Kelsie Stelting is an author I’ve come to know as one that writes stories that really touch your heart. I’ve loved all of the books I’ve read by her so far (Abi and the Boy Next Door, Dear Adam, Fabio vs. the Friend Zone, Becoming Skye and Loving Skye) and it’s time for her next book, Road Trip with the Enemy. A big thanks to the author for once again providing me with an ARC to read and review! Let’s take a look at what I thought of this book!
I made two promises after my brother died: to run a charity marathon in his place and to avoid Jeremiah Dermot at all costs.
So when my car’s broken down on the side of the road while my parents are at a retreat to save their crumbling marriage, of course Jeremiah’s the one who pulls up and offers to give me a ride.
I don’t care how handsome he is when he looks at me with those adventure eyes or that any other girl would give everything to drive across the country with him. No, I’m thinking about my brother and the little boy in hospice he wanted to run this race for.
Now I have two choices: break a promise to my brother, or take a road trip with my enemy.
“You are more than your loss.”
Once again, this author gave us a book that sucked me in from the start and just wouldn’t let me go. I just couldn’t stop reading. Not only because of the amazing characters and storyline, but her writing flows so well. Every time I read one of her books I say it’s my favorite, but Road Trip with the Money definitely jumoed to the top of the list of her books!
Road Trip with the Enemy deals with grief and I’m sure that’s not an easy thing to write. To tell a story about loss and make it feel genuine doesn’t seem to be easy, but my heart really hurt for these characters. I think this is the first time this author has made me cry while reading one of her stories. I think it says something about an author when they can make emotions seem so genuine and to connect you enough that you feel for these characters.
Sydney is living her nightmare, losing her twin brother. To make it even harder, she blames herself. So instead of going on her senior trip, she decides to run the marathon in New York, because that’s what he was going to do. Things don’t go as planned and to acheive her goal, she gets stuck on a road trip with her enemy, Jeremiah.
“Wishing for something that didn’t exist made real life that much more painful.”
What I loved most about this story is that we don’t know everything that happened from the start. As the story continues, bits and pieces of the story are revealed. At a certain point I was getting frustrated with Sydney, because Jeremiah was doing his best. Getting more information made me understand her feelings so much more.
Sydney is a sensitive one. Losing her brother really hit her hard and now that her parents don’t seem to be getting along, she’s blaming herself for everything. You can feel her sadness and Sydney is just trying to get by. I think she lets us see that grief is different for everyone and needs time.
Jeremiah hasn’t had it easy either. Not only did he lose his best friend, but he also lost the girl he loves and someone who would understand everything. Add having different dreams than his parents have for him and things aren’t easy. Jeremiah sees this road trip as a perfect chance to connect with Sydney again. I loved that spots he chose to show her from his childhood. These scenes felt so special.
“I learned that you can’t let life or sadness stop you. You have to be brave enough to live and love through the pain.”
Every step of this journey was so interesting to read about and it just felt right. Add some amazing side characters (Sydney’s aunt and Jeremiah’s grandparents) that just completed this story. It was nice to see them get support from some unexpected places. Even though this story doesn’t leave us with questions, I would love to read more about these characters.
Kelsie Stelting did it again with this story! Once again, I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
I’m a big fan of books that can hit me in all the feels! What was the last book you read that made you feel that way? Let me know in the comments!