Saturday, 5 January 2013
Review: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Released: June 26th, 2007
This is Jordan and Courtney, totally in love. Sure, they were an unlikely high school couple. But they clicked; it worked. They're even going to the same college, and driving cross-country together for orientation. Then Jordan dumps Courtney -- for a girl he met on the Internet. It's too late to change plans, so the road trip is on. Courtney's heartbroken, but figures she can tough it out for a few days. La la la -- this is Courtney pretending not to care. But in a strange twist, Jordan cares. A lot. Turns out, he's got a secret or two that he's not telling Courtney. And it has everything to do with why they broke up, why they can't get back together, and how, in spite of it all, this couple is destined for each other.
Two-Way Street is another book that's been hiding in a box for almost 3 years, and is my second Lauren Barnholdt read. I felt like something light and contemporary, and this was indeed just that. Basically the perfect read for the mood I was in. Although it was predictable (even to me, the person who never guesses anything), I still enjoyed it and became quite attached to Courtney and Jordan. I ended up liking Jordan more than Courtney, which I didn't expect to be the case. He was harbouring a big secret that could have turned Courtney's life upside down, but of course she didn't know that. He did a great job of putting her feelings before his, and I think that's why I identified with him. If I was in the same situation, it's totally something I would do.
Not only did this book feature a realistic teen relationship/break-up, annoyingly accurate stereotypical secondary characters and a slowly unfolding mystery, but it also took place on a road trip. I love road trips (Amy & Roger's Epic Detour is, like, the BEST), and this was no exception to that rule. There's something about being in a car along, on the road with the possibility of taking a different route or going in completely the wrong direction that appeals to me. I don't quite know why, as I'm a ridiculously organised person. I would probably be the Courtney of this story - the sensible, good girl who has an itinerary and a set time frame for things. So yes, road trips. Give me more of 'em, please!
As I mentioned earlier, Two-Way Street was predictable. But predictable in a good way. I knew how it would end and what would become of Courtney and Jordan as a plural, and I even suspected the twist before it made itself apparent. Still, that didn't make me enjoy it any less, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to readers looking for a fun summery book. It was an enjoyable book with older YA characters and older themes, which I appreciated. I don't think we see enough of that in YA fiction (although that's now changing!), but Barnholdt always seems to deliver. I'm looking forward to my next book of hers, as she writes my preferred type of contemporary fiction.