I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary
The Road Trip

4 Stars

Book Info

Released: June 1st 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley
Pages: 400
Format: eARC

The Road Trip is a contemporary romance exploring relationship dynamics, mental health and toxic culture in a modern day setting, with a good few laughs thrown in to offset the heavier subject matter.”

~ Under the Covers

I enjoyed The Road Trip, but contrary to the hook line and comedic set up – starting with ride sharing with a stranger, a fender bender with an ex, clown car-ing it in a Mini, and all the subsequent road trip misfortunes – this is NOT a light, fluffy comedy. The Road Trip is a contemporary romance exploring relationship dynamics, mental health and toxic culture in a modern day setting, with a good few laughs thrown in to offset the heavier subject matter.

Four years ago Addie and her sister Deb spent the summer working as caretakers at their friend Cherry’s French villa. There Addie meets Dylan, also a friend of Cherry’s and guest at the villa. Despite coming from very different walks of life, Addie and Dylan’s summer fling in France leads to a relationship. And then to a not-so-amicable breakup. They haven’t spoken in the nearly two years since.

Flash forward to the present, Addie and Dylan are travelling to Cherry’s wedding in Scotland (separately), but after a slight traffic incident they end up car-pooling in Deb’s mini – along with Deb, Dylan’s obnoxious childhood friend Marcus, and Rodney the peculiar ride share stranger (another wedding guest). Stuffed into the cramped quarters for 400+ miles, Dylan and Addie are forced to confront their pasts, the choices that tore their relationship and friendships apart, and how they will move on.

What really stood out for me in this book was Dylan’s POV and his other relationships outside of Addie, including with his family, his friend group and Marcus. So many times I read about the flawed female lead going through this grand journey of self, while all the male has to do is improve his communication skills to complete his arc. This is not the case for Dylan. Addie has her own demons to face, but Dylan is the one with the bigger mountains to climb, and I really enjoyed exploring that. Some of Dylan’s largest mountains are topics that aren’t commonly discussed, like mental health in men and male friendships outside of the sports bar.

I liked the way Dylan and Addie’s relationship was explored in dual timelines, with the romance front and centre in the past timeline interwoven with the soul searching and life contemplating happening in the present. Both timelines included dual perspectives. Dual perspectives AND dual timelines is hard to pull off while keeping the story flowing, but it I felt it was well done in this book. I also enjoyed Deb’s no-bullshit character – her comments often sparked well-timed comedic interludes that nicely broke up the tension while simultaneously telling her story and showing her #sistergoals relationship with Addie.

Conclusion, would definitely recommend as a solid Contemporary Romance read!


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About Beth O'Leary

Beth studied English at university before going into children’s publishing. She lives as close to the countryside as she can get while still being within reach of London, and wrote her first novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from work.
You’ll usually find her curled up with a book, a cup of tea, and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

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ARC Review: The Road Trip by Beth O\'Leary

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Thank you! It is really nice to see a male go through the path of self-discovery.

Marie Wood

Thanks☺️ Right?! They tend to get off so easy in lots of my romance reads, which doesn’t really do their characters justice (and I like my book boyfriends to have to work for it😘)

K. A Bylsma

A very thoughtful review… Thanks!

Marie Wood

Thank you!!☺️

Amy R

Thanks for the review, I’ve read a previous book by this author.

Marie W

I actually enjoyed this one more that the last two I read by this author; same manner of stroytelling, but this one had more of the “it factor” that makes a book stand out for me☺️