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The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

The Road Trip (edition 2021)

by Beth O'Leary (Author)

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1339162,416 (3.47)14
Title:The Road Trip
Authors:Beth O'Leary (Author)
Info:Berkley (2021), 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary

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This story alternates between Now and Then. In the Now, Addie and Dylan, who broke up over a year ago, are both driving to the Scotland wedding of a mutual friend. A minor car accident results in one car being towed and five wedding guests cramming themselves into Addie’s sister’s mini for the rest of the trip.

It’s the sort of awkwardness and angst I find interesting to read about. But the Then, about how Addie and Dylan met and the time they were together, was a lot less appealing -- some wild partying, the manipulations of a toxic friend and the sickening anticipation of everything going painfully wrong.

I was impressed with the way O’Leary builds tension and weaves these two storylines together, but wonder if the effect of having certain revelations occur at critical moments meant there wasn’t always enough space in the narrative to address them fully. Maybe some important things are glossed over?

Instead of watching the Then unfold, I’d have preferred to see the part In Between, in which Dylan and Addie each make sense of the difficult things in their lives (including but not limited to their break-up) with the support of counselling. ( )
  Herenya | Sep 17, 2021 |
If you like Second Chance romance, you may like it a great deal.

But for me sadly, the same thing happened to The Road Trip as The Flat Share, the author's début read, and that is I like the idea but don't like the plotting of the story.

The story: It's mainly about a ex couple, the chapters altering between past and present, and how will they make a road trip together now after years of their break-up.

The first half of the novel is great but afterwords it's a downhill for me.

2 stars for the book and 1 star for the idea as I've always wanted to write a road trip romcom and something to do with a wedding and it has all that elements.
  book_tangled | Sep 14, 2021 |
While on their way to a wedding, sisters Deb and Addie‘s car is hit, by Addie‘s ex Dylan and his best friend Marcus. Addie and Deb offered to let the men ride with them. Addie and Dylan had an intense relationship but broke up two years earlier, partly at Marcus‘s urging. However, neither has gotten over the other.
The road trip becomes problematic with traffic, nerves, and injuries, but also some humor. Told in now and then time frames, Addie and Dylan‘s relationship is described. Some of this book made me laugh out loud, and also root for Dylan and Addie, but most of the time I was tired of Dylan’s willingness to be influenced by Marcus. While he was a good friend it was exasperating that Dylan couldn’t see what Marcus was doing – it was so obvious to me!
For those who enjoy contemporary relationship books, this may be for you. ( )
  rmarcin | Sep 6, 2021 |
I really enjoyed this comedic and romantic story of two exes who get trapped in a car together on their way to a wedding of a mutual friend. We learn about their past and how their relationship ended and other secrets are revealed. You will be rooting for these two to reunite the whole way through. It had a Bridget Jones sort of vibe to it and I think it would make a fantastic movie. ( )
  dawnlovesbooks | Jul 30, 2021 |
Beth O’Leary is one of the many authors on my reading lists who gets an automatic “yes, please” when I see that she has a new book out. The Road Trip did not disappoint – but its characters are more deeply flawed and complicated than I was initially expecting. Once I settled into the story, though, I couldn’t put it down.

The story is told via alternating timeline – THEN and NOW – as well as from the standpoints of our new main characters – and exes – Addie and Dylan. Recently graduated from university, they come from different worlds – Addie is to be a school teacher, grew up middle class with a loving family, whereas Dylan comes from wealth and privilege, a dysfunctional family, and he doesn’t know what to do with himself now that he’s graduated from Oxford. (Yes, you can read that last bit with a plummy accent. I did.)

The story starts out entertainingly, and the road trip itself has some really great, laugh-out-loud moments. (How can it not? Just the idea of five grown adults crammed into a mini lends itself to some great situations.) But it’s the flashbacks where the story – and the conflict – unfolds, and this is what gives the story real depth. I thought the book’s structure really lent well to letting the story unfold.

They first meet at a posh villa in Provence – where Addie and her sister have been spending the summer as a caretaker, while Dylan is (initially) the lone guest of what should have been a family trip. Dylan and his friends have grown up with wealth and privilege, and oftentimes come off as immature and spoiled.

Still, there is a lot that readers can relate to, as this is really a story about forgiveness on many levels – family, lovers, and friends. Can we forgive the ones we love? What about those we once loved, and who hurt us – what does it take to forgive them and get back together (or move on happily)? Can we forgive ourselves for our own bad behavior (or choices)?

Dylan has been let down by his controlling, father (and his weak mother who loves him but won’t stand up to his father.) He’s a complicated person and at some points in the story I struggled to like him, but mostly because he is a bit wishy-washy about what he wants in life. Which, in all honesty, probably just makes him human (albeit, a frustrating one). His wealth has not protected him from a lack of direction or mental health issues.

I think we all have that friend who really toes the line in one way or another, but for whom we will tolerate their bad behavior because we love them – and because they need us, and us them. In this story, this is Marcus. I really struggled to find any redeeming qualities he held – he’s manipulative and selfish, although you can see glimpses of charm – and he does his damndest to drive a wedge in Dylan and Addie. And despite all this, I might have forgiven him by the end of the story.

Alternately, Addie’s sister Deb provides a lot of lightness in the book and is an anchor for Addie, and I really adored her. (She might have been my favorite character of them all!) Addie and Deb’s parents are refreshingly average (compared to Dylan’s family) and helps ground Addie’s character all the more.

DO Addie and Dylan belong together? (Or, as my question was – is Dylan the one for Addie?) The ending ties things up a little too neatly and I wanted a little…more. (An epilogue would have been perfect.) This couple has been through a lot, and while the story is about forgiveness, it’s also about trust. Does Dylan have his feet? I have more questions. (Maybe I just need someone to discuss the book with.)

There were moments in The Road Trip where my heart broke for both Addie and Dylan, and others were I laughed out loud. (And a lot of moments where I really wanted to light Marcus up.)

While this might not be what I was initially expecting from the author based on earlier books, once I dropped my expectations and settled in, I really enjoyed the ride. The Road Trip is a story of forgiveness, and one with both laughter and pain and a whole lot of emotions. I’m giving it a solid four stars.

I was provided an advance copy of the book by the publisher via Netgalley
( )
1 vote jenncaffeinated | Jul 4, 2021 |
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For my bridesmaids
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"The road of friendship never did run smooth, is what I'm saying," Marcus tells me, fidgeting with his seat belt.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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