Right of Way introduces us to the story of Jace and Peyton. This is a companion novel to Lauren Barnholdt’s book Two Way Street, which I did not read, and it wasn’t necessary to know what was going on in this story, but it will give you some information on some of their backstory as well as introduce you to some of the other characters mentioned in this book.
I really enjoyed their story! We first meet Peyton hiding in the bushes of a resort talking to her friend and panicking because her plans for the summer have been derailed. She’s in Florida attending her uncle’s wedding and with things so horrible at home she’s decided she’s running away to North Carolina for the summer without telling her parents. She has only a little cash but plans to get a job once she gets to where she’s going.
Jace is just finishing high school – he’s valedictorian and his mom is incredibly proud of his accomplishment. Jace is your typical YA hero I think, but this didn’t make me like him any less. He’s good looking and smart and has a pretty simply family life. What I loved about Jace… his ‘voice’. Barnholdt wrote him in a way that I adored. He comes across as sarcastic and funny and yes… even sweet and kind.
I really have no self-control, and I probably would have tried to kiss her. It’s one of my character defects. The lack of self-control, I mean. (Although I guess the fact that I want to kiss a girl who completely broke my heart and who hates me could also be considered a defect.)
It’s like girl code or whatever.(Which I’ve never understood by teh way. Girls going around screaming about girl code, when girls are the ones who’ll stab each other in the back the first chance they get. Dudes aren’t like that. Take Evan, for example. He’s up on the roof, shirtless, wearing green goggles and getting ready to possibly kill himself, and what am I doing? I’m sitting here, like a good friend, trying to talk him out of it, while at the same time being willing to film the whole thing if it comes down to it. Now that’s what’s called being a good friend.)
This story rotates points of view and also time frames from chapter to chapter but it’s not at all as confusing as that sounds! We get chapters from Peyton from prior to the ‘trip’ and during the ‘trip’ and Jace prior and during the ‘trip’.
Which leads me to the rest of the story. The ‘trip’ of course is the trip that Jace and Peyton are on. When her summer plans of driving to North Carolina with her best friend aren’t going to happen she’s stranded in Florida and refuses to call her parents for help getting back. Jace, even with the past that he and Peyton share, (I’m not spilling on what it is or what happened) offers to drive her home to Connecticut when her plans fall through. Missing his graduation and speech. But he doesn’t tell her that of course.
Along the way, we learn through the chapters about their past, what happened between them. I mention that Jace thinks Peyton broke his heart, but Peyton feels the same way about Jace and so the book takes us on not only an actual road trip, but also down the road of their relationship.
Ultimately this book is about long distance relationship, young love, and finding the road to happiness and being stronger than the things that try to sink you. Peyton and Jace learn along the way, what’s really important in the grand scheme of things and that trusting the people you love isn’t always easy.
I am only giving four stars simply because I felt the end was somewhat abrupt. I want to know what happened after that last page and I feel like the story didn’t wrap up quite enough for me. Especially if there isn’t going to be another book where we find out something about their future! I’m definitely going to check out Two Way Street now, even if it just gives me a glimpse of these two from way back when and I’ll hope that Ms. Barnholdt decides to add write another book letting us know what happens with Jace & Peyton.
Definitely check this book out if you like YA with life lessons. I think you’ll enjoy it just as much as I did!
Thank you to Simon Pulse and Edelweiss for the advance copy for review.