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.

Book Review: The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

The Flat Share

“Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…”

Having read an excellent – but emotional book most recently – I decided I needed something more light hearted, and a friend in my reading group had recommended this and it had sat on my kindle for ages – so I thought I’d crack on.

Chapter 2 revealed that Leon worked in a hospice – so I did wonder if I’d made the right decision ‘light hearted wise’!

The chapters are either written from Tiffy or Leon’s point of view (or sometimes as notes between them) and the styles are really different – so you never have to check back as to who you’re reading about – which is really clever.

I really liked Tiffy and Leon – and found I was rooting for them as a pair – rather than being TeamTiffy or TeamLeon.

It deals with some pretty heavy stuff – emotional abuse in a relationship being fairly fundamental to the whole book – but that doesn’t stop it from being and enjoyable and entertaining read.

There’s a sliding doors element – where Tiffy and Leon could meet in person so much earlier in the book – but them not meeting adds to the storyline.  When they do meet it is brilliantly awkward!

Overall it was a lovely, easy read that I really enjoyed.