Book Reviews

Review: Four for the Road by K.J. Reilly

Four for the Road is one of those stories I was not expecting. Sure from the beginning, I knew it was going to be emotional. A story about grief, loss, and revenge. But I wasn’t prepared for how convoluted these characters would become and how they would evolve before our eyes. Keep reading this book review for my full thoughts.


Asher Hunting wants revenge.

Specifically, he wants revenge on the drunk driver who killed his mom and got off on a technicality. No one seems to think this is healthy, though, which is how he ends up in a bereavement group (well, bereavement groups. He goes to several.) It’s there he makes some unexpected friends: There’s Sloane, who lost her dad to cancer; Will, who lost his little brother to a different kind of cancer; and eighty-year-old Henry, who was married to his wife for fifty years until she decided to die on her own terms. And it’s these three who Asher invites on a road trip from New Jersey to Graceland. Asher doesn’t tell them that he’s planning to steal his dad’s car, or the real reason that he wants to go to Tennessee (spoiler alert: it’s revenge)—but then again, the others don’t share their reasons for going, either.

Complete with unexpected revelations, lots of chicken Caesar salads at roadside restaurants, a stolen motorcycle, and an epic kiss at a rest stop minimart, what begins as the road trip to revenge might just turn into a path towards forgiveness.


(Disclaimer: I received this book from the publisher. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)

Four for the Road is an emotional story about grief and loss. How it twists inside of us and makes us not notice the world still turning. It can hollow us out and set off chain reactions in our day. These little moments and memories which haunt us. But what really got my heart were the scenes where Asher tries to protect his sister and the knowledge that we can never protect the ones we love from everything. That it’s just an essential knowledge to life. Four for the Road is emotional from beginning to end.

It begins with this fact that grief and loss feels inherently unfair. Unfair that our lives have changed so fundamentally and that for others, their worlds have continued onwards. That we are living in this new reality so separate from others, where they wake up every day and don’t think about this hole in their life. How every morning we re-live our grief when we remember. And then Four for the Road becomes a story about mystery. It propels readers through as we wonder how it will resolve. Because resentment and revenge brought to life is something different than our dreams.

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Four for the Road‘s main strength is definitely its emotional journey, but that would be nothing without compelling characters. Without these moments of hilarity and comic all living besides this wracking grief. Asher is fascinating not only in his grief and love, but also the ways in which he makes some seriously questionable decisions. But at the same time, it’s told through his eyes and so we can see how he’s rationalizing this house of cards. If you want to read a story about grief in its intricacies for those who are left behind, Four for the Road is a must read. Find Four for the Road on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


What is your favorite story about grief?

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