Book Review: The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

I really enjoyed Beth O’Leary’s previous book, The Flat Share, and so when I saw she had a new one out I jumped at the chance of reading an advance review copy from NetGalley. Here’s the blurb:

“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 four 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 enjoyed this book from the start. I loved the relationship between Addie and her sister Deb, who was leaving her baby for the first time (I remember the breast pumping joys of doing that myself!) There is clearly no love lost between the sisters, and Addie’s ex Dylan and his BFF Marcus (who is a total dick!) but they agree to take them with them to a mutual friend’s wedding in Scotland – along with an additional guest, Rodney, who needed a lift. The dynamics of 5 of them in a mini was ‘interesting’ and I can’t begin to imagine how they got all of the luggage in!

The book alternates between ‘now’ which is the road trip from the South Coast of England to Scotland – and ‘then’ which is initially the summer that Addie and Dylan meet, and through their relationship – although most of the characters appear in both time periods.

I loved the descriptions of ‘holiday Addie’ who first meets Dylan – she was so free and loving life. Even back then Marcus was a knob and didn’t want to share his best friend with her – and this only gets worse as Addie and Dylan’s relationship gets more serious. The setting of the villa in Provence where they first met was beautifully described – please let us be able to go on holiday soon?!

The extra wedding guest, Rodney, comes across as a bit of a drip – but there is a twist with him which provides much interest. I also liked Mike the trucker – although maybe he wasn’t a real person at all?!? #weddingsprite

Whilst primarily this is a funny, entertaining, rom com esque book – it does deal with some big issues too – alcoholism / attempted rape / stalking / single parenthood / controlling parents / homophobia – but they’re all wrapped up into the storyline really well.

It was a great read – and I really enjoyed it – Beth O’Leary has definitely done it again. And it’s out on 29 April 2021, so not long to wait.

A big thank you to Net Galley and Quercus Books for my ARC.

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