Saturday, August 8, 2009

Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Title: Two-Way Street
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Pages: 304
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: June 26, 2007

There are two sides to every breakup.

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 a quick-paced read. It's engaging and original without it being meaningless like other YA books. With intriguing dialogue and colorful imagery, Barnholdt was able to capture the mood and very essence of the book. The tension between the two characters built up perfectly to a dramatic and electrifying climax.

An interesting element of the book was the constant switch of point of views and time changes. They were divided: Courtney (before and after), and Jordan (before and after). I was surprised that Barnholdt was able to smoothly alternate between these four different point of views...It was a risk, but Barnholdt ultimately succeeded.

The plot itself was original, but I felt that a few moments and a few actions of the characters were not true to their personality. The extreme mood changes and prideful bickering of the characters were abortive. I didn't think that they helped further the story, and therefore, they unnecessary.

The Bottom Line: I loved it from start to finish. The perspectives of both characters enabled me to truly see both sides of the story. Barnholdt created a balance of both cliché and original. There were a few stereotypes, but she was able to individualize them and make them more of their own person. Two-Way Street is a welcomed addition to the YA collection! It's funny, dramatic, chaotic (in a good way!), and sweet; a great mix that created the perfect recipe: a great, all-around book! This is definitely one of my favorites! A :-)

---Report Card---
Originality: 9/10
Ending: 8.5/10
Characters: 9.5/10
Plot: 9/10
My reaction/enjoyment: 9.5/10
Theme: 9/10
Imagery: 9.5/10
Setting: 5/5
Voice: 5/5
Style: 5/5
Tone: 5/5
Cover: 10/10
Total Score: 94/100 (A)

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Diana Dang August 8, 2009 at 11:03 PM  

Great review! I wonder what the secret is

a flight of minds August 8, 2009 at 11:14 PM  

I've been wanting to read this book, and now want to even more after reading your review! I love reading about road trips- a road trip with the ex and secrets, even better. :) Great review!

- Alex

Lindsay :) August 9, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

Great review! I really want to read this book!

So Many Books, So Little Time August 9, 2009 at 9:26 PM  

I loved the split narration of this book. I love reading the same story from two different perspectives!

Anonymous,  March 3, 2010 at 11:03 PM  

what is the conflict and falling action of that book

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