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Book Review: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

Two-Way Street is a YA contemporary novel by Lauren Barnholdt. It was published by Simon Pulse on 26th June 2007 and the book is 304 pages long.

Courtney and Jordan were completely in love. Yes, there were probably the most unlikely couple in high school but they didn’t care. They were even going to the same college and travelling cross country together for orientation. Then Jordan messes everything up by dumping Courtney for a girl he met on the internet.

Although Courtney definitely does not want to take this trip with Jordan anymore, her parents are making her, trying to teach her to accept the consequences of her actions. All Courtney has to do is make it a few days in a car and make Jordan believe she really isn’t heartbroken and that she is completely over him already. Can’t be that hard can it?

Jordan is keeping secrets though and they could change everything.

What I thought
Recently, I have had a massive change of heart when it comes to YA books. When I first started reading this genre, I was strictly a paranormal/ fantasy kind of girl but then I read a couple of contemporary books. Reading these books completely changed my mind about what kinds of books I like and now, I think I actually prefer them to paranormal/ fantasy and that is something that I never thought would happen. Two-Way Street was one of the books that made me realise this.

Two-Way Street is told from multiple point of views. Courtney and Jordan both tell their side of the story but in a way I have never seen before. In this book, we get to see what happened before and during the road trip, with a tiny part of afterwards as well. I loved this way of telling a story as I really got a good feel for the couple and their relationship, as well as what they were going through on their trip. Sometimes dual narratives can get boring as they are done so much nowadays but this format was new and interesting.

No wonder Courtney and Jordan were an unlikely couple, they are completely opposites. Courtney is pretty uptight and likes to follow certain rules. She really doesn’t believe in sleeping around or random hook ups. She has pretty strict morals and wont do anything to stray for them. She may sound boring, but she isn’t. Courtney does know how to have fun though but knows how to do it in a way that doesn’t compromise what she believes in. I could totally understand Courtney’s feeling towards Jordan, both the good and the bad. If someone dumped me for some random girl on the internet, I would be fuming and I definitely wouldn’t want him to know that I still cared. Although her reactions were predictable, they were justified. I would probably want to make a guy as jealous as possible if they did that to me!

Jordan is the player of the story. He is used to getting any girl he wants and definitely doesn’t do relationships. He does casual hook ups and likes to play games with girls so obviously, I was going to love him from the very beginning. I just cant help being attracted to the bad boys, the ones you aren’t supposed to like. The thing with Jordan was that there is a hell of a lot more to him than someone who does whatever he likes. Throughout the story, so much more of his personality is revealed and you can see that there is a lot more to him than he lets on to most people. I loved that there were different sides to his character as it made it possible to love both the good and bad in him.

Due to the state Courtney and Jordan’s relationship is in, there is plenty of tension between them while on the road trip. The anger and frustration was clear to see from both sides and I enjoyed watching the banter between them. Courtney is trying to make Jordan jealous and Jordan is trying to act like he doesn’t care at all. It was funny to see them both act this way when it was obvious that it was not actually how either of them felt. Then, during the flashbacks to the earlier days in their relationship, I got to see the real Courtney and Jordan. Their relationship was sweet and it was clear that they both really cared a lot about each other. Being able to see this other side to their relationship was great as it gave their characters completely different dimensions and I could really see what was going on.

The language used is real. Finally. Courtney, Jordan and their friends are real teenagers. Teenagers like the kind of teenager I was when I was that age, probably younger actually. I know there is quite a big thing about swearing in YA books but sometimes, it is definitely needed. As much as I wish that this wasn’t the case, I don’t think teenage characters can be very real unless they are written like a real teenager. For that reason, I think the language used in this book really helped to make the characters as amazing as they were. Teenagers do swear and they do sleep around and do things that they shouldn’t and I don’t see why this doesn’t happen in more books. I wouldn’t want it to be in your face or overdone though but this book had just the right amount.

The road trip idea was fun, if not a bit predictable but I didn’t mind that at all. Although this isn’t your typical road trip kind of book, it was a great story for summer romance and relationships. The only thing that did bug me a little bit was the cover of this book. Both the front and back cover show a red convertible that has broken down but this is not the case. The cover is quite misleading since Jordan’s car is not red nor a convertible plus, it says in the book that he has dark hair and the model used has blonde hair. I know I’m being a little bit too picky with that but it just doesn’t match the story properly.

Two-Way Street is heart-warming, entertaining and very romantic. There is also a little bit of mystery, tension and passion between the main characters and I loved them both completely! This was the first of Lauren Barnholdt’s books that I have read but I definitely want to see more from her now! A great book!


  1. I love your review, no I REALLY love your review! Two-Way Street was the first book that I read by Lauren Barnholdt as well and since then, I've been reading all of her chick lit books! They're just so modern and in the here and now, lol!

    You should totally check out ONE NIGHT THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING, WATCH ME, and ACES UP! :)

  2. OMGosh you were right I LOVE your rating system :D :D
    I liked this book too - can't say I connected it with Sumemr until now though. Great review

  3. First of all I am LOVING the summer rating system :) Second I loved this book and want to read more from this author too, great review!

  4. I love the sound of this! The characters sound interesting, espeically since they seem to be total opposites. Must pick up a copy - thanks!

  5. I saw this a few weeks ago on another blog and quite fancied it then but I really want to read it now! :D Thanks for the great review!

    ps love the rating system! :D

  6. Oooh, I love the sound of this one. Love it! Bad boys and road trips - totally my thing!

    This is going on the wish list!

    I love the new rating system! :)

  7. What a great review! I read this awhile back and I really loved it. Not just for the road trip aspect, which I adore but the whole messy relationship and seeing all angles of it as well.

    But I COMPLETELY agree with hating the cover. Not so much the different hair colour on the boy (which I didn't even notice) but it's not a convertible! And I'm pretty sure they didn't break down at all (I'm right, right? It has been awhile!) That cover set me up for thinking one thing is going to happen and then it didn't...

    ANYWAY. I loved this book and I'm glad you enjoyed it too :)



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