Book Review: Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

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Title: Two-Way Street
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Published: 2007
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary

Synopsis: 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.

My Rating: Red-StarRed-Star 1/2

Ok, here we have yet another 2-star review. I hate to be so critical, I do, but this book is as unforgettable as they come. I finished this in 1 day so perhaps this is good as a beach read, it’s really nothing that will make you think too hard nor are there strong lessons to be learned.

The flaws, I’m afraid, are too great for me to ignore. The absolute worst flaw of this book, one that is glaring, that will smack you in the first few pages is the unabashed slut-shaming. I mean, it’s brutal. Being that this book is told from dual perspective you get it from both sides. Girls are constantly judged by how they’re dressed and dressing a certain way will get you categorized as whore/slut/easy. I mean… I’m sorry but this is just not OK. A few years ago I was blissfully unaware of this and I would have really loved this book, now I’m educated on this subject and it’s off putting to me.

On that same note I sort of got the idea that Barnholdt was not crazy about her female protagonist either, as the book progressed she got more and more unlikable to the point that the last few pages were rather dramatically hilarious and not in the good way. In the this chick is an idiot sort of way. The ending was rather bizarre, I thought. It felt both rushed and dragged out, the resolution I was not crazy for, it just left me with a sense of pointlessness. That’s as accurate as I can describe.

Jordan, the male protagonist, is amusing and embodies all of the male teen idiocies but his voice is slightly more amusing than Courtney. However, he is in fact a jerk – a classic High School horny as hell jerk and not very endearing. I’m rather worried how he will turn up as an adult. And Courtney’s father? I can’t even…

To me, the saving grace for this book was the side characters – specifically B.J. and Jocelyn. They were hilarious together but sadly we didn’t get enough from them to garner any sympathy from me on this novel. Skip it. This is textbook rich white kids problems 101.

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