June 20, 2013

Latest Read: Right of Way

Here are the basics ...
Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Publication date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received on Edelweiss (Thank you!)

Summary: Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: Right of Way is a companion novel to Two-Way Street, meaning that it's a story all on its own, even though some familiar characters do make cameos. But it does feature the same storytelling style: alternating chapters between the two main characters Peyton and Jace and alternating between the past and present. And just like with the first book, I enjoyed having the story unfold this way. Who are these two people? Why did they break up? And why do I already want them to get back together? Obviously I'm a sucker for happy endings.

This book is a light, fast read but at the same time it does delve into bigger issues. Peyton and Jace are thrown back together for the first time since their breakup. It's Peyton's uncle's wedding and Jace is friends with the family. We know right away that things did not end well and at the same time, it's clearly not over for either of them. Only a few chapters in, I was already screaming at them (in my mind obviously) to just make out already! But they're both dealing with things they aren't ready to tell the other. Peyton is keeping secrets about her family that are overwhelming her and Jace is hurting from the fact that she won't let him in. They're having trouble communicating and their frustration, as well as attraction, was a palpable emotion as I read.

(Some) reservations: I loved Two-Way Street, first and foremost, because of the likability of the characters. As individuals and as a couple. I didn't have that same reaction to Peyton and Jace. Their voices were still written clearly and in a way that felt completely teenager-like but at the same time, I found them to be overly dramatic and even a little bratty. I didn't feel like I understood them. And when I heard the reasons for the secrets, the breakup and the roadtrip, all I could think was - really? It just felt a bit anti-climactic. To me, as much as I could sympathize with how each person felt hurt, it didn't seem like the issues were big enough to warrant all that was happening. But I wanted to know more and I wanted them to fix things so that still held my interest. I don't think it's a spoiler to say that there is a big discussion and big declarations are made by the end of the book and I was disappointed by how neatly (and quickly!) everything got wrapped up. Peyton's character especially surprised me by the last page. At the start of the book, she was determined to be this strong independent woman and then at the end of the day, she just wanted a boy to fix her problems for her. It all felt too rushed and I wish a few extra pages had been added to give a more substantial conclusion to their story. 

Do I recommend?: To be honest, I was a little disappointed in the book overall. My expectations were really high because of Two-Way Street (which you should definitely read if you haven't) and this just fell short. That said, if the premise does intrigue you and you want something fast, light and wrapped up neatly, give it a shot. You may connect to it more than I did. 

Happy reading! 

2 comments:

  1. I'm sorry that this one didn't turn out as well as you'd hoped! It sounds like such an intriguing book, so to hear that it kind of has hard to relate to characters makes me sad :(

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  2. Anti-climatic endings are the worst, especially when the big secret is kept until the end with everything leading up to its reveal. I have the hardest time enjoying a contemporary when I don't connect with the characters, so I think I'll skip this one and give Two-Way Street a read instead!

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