Discussion: The Road Trip

The Road Trip

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I have been dyyyying to talk to all of you about The Road Trip! This book stole my heart when I screened it last month and I can’t stop thinking about the characters. I loved Beth O’Leary’s writing and the depth of the story really created such a fun reading experience. I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

xo- Ashley Brooke

The Road Trip Book Discussion

OK y’all, let’s talk books! Head down to the comments to answer our discussion questions and tell us what you thought of this month’s selection. Remember, this book club is here to be fun and thoughtful so be sure your comments are kind and respectful of others.

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Discussion Questions!

1. Have you ever been on a memorable road trip? Tell me all about it!

2. Lots of the characters in The Road Trip are in the process of forgiving others—and themselves. Who needs forgiveness in the novel? And if you were in Dylan, Addie or Marcus’s shoes, would you feel able to forgive yourself? 

3. There are lots of quirky supporting characters in this novel: Cherry, Kevin, Rodney, Deb. Who was your favorite and why?!


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9 Comments

  1. July 27, 2021 / 6:33 am

    1. Have you ever been on a memorable road trip? Tell me all about it!

    SO MANY!! Where to begin?! But honestly, the *most* memorable was the Winter road trip my family took when I was in 6th grade. We did a big neighborhood trip to the mountains and and on the way home we were all caravanning, I think there were like 7 vans in the caravan and we all had walkie-talkies, ha!! AND the topper on our van (like the thing that holds all the suitcases, etc) went FLYING off and onto the interstate!! Clothes and luggage everywhere! As you can imagine the walkie-talkies when WILD. 7 vans pulling over kids everywhere. One of my favorite childhood memories.

    2. Lots of the characters in The Road Trip are in the process of forgiving others—and themselves. Who needs forgiveness in the novel? And if you were in Dylan, Addie or Marcus’s shoes, would you feel able to forgive yourself?

    I just LOVED this book for so many reasons and this was one of them. Each of the characters really worked through so much during the span of the book. I loved how we got to dive into each of their stories and find out who they really where, but more than that, who they wanted to become.

    They all needed forgiveness in one way or another… but then again, don’t we all. Loved how real each character was.

    3. There are lots of quirky supporting characters in this novel: Cherry, Kevin, Rodney, Deb. Who was your favorite and why?!

    LIVING for Rodney!!!!!!!! He was the character we needed and we all have a Rodney in our lives. Gosh. Such a fun character.

  2. Alexandria
    July 27, 2021 / 7:52 am

    1. No memorable road trips as an adult.
    I have so many fun memories of childhood and teen road trips from Massachusetts to South Georgia.

    2. As much as he is annoying, pompous, and toxic, I really feel for Marcus. He behaves horribly but has never really gotten ‘checked’ until Dylan cut ties with him. When you have the natural inclination to behave as he does it must be a struggle to reform. When his affections for Addie are revealed it explains many of his alarming actions.

    3. RODNEY. He kept it together the entire road trip. You think it would be obvious he was obsessed with Cherry. He barely talked about her. I was so shocked when his true motive was revealed.

  3. Melissa Terry
    July 27, 2021 / 8:39 am

    1. Have you ever been on a memorable road trip? Tell me all about it!

    My favorite road trips involve college football games…friends and sorority sisters crammed in my car, tailgates, big wins (and a few heartbreaking losses), yummy snacks, great hotels…just so much fun!

    2. Lots of the characters in The Road Trip are in the process of forgiving others—and themselves. Who needs forgiveness in the novel? And if you were in Dylan, Addie or Marcus’s shoes, would you feel able to forgive yourself?

    I think they all need to work through the “why” behind their actions. They seem to all be in a much better place with the help of counseling, which I think is amazing. I went to grief counseling for 18 months a few years ago and the whole process was so helpful in a variety of ways.

    3. There are lots of quirky supporting characters in this novel: Cherry, Kevin, Rodney, Deb. Who was your favorite and why?!
    Deb-a supportive sister is a gift. She stands with Addie through all of it without question, but does ask her tough questions and allows her to grow.

  4. July 27, 2021 / 10:06 am

    1. Have you ever been on a memorable road trip? Tell me all about it!
    Oh gosh yes! I’ve definitely taken more long drive road trips than plane ride trips. I definitely think of one with friends/school groups as the most memorable though. As a student, I took two road trips to Quebec City with my French classes, and it was my first time taking one not with family so there was a lot that was memorable there, including our bus getting stuck going up a hill, the bus tires spinning and smoking and all of us cheering for the bus driver. In college, I took quite a few road trips with our Equestrian Team and they are some of my favorite memories from college. As a teacher, I went as a chaperone on two road trips to Washington D.C and Boston, and they are definitely some of my favorite memories as a teacher with my middle school students.

    2. Lots of the characters in The Road Trip are in the process of forgiving others—and themselves. Who needs forgiveness in the novel? And if you were in Dylan, Addie or Marcus’s shoes, would you feel able to forgive yourself?

    What I loved about this theme of forgiveness was that everyone had their role to the play in the situation. It is way too simple to paint Marcus as the villain, because at the end of the day Addie and Dylan should have communicated with each other more, and Dylan allowed Marcus to influence him instead of trusting his relationship with Addie. I liked how they saw why they did what they did though, for me especially Dylan. Having such a difficult relationship with his family led him to lean on Marcus in his life, but he learned he had to stand on his own for a little bit and not lose himself in someone else.

    3. There are lots of quirky supporting characters in this novel: Cherry, Kevin, Rodney, Deb. Who was your favorite and why?!

    I really thought the addition of Kevin was hilarious. But the part where Rodney returns to the hotel room and everyone is so suspicious of him was hilarious, I really pictured it in my head and it made me laugh out loud.
    I thought this book was a great mix of heartfelt and emotional but also really funny at times. The part where you see when Dylan won’t listen to Addie’s side of the story was literally AGONIZING for me to read. I haven’t felt that in a book in awhile, it felt very real. This was one of my favorite book picks that I have ever read!

  5. Melissa White
    July 27, 2021 / 2:44 pm

    My Mom and I drove around the United States for 6 weeks after my senior year in high school. It was amazing.
    We left my sister and Dad at home and had the trip all to ourselves.

    Drove from central Florida through Texas, the Grand Canyon, up the coast of California, through the mid west and then down the east coast back to Florida.

    So many memories!!

  6. Samantha Weyant
    July 28, 2021 / 8:10 am

    1. Have you ever been on a memorable road trip? Tell me all about it!

    We currently live in central FL but out family is back home in Pennsylvania. We have driven up and down the East Coast at holidays and for various visits with families so that we can bring our two dogs along for the visit. 16+ hours in the car always makes for a fun time lol.

    2. Lots of the characters in The Road Trip are in the process of forgiving others—and themselves. Who needs forgiveness in the novel? And if you were in Dylan, Addie or Marcus’s shoes, would you feel able to forgive yourself?

    Marcus was infuriating throughout the story while he drove Addie and Dylan apart. I’ve seen friends who let the opinions of family and friends drive a wedge into their relationship. Marcus should have supported his friend throughout the story without constantly jumping to conclusions about Addie.

    3. There are lots of quirky supporting characters in this novel: Cherry, Kevin, Rodney, Deb. Who was your favorite and why?!

    I loved Deb. She was always there for Addie, even if it means being in a cramped car and having to pump with an audience. As an only child I love seeing siblings who would do anything for each other in books and movies.

  7. Michelle
    July 30, 2021 / 11:14 am

    1. My most memorable road trip was in March 2020 when the pandemic shut the world down. We had flown to Florida from Iowa, but decided to rent a car and drive the 20 hours home. It was insane! Rest stops were all closed. Never knew if gas stations would be open. Restaurants closed or drive through only. Some places looked like ghost towns. Will never forget it!

    2. Marcus seems like the easiest to point a finger at, but they were all human & flawed. Just sad how he tried so hard to sabotage their relationship. Communication could have helped them. Refreshing how counseling was sought out & helped this cast of characters.

    3. Beth O’Leary does such great character development – it’s SO hard to pick one! Deb is the best sister & best friend. Wish I had a Deb in my life. There’s no way to not just adore Rodney. Cherry & even Grace made this bunch entertaining.

    Once again, you picked a great one! Can’t wait to see what you choose for August!!

  8. Wendy
    August 2, 2021 / 1:45 pm

    Was no one else put off by the grammar — “me and Dylan” rather than “Dylan and me” (or “Dylan and I” depending)? That and some other usage — “I was sat” rather than “I was sitting” gave me pause each time. Most of the characters were well educated so the grammar was very off-putting.

  9. Ashley Kersey Davis
    August 3, 2021 / 9:54 pm

    1) I drove across country for a friend’s destination wedding (from Columbia, SC to Yosemite Park CA) and back. On the way back we drove the 24 hours straight and listened to the South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Florida Gators twice in the college world series to win the National Title. As a huge Gamecock fan it was a very memorable trip. We also got pulled over twice. Once in Oklahoma and another in Arkansas lol!!!

    2) Marcus had the most people to apologize to. I’ve seen insecurities of one person ruin the relationship of two other people and the pain it causes first hand. I appreciated how everyone was open to giving him a second chance.

    3) Rodney was my favorite because I did not see the “stage 5 clinger/stalker” coming. It was a really funny problem solving and bonding moment for the group.

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