Review: Right of Way by Lauren Barnholdt

book coverFormat: e-ARC
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: July 9, 2013
ISBN: 9781442451278
Source of my copy: publisher via Edelweiss
Series: Companion to Two-Way Street
Synopsis (from Goodreads)

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…

For the first third or so of the book, Right of Way was very much like Two-Way Street that I felt like re-reading it, except with different character names But after that Jace and Peyton came into their own.

I like Jace and Peyton apart and together. Like in Two-Way Street, Barnholdt did alternate first person POV between Jace and Peyton and then switching off to the present time and the past. This type of alternate POV/time setting is something Barnholdt excels at--it never got messy and although there was a lot of switching off going on between the two characters and the past and the present I was never taken out of the story, was never confused and always know who was speaking and when it was occurring.

The plot is really nothing new: a story of a girl and a guy who met and instantly felt a deep connection with each other. But through circumstances and secrets broke up but new circumstances forces them to spend time together and may have a second chance at a relationship. Although the story was familiar, it did not stop me from flipping through the pages--I'm a sucker for this type of YA contemporary: girl-boy relationships, drama-filled, angst-filled, touches of humor and easy, mindless reading. That Right of Way is a second chance romance AND a road trip romance, well, I was in reading heaven.

My biggest complaint (and I had a similar complaint when I finished reading Two-Way Street) was that Right of Way ended too abruptly. I'm not one who wants everything tied up nice and neat at the end--I do like open-ended-ness but Right of Way was too open (even more so than Two-Way Street was). In the end Jace and Peyton still had to face some really big stuff (without revealing any spoilers, Peyton especially still have A LOT of stuff to work out, especially with her mom), but Right of Way just ended without really addressing any of it, which left me to wonder if it will be addressed in the final book (I am reading an e-ARC) or if there's going to be a sequel? I hope so because the story felt unfinished and it left me unsatisfied. An epilogue to tie everything together would've helped a lot.

Besides the unsatisfying ending, I did enjoy most of Right of Way. It was quite an addicting read--I got sucked in by all the drama. I recommend it to readers who enjoy lighter contemporary YA romances and fans of Kristin Walker and Jennifer E. Smith.


  1. I so agree. I liked Two-Way Street better because Right of Way ended way too abruptly. I need a little more resolution. AND THEY HARDLY DROVE ANYWHERE! Sigh. Good chemistry though and not enough kissing...


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