Wednesday, 6 May 2009

The Book Review Club May - Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Publisher: Simon Pulse
Pub. Date: June 2007
Age Range: Young Adult
Pages: 304
Format: paperback
Source: gift from friend

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.

Before I start reviewing, let me just say that I have a big crush on this book (if it makes any sense). Don't ask me why because there's something that lures me in and I think I had fallen in love with Two Way Street even before I opened it. But I'll try to be as much objective as I can.

Upon glancing at the cover and skimming the synopsis, I had this feeling that the book was going to be really sad. Firstly, because it was about a breakup and its aftermath; second, words of the blurb sounded nothing but nostalgic. I was expecting a lot of breaking down and crying and grieving. To my amazement, I found most of the book funny and cute.

The story started at the beginning of the roadtrip of Courtney and Jordan, later jumped back and forth between current happenings and the past. Parallelingly telling us how the trip went on, the author also gave us a full view of how the couple got together in the first place. Because the irony was so obvious - the guy broke up with his girlfriend for another girl. yet still agreed to go on a roadtrip with his ex - you couldn't but wonder if there was something else that led to the separation. Actually, I was torn between the two parts; one moment I wanted to see what was next, a second later I found myself gaping at how their relationship sprung. Sometimes it could be confusing, since besides switching the time, Lauren Barnhodlt also let us approach the story in different points of views.

The writing was really nice. It wasn't embellished with flowery words or complicated descriptions. Everything, on the contrary, was simple and straight to be point. The dialougues fell real and natural, even though the mention sex of was often, I felt more funny than uncomfortable. However, there was something I have to say - this book is not going to be interesting from page one to the end. The secret mentioned in the synopsis (which, I think, is what you want to learn most) was unfolded in the early chapters. So do not expect the thrill or mystery.

What to expect then? Expect love. True love.

I really really really like how love was portrayed in this novel. It started with a break up, so it felt like we were going upstream. Seeing the unfamiliar Jordan and Courtney crossing their paths of lives and broken up Jordan and Courtney gathering pieces of themselves that still remained in each other's worlds at the same time was not something I usually experienced. It was different. Their love story was very simple actually. They met, unintentionally became attached with each other and felt in love. The special thing of it was how they expressed it. If you read the book, you know what I mean. The characters were just genuine and honest in love. Every single gesture towards each other, everything they said, conscious or not, exuded an aura of beautiful love that I couldn't explain. Like how Jordan tied up Courtney's hair or when she burst out when she saw the hamburger he bought finally had cheese in it. It was a kind of raw and heartfelt one you shouldn't miss.

Overall it's a nice book about love and roadtrip. I think you will love to give it a try.

Rating: 4/5 (not biased, I swear '^^)


Steph Su said...

Hmm, this sounds good! I always thought it would be too cutesy for me, but the synopsis and your review make it sound like something I might enjoy. Thanks, Thao!

Barrie said...

I love the way Lauren writes. I haven't read this particular book of her, but will now. Thanks!

kaye said...

sounds like an intriguing book and I'm always up for a good love story. Stop by to read my book review thanks :P

Just Your Typical Book Blog said...

Awesome interview, this book is one of my favorites! I love the idea of the road trip and how it was split up between the two characters.

prophecygirl said...

I've got this but haven't read it yet. I too really like the cover. Nice review!

a flight of minds said...

This sounds like such a cute book. I hadn't heard about it before, but now I really want to! My favourite love is when two people love each other but for reasons cannot be together. Your review is great and makes me really want to read the book. :)

Keri Mikulski said...

Loved this book. : )

Mishel said...

I'm so curious as to why they broke up and what Jordan is thinking! I'll definitely have to pick this up =D

Donna said...

Come and get your award, my dear!

Sarahlynn said...

I started reading this review thinking, "eh, this is not my usual thing."

But now I'm dying to know the secret!

Sarah Laurence said...

Great review! I like how you describe what works without giving much away.