Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt
Right of Way
by: Lauren Barnholdt
Publication Date: July 9, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received from Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 320 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 3/5 stars
I was so excited to get approved for this book! I keep hearing awesome things about Lauren Barnholdt and have been on a contemporary kick lately- not to mention- summer, road trip? Yes, please! I thought this would be the perfect summer read! This book definitely engaged me, as I only planned on reading 50 pages. 50 pages turned into staying up until 2am finishing this book! I guess it was the whole 'I have to keep reading because I have to see these two finally get together' thing.
I won't lie. While I didn't hate this book, I didn't love it either. I had some major problems with the characters and I guess I thought it would be more road trip than what it actually ended up being. At first I found the going back and forth between the past and the present along with the dual POV's to be a bit confusing, but I finally got the hang of it. I do like that we learned the backstory of Peyton and Jace and how they came to be at the point they currently were. For a senior in HS, Peyton had some serious maturity issues in my opinion. She came off as a brat for about 90% of the book. I honestly don't know what Jace even saw in her. I liked him a bit better than Peyton. He genuinely did like her, but he did overreact as to why he would just out of the blue stop talking to Peyton. I've said it many times, if I can't identify with my characters, I have a lot of trouble liking a book. What kept me going was that I wanted to know why Jace stopped talking to Peyton all of a sudden and I wanted to know what happened the night before the road trip at Peyton's cousin wedding that they both kept referring to.
I do feel a bit bad for Kari's character. She's not a major player in the book, but Jace knew he was still hung up on Peyton, so I don't think he should have started anything with this other girl. Especially since he knew he would be coming face to face with Peyton at her cousin's father's wedding. That whole angle seemed a bit forced and seemed put in just to add another unnecessary barrier for Peyton and Jace to break through.
I also felt like the book just ended rather abruptly. After all the drama, after all the build up, boom? It's all ok now? Everyone's happy and this is the stuff true love is made of? Quite a few things lacked resolution: What about the situation with Peyton's mom? And her family situation? What about Peyton and Jace's relationship? Is it going to continue to be long-distance? What about their trust issues with one another? Are those magically fixed?
I teach high schoolers on a daily basis. I know how they overreact and freak out about the smallest of things. But for Jace to be angry over this? Sure, she kept a secret from him and he was hurting because they shared a lot and he thought she trusted him. Yet, he should have called her and just confronted her about it, instead of taking the 10 year old 'I'm not talking to you' approach. And Peyton? Instead of ignoring the problem at hand, she should have just let him explain instead of acting like a little diva. Not to mention the boy offers to drive you from Florida to Connecticut. Show a little gratitude!
Overall, this one just fell short for me. The characters were not likeable, the plot had potential but didn't go in the direction I expected, and a lot was left to be resolved. I will still read more by Barnholdt but if you're looking for a good road trip, summer read: Try Golden by Jessi Kirby or Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.