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Review: Two Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt

“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 heart-broken, 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. “

We all would like to believe that everything is black and white and that there is only one side to everything. But as we have all discovered, this is not ever really the case, especially where matters of the heart are concerned. Two Way Street is a book about figuring out that there aren't really any sides and that there are all kinds of shades of gray and maybe even a few more colors into the mix. This book is about learning that sometimes love is not an easy road to travel on and what may seem left sided to you was really right sided, just from where the other person was standing. Also, this book is about seeing things from someone else’s perspective and not just looking at everything from your point of view. Ultimately, this book about not taking things as they appear but opening oneself up to the possibilities. 

Our story begins with the impossible fact that Courtney has to go on a road trip to Boston with her ex-boyfriend Jordan. And to matters worse, not only are her parents forcing her to go but he will be attending the same college as her, so she won’t completely be able to escape the love—former love of her life. How did Courtney end up in this mess? Little does she know, Jordan is in a crisis of his own. 

Yes he did break up with her and yes he told her it was because of a girl he met on MySpace but none of that is true. Jordan still loves Courtney and the MySpace girl is made up (a little spoiler for you all) yet the real drama is the secret he shares with Courtney’s dad, that if he were to tell, could make her hate him more than dumping her for another girl. Jordan is in his own world of trouble that his typical avoid and distance tactics won’t fix. 

Back to Courtney, she decides to not let Jordan get to her. Seeing as how she “hooked-up” or actually just made out with her former crush the night before her road trip with Jordan, she seems to be doing pretty well but looks can be deceiving. After a rest stop and a bad calzone, Courtney spends the next few miles in hell; one because she is throwing up almost non-stop and two, Jordan has to (although he wants to) take care of her. Deciding she is sick, he takes an exit, they get a motel room and spend the night together, wrapped in each other’s arms. 

She loves and misses the feel of his arms around her and then she begins to reminisce about other things she loves and misses about him. One thing that comes to mind is his kisses, and how kisses with Jordan just felt right whereas kisses with Lloyd, the former crush, are not as good and definitely not Jordan. Thus Courtney realizes she’s still in love with Jordan and that maybe Lloyd is not such a good idea and she should skip seeing Lloyd at Middleton altogether. 

Meanwhile, Jordan is taking care of a sick Courtney and doesn’t mind, thus falling deeper in love with her. Now Jordan contemplates whether or not he did the right thing by dumping her and not telling her sooner the secret him and her father share. True, she could be really angry and never speak to him again but his love for her should outweigh all that and push them through the hard times, right? Confused, Jordan still battles with what the right thing is to do.  Clearly love is not an easy road to travel. 

Both love struck teens struggle with what they feel in their hearts and what their minds are telling them they should do. Their hearts say get back together no matter what but the secrets they hide from each other and even from themselves, prevent them from reaching a conclusion. Yet if they could just speak the truth and let love lead the way, they might find themselves somewhere in the middle, together, instead of stuck on opposite sides of things. 

It is true that love conquers all and truths do set one free, but first you have to decide to see situations openly and not compartmentalize into categories of black and white, no grey. Life is an array of colors that blend together all the time, there never really is one shade of anything. And that the roads we travel upon in our colorful lives have many streets and there is more than one way to reach a destination. Simply speaking, Two Way Street is about understanding another person’s feelings and not seeing everything your way. And most importantly, this book is about opening up yourself to all life has to offer, never closing yourself off to anything that may come your way.

Reviewed by Camia Rhodes

Book Information
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 7/9/2013
Pages: 288

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