Sunday, August 4, 2013

I'll Give You the Right of Way, But Can I Just Smack You First?

Book:  Right of Way
Author:  Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Date:  Now Available
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  B+

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…

Initial Reaction
Is it possible to love characters and still want to slap them silly???

Cover Story
Why the hell is there a truck on this cover?  There’s no truck in this book.  There’s a sedan.  And no one goes to the beach.  I get that they’re trying to portray the road trip, but don’t these cover designers even read the freaking books????  I like the title though.

What’s the Story?
Apparently this is a companion novel to another one written by Lauren Barnholdt called Two-Way Street.  There are two characters that make quite a few appearances in this novel, Jordan and Courtney, and the first novel is about them.  It’s not necessary to read this first novel, though.  I enjoyed this one and understood it, although now I’m curious about the first one.

This book would have been an A book for me except for 2 things:  1.  The angst factor just killed me.  I am a happily ever after kind of girl and the angst of never knowing if I would get there just about did me in.  2.  These characters were at times so immature and non-communicative that I just wanted to shake some sense into both of them.

Now, having said that, I realize that the reason I could see that they were overreacting to stuff is because I’m 43 instead of 16.  However, I do inhabit space with a 15 year old girl, and let me tell you that Lauren Barnholdt has hit the nail on the head with the teen stupid.  God, these kids do some really stupid things.  Like running away from home.  Like not talking to each other.  Like not talking to anyone about problems.  Like leaving home with no money and no real plan.  Yes, some of us know that these are stupid things, but when you’re 16 and hurt and upset, they don’t seem like such bad options.

The structure of this book was very interesting, although I could see how it might not work well for some readers.  It moves back and forward in time and from Peyton’s to Jace’s points of view.  I had no trouble following it and honestly, I’m pretty impressed that Lauren Barnholdt could pull that off without missing some major plot point.  I have no doubt that I would have missed something major and messed the whole thing up.  But she pulled it off beautifully.

I liked the 2 characters.  Now, it took me a while to get there, mind you, but that was part of the fun.  I had to unravel all the circumstances that led these 2 exes to be riding together in a car from Florida to either Connecticut or North Carolina.  And why one of them was leaving home and the other was willing to miss his high school graduation to do this.  Seeing everything slowly revealed was both a treat and a torture.  Of course, once I got to the end, all the angst was worth it but boy, did it ever hurt so good while I was reading it!

In the end, I loved both the story and the characters and I was glad to see both Peyton and Jace grow more mature as the story progressed.  And thank goodness there was a real sort of ending.  I’m so tired of these books that almost drop off in mid-sentence!  This one wrapped up nicely without making everything too tidy, but wrapping up just well enough to give me a sense of closure.

The Soundtrack

She by Elvis Costello

Say Anything by Tristan Prettyman

A Beautiful Mess by Jason Mraz

The Reason by Hoobastank

Runaway by 3 Doors Down

She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles

The Final Grade

My final grade for this book is a B+.  If you can wade through the angst and control your urge to murder the two main characters, this book really pays off in the end.

I received a copy of this book fro the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  I received no compensation, financial or otherwise, for this review. Not even a great road trip dog.


  1. I hope this is better than the first novel. The characters in the first novel were so unbearable. I couldn't even stand reading them. Great review! I'll definitely be checking this one out and hopefully it'll be better than Two-Way Street.

  2. I LOVED Two Way Street! You should read it, it was awesome!!

    Lauren Barnholdt is an amazing author, she gets teens and her dialogue is wonderful:)

    Lovely review:)

  3. Great review, I've been waiting to tread this book since the cover is great but its a bit weird now that you mention i that there's no truck in it!