Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Series: Standalone companion to Two-Way Street
Publisher: Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
Pages: 308 (ARC)
Format/Source: ARC/Received from publisher
Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.
Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.
Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.
Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…(Cover and synopsis from Goodreads)
A Light, Summery Read…
I’ve grown to enjoy YA contemporaries a lot more in the past couple of years, so I was excited when Simon Pulse sent me a copy of Right of Way. And while it is a book made for the summertime (beaches and summer weddings and road trips), it didn’t really wow me.
I’ve found that, for some reason, I often have to suspend my disbelief more with contemporaries than with science fiction and fantasy novels. Let me explain. With science fiction and fantasy novels, they’re not realistic. The characters need to be realistic and the situations may be realistic, but there is a certain part of the story, whether a small part or a huge part, that is completely different than the world we live in. So I just kind of go with it. But with contemporary novels, they’re supposed to be based in our reality, and so I find myself thinking, “That would never happen!” or “That’s so unrealistic!” as I read. And yes, I know that sometimes I just have to overlook those things. But unfortunately with Right of Way, there were maybe just a few too many of those instances for me to be able to just overlook them.
But there were several things I enjoyed about this book as well. I liked the dual narrators, and I liked the fact that these two characters had very different voices. However, not only were there two POVs, there were also flashbacks to “Before”, which meant that I got confused. A lot. I was constantly having to remind myself whether I was reading a “Before” section or not, and because the characters had been in a few big arguments, it was hard to keep the story straight at times.
As far as the characters go, I didn’t really love them, but I didn’t hate them either. But I really enjoyed the fact that when it was, say, Peyton’s POV, the way she would interpret what Jace said and did wouldn’t necessarily be correct and you’d find out in Jace’s POV chapters, and vice versa. But Peyton was pretty annoying and Jace was kind of sexist at times. And Jace’s reason for breaking up with her before was pretty ridiculous. BUT, when they finally kiss in the book, I was rooting for them. I did want them to be together eventually.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes* from Right of Way: