Sunday, April 21, 2019

REVIEW: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt


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… 

This book is a companion to Two-Way Street . It can stand-alone, but the characters from Two-Way Street make an appearance. Now, I was glad it wasn't a continuation because I did not remember much about Two-Way Street and I liked seeing new characters.

Peyton is in Florida for a family wedding and does not have a way back to Connecticut. Her friend was originally going to fly over and they were going to drive through North Carolina looking at colleges. Then comes Jace, the guy she thought she had something with the last time she was in Florida until he stopped responding to her messages and then there's the night before where he broke her heart again. Jace says that he'll drive her to Connecticut, nevermind the fact that he has graduation the next day and is supposed to give a speech. Nevermind the fact that Peyton doesn't want to go back home and wants to run away to North Carolina, away from her parents. Then there's the fact that they both still can't stand each other, or admit that they like one another.

This was told in dual POV in a non-linear format. It really moved the story along and kept my interest. The timeline is kind of divided by The Trip and the Before (leading up to the day of the wedding when Peyton and Jace see each other again). It is clear from the get-go that something had happened the night before to make Peyton upset, so I was very curious what happened to these two to cause them to be at odds.

For a large part of the book, I was entertained. I love road trip books and I loved the non-linear format, but then once I got to the point where I figured out what the miscommunication between Peyton and Jace was, I was let down. Basically, Jace stopped talking to Peyton the last time together [highlight to view spoiler]because he found out that her parents were getting divorced and she did not tell him [end of spoiler]. That's not really a reason to stop talking to someone, because people don't have to tell you everything and maybe there is a good reason! Also, it made me really dislike Jace as a character because earlier in the book he claims that Peyton "broke his heart", so I was wondering if there was a miscommunication where both sides thought the other broke up with them, but no, Jace was heartbroken because Peyton did not tell him something that she herself was in denial about. It was all so stupid. He also was leading another girl on for the most part of the book, which did not make me like him any better.

I liked Peyton better. She was a much more dynamic character. From the start, we kind of see her as a rich girl with no skills, at least from Jace's POV, but there is so much more to her. She has things in her family life that she is dealing with and in denial about and she is really struggling to stand-up for herself. Seeing what Peyton was going through, it made it so much more clear why she was acting a certain way in the book. She was really trying to do what she thought she should do and she thought that running away from her home for a while would help her.

Now, I will also say that I really hated what her mom did and one of the disappointments I had with this book was that Peyton never confronts her mom. In fact, there is absolutely no resolution for Peyton in regards to what her mom did and her family life. By the end of the book the focus in on the romance. I knew there was going to be romance in this book, I expected it, but I prefer books with romance to not have it overpower the other details in this book and this one did. A romance is not going to fix everything else that is going on.

Overall, I started off liking this book and the way it told Peyton and Jace's story. I also really liked Hector, the dog who joined them on the road trip. As I got further in the story, my opinion quickly changed from being immersed in the story, to being a bit annoyed. I did not like Jace's reasoning or the lack of resolution with Peyton's family. I own other books by this author so I will be reading more from her in the future.

I hereby give this book
2.5 Stars
Meaning: I almost liked it, but not quite

No comments :

Post a Comment