Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

Summary/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
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…

Back when I was in seventh grade and thought that I was being super rebellious by reading young adult books, I was obsessed with anything by Lauren Barnholdt and Hailey Abbott. Two-way Street by Lauren Barnholdt was one of my favorite books back then (I'm pretty sure I have a well read, well loved copy of it somewhere around my house). I loved the road trip aspect, and I loved the two main characters, Courtney and Jordan. Therefore, when I caught wind that Lauren Barnholdt was releasing a companion book to it 9 years later, I was beyond elastic (*cue nostalgic feelings*), especially when I found it contained a road trip as well. As it turns out, Right of Way is just as addictive as its predecessor. Romantic as well as witty, Right of Way is the ultimate summer read.

Right of Way tells the story of Peyton and Jace, a once in love couple turned enemies. When Peyton and Jace ended up at the same Christmas party, the sparks flew instantly, and even though they lived thousands of miles apart, they promised each other that they'd make it work, that it wouldn't just be one time thing. At first, everything worked. They talked and texted all the time and were even planning a spring break trip to see each other. Then everything fell apart. Now months later, Peyton and Jace end up at the same wedding. They're the last person either wants to see, but they both can't deny one thing: there's something still between them. Now thrown together on a cross-country road trip, they're confronted with the secrets and lies of their past and the uncertainty of their future.

I clicked with Peyton and Jace as soon as I started the book. Peyton is someone I think most can relate too. She's stronger than she knows, but sometimes she lets her irrational thoughts- and the anger that comes with them - get the best of her. When the reader is first introduced to Peyton, she's not the happiest person in the world. She's dealing with her parent's divorce, money problems, and the feelings she still has for a boy she shouldn't, but over the course of the book, she begins to see that you can get past the most impossible situations if you allow yourself to open up to others. I loved this transformation, it's part of what made this book so addictive to me. Jace is similar to Peyton in some respects. He doesn't have the same amount of family problems, but he still has let his stubbornness get the best of him, especially when it comes to Peyton. All throughout the book, I just kept internally screaming "come on Jace, just open up!!" I also loved the secondary characters as well. It was fun to catch-up with Courtney and Jordan, but Hector, the most adorable, funny dog, was the real show-stealer.

The plot in this was basically the classic YA contemp summer formula- romance + road trip + mixed messages + drama - and while I pretty much had the ending figured out from the start, I was still hooked. I wanted to know why Jace and Peyton first broke up, what happened between them the night of the wedding, and what exactly was going on in Peyton's family. All of these separate plots kept me reading late into the night, and the conclusions to all were extremely satisfying. What made this book so addictive, in my opinion, was the alternating POVs and the alternating between "Before" and "Road Trip." Lauren Barnholdt did a great job of weaving it all tougher. It flowed nicely, and it kept the curiosity - and some suspense even - building.

In all, Right of Way is something I would definitely suggest to YA lovers, especially those looking for a quick read for vacation.

Grade: A

Right of Way (Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes and Noble) is now out! (FYI: the paperback addition is only $4.34 on Amazon right now!)

Source: ARC provided by publisher - thanks Simon Pulse!

1 comment:

  1. Ooooh, this sounds really nice! I've been reading more contemporary lately and this looks like something I'd love. Relatable characters are so very rare and I'm excited to check this out! Great review :D

    Asma @ IceyBooks


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