I picked up The Road Trip, the third novel by Beth O’Leary, in Sainsbury’s a couple of months ago when I was short on things to read. I loved her first novel, The Flat Share (in fact, I think literally everyone loved it), and I enjoyed her second novel, The Switch. So I had high hopes for The Road Trip.
The Road Trip is the story of Addie and her ex, Dylan. They are both going to the wedding of a friend in Scotland and it’s a long drive. Right at the start of the book, Dylan’s car crashes into Addie’s. Addie and her sister, Deb, have no choice but to drive Dylan and his best mate, Marcus, up to Scotland. Also along for the ride is Rodney, a stranger who is a guest at the wedding and needed a lift. I had to slightly suspend my disbelief about five adults fitting into a Mini. There aren’t even enough seats for five adults in a Mini, but we’ll pretend that isn’t a problem…
The story then alternates between the journey up to Scotland and the story of Dylan and Addie’s relationship from the start to the end. The drive to Scotland proves to be even longer and more eventful than the average drive up to Scotland. The story is alternately told by Addie and Dylan. For the reader, just as for Addie, the effect of Dylan’s toxic friend Marcus on the relationship is obvious, but it’s not obvious to Dylan.
I’ll be honest, it took me a long time to get into The Road Trip. I’m not a big romantic fiction reader (I probably read two or three books a year) and I just felt that maybe the book wasn’t for me. Nothing against it, just not quite my cup of tea. The characters felt a bit shallow and they are very young. I actually wondered if I was just a bit old for it!
But I did eventually get into the story and the characters and, in the end, I really got to enjoy The Road Trip. The characters weren’t shallow at all, it was just the way their backstories were gradually introduced.
If you’re looking for an entertaining light read over summer (but still with a sprinkling of darkness), I can recommend The Road Trip.