The Road Trip
By Beth O'Leary. (Berkley, 468 pages, $17.)
Beth O'Leary's "The Road Trip" follows the classic rom-com trope of throwing together two people who have a past relationship, a horrible breakup and tons of sexual tension and then watching them suffer.
It's quite delightful.
Dylan and Addie met when Addie was working as a caretaker at a villa in France and Dylan was a guest. Theirs was a passionate romance, but they were both young and unsure of what they wanted in life. When the summer was over, distance and misunderstanding eventually split them apart.
And now, four years later, they are thrown together in the most unlikely way: They are both headed to a wedding in Scotland and the car Dylan is driving smashes into the car Addie is driving and is wrecked. With only one usable vehicle, they pack themselves and their angst into Addie's Mini, along with Addie's sister, Dylan's friend, and some guy they only know from Facebook, and off they go, smoldering up the highway toward Scotland.
The story alternates between narrators, which decreases the mystery (right away we know that both Addie and Dylan are still filled with desire for each other) and the narrative bounces between those months in France and the present, a structure that might be more complicated than this frothy story deserves.
But hey, it's almost June, the world is starting to open up again, and it's fun to dream of France and Scotland and long driving vacations. Is the plot unlikely? Highly. Does the book, at nearly 500 pages, go on too long? Certainly. Is it amusing and perfect for summer? Quite definitely yes.