Latest Read: Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt

Through To You by Lauren Barnholdt
Publication date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Category: Young Adult - Contemporary
Source: Received from publisher via Edelweiss (Thanks!)
Summary: It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had threaded tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that  corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class and smolderingly sexy. Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend.  The note is not supposed to lead to anything but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds.. Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together.  (Adapted
The Good
Through to You embodies what I’ve come to expect from Lauren Barnholdt books (this is my third!). They’re always entertaining, feature cute relationships and the dialogue never fails to make me laugh. And it’s clear from the first few chapters that Harper and Penn fit this bill. Harper and Penn have never really talked or hung out before. Then, one day, Penn randomly leaves a note on her desk commenting on the tinsel in her hair and.. the rest is history! Ok, it’s not really that simple. But it does get them talking and unexpectedly attracted to each other, which surprises them both. Neither knows what is going on between them or what they want, but through a series of non-dates and impromptu outings, we learn a lot about each character and get to watch their relationship turn into something very real (and sweet!).

It was easy to like Harper right off the bat. She’s kind of just your girl-next door type. Spends most of her time hanging out with her best friend or working at her mom’s dance studio. One little tidbit that I really liked was that she wants to be a choreographer! I thought that was different. Usually when a character likes to dance, they want to be a ballerina or on stage but instead Harper talks about how she likes to create the steps for people. It’s a minor detail, but I liked that about her. She’s also blunt and straightforward - two qualities I always appreciate. It was easy for me to relate to her feelings about Penn and not knowing where they stood. Penn, on the other hand. I totally got the appeal — a bit of a bad boy, charming, flirtatious (we know this type) — but he had some growing up to do throughout the book. And luckily, he does. We learn about why he acts the way he does (and I did sympathize despite my frustrations!) but his best moments were definitely when he would let down his guard around Harper. Or when they would banter. ‘Cause you know me, I’m a sucker for cute banter.

(Minor) Reservations
I liked it! But I think what held me back from really liking it was that it did feel sorta rushed towards the end. The author took the time to let us get to know the characters and get invested, so I expected the same kind of pacing when it came to resolving their conflicts.

Do I Recommend?
Yes, it’s a cute fast read! I enjoy her writing a lot. Her books tend to be on the light & fluffy side but I definitely need that from time to time. Two-Way Street is still my favorite of her books but I think Through To You is also a good place to start if you want to check out Lauren Barnholdt’s stuff.

Happy reading!


  1. Oh, I have an eARC of this one, and after reading your review, I'm actually really looking forward to reading it now! I'm glad you enjoyed this quick, cute read. Harper sounds like a character I'd really like, especially because of her ambitions (I'm a dancer as well, so I see the appeal). And Penn doesn't sound half bad, either! I love seeing some growth in characters. It's a shame the ending was rushed, but at least the majority of the story was nicely paced. Lovely review, Rachel!

  2. I still haven't read a Lauren Barnholdt book! I'm not sure if I'd ever read this one (as I have the suspicion that I might just get frustrated with the romance), but I'm glad you wound up liking it. I also think it's fascinating that the MC wants to be a choreographer!


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