Review: Right of Way – Lauren Barnholdt

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Title: Right of Way* [Amazon]
Author:  Lauren Barnholdt [website]
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Genre: Contemporary
Source/Type: Edelweiss/E-Galley
Stars: 5 of 5

Publisher Description:
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…

My Thoughts:
I first fell in love with Lauren Barnholdt after reading Two Way Street and I have been a fan of her every since. Two Way Street was fun, and quirky, and entertaining. Barnholdt managed to make the characters, who were crazy crackers, completely endearing and likeable and she did the exact same  thing with Right of Way. At first glance this book seems to be almost a duplicate of Two Way Street, but it really was more than that and I feel lucky to have gotten a chance to read it early.

Right of Way is the story of Jace and Peyton. The two met a few months ago at a party held by Two Way Street’s Jordan while Peyton was vacation in Florida for winter. Sparks flew immediately and a long distance relationship began. But just as soon as it started it ended and now Jace and Peyton are faced with seeing each other at Courtney’s dad’s wedding. As if things aren’t complicated enough Peyton finds herself stuck in Florida and her plans to go to North Carolina deteriorating in front of her. When Jace comes to her rescue and offers her a ride, the two embark on a journey they soon won’t forget and one that may just heal their hearts.

What I liked about this and what I really like about all of Barnholdt’s books is the fun, relatable characters. Like Courtney in Two Way Street, Peyton is off her rocker crazy. The things she says and does are just insane, but you can also understand why she reacts the way she does. She’s a teenager, so her emotions are off the chart everywhere. She feels everything to the nth degree and Barnholdt nails that in her stories. The more bizarre the reaction the more down to earth the character feels. Does it always make 100% sense? No. And at times the plot point can get muddied from it, but it serves a purpose and that is what I like about it.

And can we talk about Jace for a minute? Sweet, adorable, clueless Jace. He is so mixed up he no longer knows what he wants. Being around Peyton makes him insane yet he can’t NOT be around her. With her quirks and all, the two of them connect and complete each other in a very unexpected way. I didn’t like how he acted a few times, but teenage boys tend to get on my nerves anyway so bravo for nailing that. HA.

Basically Right of Way brought me back to what made me fall in love with Barnholdt to begin with. It wasn’t perfect, as no book is, but it made me smile and laugh and enjoy myself, and to me that is what makes a great book.  Highly recommend if you are looking for just some reading fun. Can’t wait to see what she has in store for us next.

*out July 9, 2013

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