2021
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?
I wanted to love The Road Trip as much as I loved Beth O’Leary’s previous books, sadly it just didn’t hit the mark for me. I found that I didn’t connect to any of the characters, which led to me only somewhat enjoying my time reading it.
Generally, in a Beth O’Leary book, the characters are my favourite part, making me want to carry on picking up the book. While I liked Addie and her sister Deb, I wouldn’t ever want to spend any time with Dylan and his best friend, Marcus. Throughout the book, both of their behaviour just left me annoyed, and I couldn’t get past their decisions. I also didn’t quite see the purpose of Rodney other than for comedic relief.
Although The Road Trip meant to be a romance, I didn’t feel any chemistry between Addie and Dylan. I found that the beginning of their relationship felt very Insta-lovey, which is not something that I like and didn’t set them up well for the rest of the book. And without giving spoilers, I wish that the ending had not happened the way it did; I think it would have been much more impactful.
As the book travels through both the past and present it was hard to get used to the pace of both timelines. The beginning of the present moves very quickly and does draw you in. But the past is very slow and felt as if Beth O’Leary could have told it in half the time. It then starts to get a little bit strange because the roles reverse and the present is slow, but the past is fast. After a while, I got used to this change, but it was still strange to switch between them both.
The one thing that I did love was that the road trip was set in a red Mini, which is the car which I own. So I found it particularly hilarious when I realised. Part of the story being set on a road trip was an interesting concept, especially as it forced the characters to talk about what happened eventually.
Overall, while I liked the premise of The Road Trip it lacked some of the execution that I have come to expect from Beth O’Leary. It was still a good quick read but I don’t think it is going to be one that I remember.