This post may contain affiliate links or I may be reviewing a book that I have received for free as part of a review program or as an advanced reader copy. That being said, all opinions are my own. The book cover, book trailer, author biography, and plot summary for My Trip to Adele are courtesy of mytriptoadele.com.
My Trip to Adele was the first I read through an official review program – how exciting! There were two romance books available through StoryCartel at the time that I logged on, and with how fast I go through books, I got both of them. I will admit, though, that I wasn’t too thrilled about My Trip to Adele from the plot summary. I wasn’t too keen on there being three plotlines at once, and the setting wasn’t one that caught my eye. Nonetheless, I picked it up, kept turning pages, and here we are! Read on for a review of My Trip to Adele by Ahmad and Rana Alyaseer.
My Trip to Adele in 85 Characters or Less
Three people deal with life struggles to the tune of Adele’s music
Full Plot Summary
The story revolves around an Adele concert held in Verona which becomes the focus for an unhappy married couple, a divorced mother and a devoted lover from three different countries and cultures. This is the story of three flawed but likeable people. First up is Elias, a Moroccan man living in Rome. He discovers that a black magic spell was cast upon him but starts to doubt whether it was the real cause of the break-up between him and his long-lost love Malika. He decides to search for her in the shadows of Marrakesh after eight years of separation. Nadia, a single mother from Jordan, is battling her ex-husband in the courts and doing all she can to secure freedom for herself and her only son. Her dream is to take her son to see his idol, Adele, live. Finally, Yaser, a married man living in Las Vegas, realizes that his marriage is crawling all over him like a slow, painful death, so he starts to rebel against his wife. While faith initially brought them together, it is now causing them to drift apart. These three characters are on a journey to break free of everything that has haunted them, learning harsh truths about fate, religion, courage, desire and guilt along the way.
Great Introduction to Jordanian and Moroccan Culture
My Trip to Adele takes place in three countries around the world: Jordan, Morocco, and Las Vegas (not a country but close enough). I’m relatively familiar with Vegas culture, both because of my visits there and because I’m American, but I had never experienced nor read about life in Jordan or Morocco. The authors do a great job of providing information about the cultures through the experiences and histories of the character. You learn about the entertainers and spiritual beliefs in Marrakesh, the social structure of Jordan, and much more. What’s more, you trust the authors on this information given their cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
I’ll admit, as an American who’s never seen that type of living for herself, some of those things (especially the Jordanian social structure) shocked me. That being said, the way of life in those places really added to the struggles the characters went through; without them, those struggles probably wouldn’t have existed in the first place.
Very Little Emotional Connection
If I had to place value on one particular part of this story, it’d be the cultural information you receive. I unfortunately wouldn’t put it on the emotional connection the reader makes with the characters. There were some pretty major events that took place in the story, events that shook the worlds of the characters and should have stunned the readers…except they didn’t. These events just seemed to happen. I’d be reading along and then, all of a sudden, a major life change would have happened and I’d have to reread the last bit to see if I missed something.
More specifically, I’m not entirely certain on the connection with Adele. I understand the role that Adele music played in the characters’ lives and I understand the lyrics that the authors chose to associate with certain situations, but Adele seemed almost like an obsession to the characters instead of a support system that helped them move through life’s good and bad moments.
Overall, this lack of intimacy made the book relatively unengaging. Normally when I read, I can’t put it down, and I’ll miss my bus stop entirely because I’ve been reading. With My Trip to Adele, though, I would find my mind wandering or come to and realize I’ve been staring out the window instead of reading the book. Perhaps if I felt more toward the characters, this would have been different?
Real Life Issues
That being said, the characters in this book go through some real life issues, those that aren’t normally covered in your traditional romance book. They discuss and introspect on divorce, freedom, religion, and love, among other things. My Trip to Adele is a novel ripe with inner monologues, but they do serve to benefit the reader. They make you stop and consider your own beliefs on the subject and the argument that the character presents one way or another. I’m not saying that my beliefs necessarily changed on those subjects after reading this book, but I do love a good professional ethical debate, and I basically got that by reading Ahmad and Rana’s book.
Where to Buy
Ahmad Alyaseer and Rana Alyaseer are siblings from Jordan. Ahmad works as a filmmaker. He has directed / produced many projects for a local station in his home nation, including two prank shows, two social experiment shows, one gameshow and two sitcoms. Rana is an architecture teacher at a private university in Jordan. She wrote a book called History in Architecture in Arabic, which became part of the university’s curriculum. Ahmad and Rana have written two novels in Arabic – one in 2011 and another in 2015 – but neither was published. They also wrote a film called When Time Becomes a Woman, which Ahmad directed and produced. The film was screened at many festivals throughout the world.