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Book Review: The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary

Published: April 29th, 2021
Publisher: Quercus
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romance Fiction
Format: Hardcover, Kindle, Audio

Thank you to Quercus books for the gifted ARC of this book.



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?



The Road Trip is a story about the joy and terror of falling in love, and the piercing pain and grief of heartbreak. This claustrophobic, locked-room novel centres around Addie and Dylan, a former couple who are forced to share a car ride to their mutual friend’s wedding after a car accident. In close quarters for the first time since their split, they remember the halcyon days of their relationship and then examine the charred ashes that remain, forcing them to confront what went wrong between them.

Beth O’Leary has done it again. She is one of my auto-buy authors and is always one of my first recommendations when someone wants an uplifting read. Her books are always a comfort, like putting on your favourite warm and cosy cardigan on a cold day. They warm your heart and make you smile. You know you’re getting quality writing and an entertaining story filled with real and compelling characters. The Road Trip certainly ticked these boxes, but it also had a slightly more sedated tone. It is still funny, but it focuses more on the emotion of the story than the author’s previous books. 

The storytelling is compelling and as the story progresses we see that Beth has cleverly woven together two love stories about the same couple. I love how she always finds a way to put an original spin on the traditional romance tropes to create something special. I really enjoyed the contrast of seeing the beginnings of their love story and how the author explored the nuances of love and heartache through the two timelines. We see them in the heady days of falling in love: the passion that sizzles between them and how they can’t bear to be apart.  And then it’s demise: the anger and bitterness of betrayal, and  how the person you once shared everything with is now a stranger.

As always, Beth has filled the story with an entertaining and familiar cast of characters. Along for the ride with Addie and Dylan – and driving up the tension – are  Addie’s siter Deb, Dylan’s best friend Marcus and Rodney, who they don’t know but the girls took pity on and  agreed to take to the wedding. I had a soft spot for feisty Deb and loved any scene she was in. I could easily read a book with her as the protagonist as she is just so entertaining to read. 

Fun, fresh and surprising, The Road Trip is a heartwarming and uplifting novel that is the perfect summer read.

Rating: ✮✮✮✮✰



Beth O’Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages.
She wrote her debut novel, The Flatshare, on her train journey to and from her job at a children’s publisher.
She now lives in the Hampshire countryside and writes full time.

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Thanks for reading Bibliophiles😊 Emma xxx

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