Review: Side Trip

49682148Side Trip
By Kerry Lonsdale
334 pages
Publish Date: July 7, 2020
Lake Union Publishing


With her deceased sister’s Route 66 bucket list in hand, California girl Joy Evers sets out on a cross-country road trip to meet up with her fiancĂ©, checking off the bullets along the way.

Singer-songwriter Dylan Westfield has a serious case of wanderlust and a broken-down car. Stuck at a diner between LA and Flagstaff, he meets Joy, his complete opposite. She’s energetic. He’s moody. She’s by the book. He’s spontaneous. She believes in love at first sight. He thinks love is a complicated mess. But Joy has a brand-new convertible.

They strike a deal. She’ll drive him to New York. He’ll pay for gas. Only three rules apply: no exchanging of last names; what happens on the road, stays on the road; and if one of them wants to take a side trip, they both must agree.

A heart-stirring love story that spans a decade, Side Trip explores what-if. What if Joy and Dylan had exchanged last names? What if he’d told her she made him believe love was worth the risk? And what if they hadn’t made that second deal when they couldn’t say goodbye?


I've read all of Kerry's books, and this book is by far my absolute favorite. Everything you expect from a Kerry Lonsdale novel is in this book--fantastic characters, great setting, a story that draws you in so much that you can't put the book down--but this one really stands out. I absolutely loved Joy and Dylan. I felt their connection, and I even felt like I was on the road trip with them. I loved all the music references and "side trips" along the way. The character development and depth to these characters made them so easy to relate to, and get attached to! I felt like Joy and Dylan were real people. It was so hard to put the book down and even harder once I finished the book because I didn't want to leave these characters.

Kerry expertly alternated between time periods in this book. This format can be hit or miss for me and Kerry absolutely nailed it. The book includes flashbacks, the road trip itself, and the years after the road trip and it will all tug at your heart. It's such a beautiful story that will leave you emotional and thinking about the story long after you finish the book. More than a love story, this book is about forgiving yourself, making peace with the past, taking chances, and asking, what if?

This is hands down Kerry's best book yet--and deserves all the stars! A perfect summer read, especially if you can't take that trip you were planning!


  1. I don't usually read a romance novel, but the characters in this one sound really well drawn.


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