THE ROAD TRIP by Beth O’Leary

From the publisher:

Two exes reach a new level of awkward when forced to take a road trip together in this endearing and humorous novel by the author of the international bestseller The Flatshare.

What if the end of the road is just the beginning?

Four years ago, Dylan and Addie fell in love under the Provence sun. Wealthy Oxford student Dylan was staying at his friend Cherry’s enormous French villa; wild child Addie was spending her summer as the on-site caretaker. Two years ago, their relationship officially ended. They haven’t spoken since.

Today, Dylan’s and Addie’s lives collide again. It’s the day before Cherry’s wedding, and Addie and Dylan crash cars at the start of the journey there. The car Dylan was driving is wrecked, and the wedding is in rural Scotland—he’ll never get there on time by public transport.

So, along with Dylan’s best friend, Addie’s sister, and a random guy on Facebook who needed a ride, they squeeze into a space-challenged Mini and set off across Britain. Cramped into the same space, Dylan and Addie are forced to confront the choices they made that tore them apart—and ask themselves whether that final decision was the right one after all.


I loved The Flatshare so I was very excited for this book. Until I started reading it. Then I found myself putting it down and reading another book. Went back to this one then put it down again and read something else. I did that a few times but eventually I finished it and I ended up liking it a lot, but it was slow going and hard to get into for me. Sometimes it’s my mood, but sometimes it’s the book. I think this time it was the book.

I liked the characters as I got to know them. It’s one of those books that is told from various viewpoints, usually the two main characters, and goes back and forth in time from before the breakup to two years later when they are stuck in a car for an 8 hour drive to a mutual friend’s wedding. The road trip itself has some hilarious moments for sure, and the backstory to the romance was good, but I felt the characters were difficult to know. If I don’t love the characters, it’s hard for me to become invested in their romance. That finally happened about halfway through the book.

The humor here is great and there are a lot of really funny, laugh out loud moments, but the romance is a very slow build. The second half of the book was a much faster read for me and after all my complaining, I ended up liking it a lot.

This is only O’Leary’s third book and I will definitely seek out her next.

6/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE ROAD TRIP by Beth O’Leary. Berkley (June 1, 2021). ISBN: 978-0593335024. 400 pages.

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2 Responses to THE ROAD TRIP by Beth O’Leary

  1. patgalca says:

    I’d be interested to know your feelings about the insurgence of cartoon covers. I don’t think they are all rom coms but probably most of them are. I don’t really care for them.

    • Stacy Alesi says:

      I guess I don’t think of them as cartoons but more graphic design? I actually like them better than most photographic covers. I’d rather imagine the characters in my head when I’m reading then be shown what they look like on the cover. Plus the book is instantly recognizable as romcom (or what used to encompass chicklit.) That said, my favorite covers for romance or romcoms are photographs when you can’t see faces, or there are no people. If there’s a pie on the cover, I’m interested! Publishers want you to judge the book by its cover and in genre, you generally can. Black or red is usually a thriller. Period costumes are historical, unless there’s a shirtless guy or a couple, then historical romance. Beachy cover with or without a sunset? You know what that means. Covers are an effective medium to communicate something about the book, and at this point you may not like the cartoon covers, but if you like romcoms, you know you’ll probably like the book. Thanks so much for writing!

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