The Road Trip Review: A Second Chance Romance that will Stick in your Mind for a While

October 7, 2021 by Jenna | 4 stars, Books, Reviews

The Road Trip Review: A Second Chance Romance that will Stick in your Mind for a WhileThe Road Trip by Beth O'Leary
Published by Quercus on April 29, 2021
Source: Audiobook
Genres: Adult, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Romance
Amazon | Book Depository | Publisher | Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | Barnes & Noble
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Addie and her sister are about to embark on an epic road trip to a friend's wedding in the north of 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 three 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?

There’s nothing I love more than a second chance romance – it may even be my favourite romance trope. And The Road Trip did an amazing job of giving me everything I want in a good second chance romance. The novel is written in alternating perspectives (Addie and Dylan) and also alternating then and now timelines. We get a fantastic glimpse of how Addie and Dylan’s relationship started and how they got to where they are, with a fantastic climax towards the end of the book where we find out how everything went wrong.

I absolutely loved Addie and Dylan and was firmly on their train throughout the book… even though Dylan wasn’t always the best to Addie. I really enjoyed both of their characters and they seemed like real people to me and people who I could root for. I wasn’t a fan, however, of some of the toxic relationships in the book and how these relationships ultimately led to the downfall of their romance. In particular, Dylan’s best friend, Marcus, really got on my nerves throughout the entire novel and it was hard for me not to listen to the book at times when it was clear that Marcus only had his own interests at heart. I also found some of the other characters to almost not be real, which is one of the main reasons why my rating couldn’t be higher than 4 stars. A lot of Dylan’s friends from his past seemed to be a bit too quirky and over-the-top for me to really connect with them.

I really enjoyed the plot of the book as well and it was quite entertaining how many things were going wrong on the road trip to the wedding. I loved the humour that the characters had and I thought Addie’s sister Deb was hilarious! I particularly enjoyed the last hour of the audiobook, after all of the past issues had come to light and we got to see the two main characters healing.

Perhaps one of the bigger gripes that I had with the novel was that a lot of the bad decisions that Dylan made were attributed to mental health issues but that was glossed over. I wish there had been a bit more unpacking of that theme throughout the book, rather than just a simply acknowledgment of the fact that depression might have been one of the reasons why things were so fraught in the past.

Overall, I really really enjoyed The Road Trip. I found the writing and the main characters to be wonderful and highly enjoyed the alternating perspectives and timelines. I particularly loved the ending of the book and I found myself relistening to the last hour of the book over and over.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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Jenna is an Aussie blogger and reader who loves to indulge in great books and great food. She is a doctor (of philosophy) and can usually be found fangirling about something, devouring delicious food, or taking a nap. You can find her on Twitter @readwithjenna and on Instagram @readingwithjenna.

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