Title: Two-Way Street
Author: Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Published June 26th 2007 by Simon Pulse
Format: Paperback, 296 pages
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.
Another road trip book, yay! Nothing creates immediate intimacy and strong feelings more than cramming two people into close quarters for an extended period of time. Unfortunately, Jordan and Courtney recently broke up and don’t want to be so intimate. But since it’s too expensive to buy last-minute plane tickets, they’ve got to take this trip together anyway. Which is fine, because as much as they try to deny it, they both still want to be together. But Jordan can’t because of a secret and Courtney can’t because she has her pride.
Because, let’s face it—no matter how much you tell yourself you’re over someone, your heart knows the truth.
Although there were other characters (her parents, his friends, her new boyfriend) in the story, Two-Way Street was all about Courtney and Jordan. So it’s a good thing they were likable! Poor Courtney was still heartbroken, but she was trying to move on with her friend-turned-rebound-boyfriend Lloyd. And poor Jordan was still heartbroken because he didn’t really want to break up with Courtney and he still loved her. The secret reason he did it was a bit of a letdown; I was expecting a huge revelation, and it was so inconsequential to me. It seemed to me if he had handled it differently (better), they could have avoided the whole breakup thing.
Two-Way Street was told from alternating perspectives, switching between Jordan and Courtney’s POV. I loved getting the different takes on their past and their current situation. Courtney was kind of spastic and sarcastic, while Jordan was more serious and stand-offish. But somehow, they worked together. The dialogue was funny, especially Courtney’s conversations with herself:
Conversations About Me Jordan Had with His Girlfriend (A Deluded Fantasy by Courtney Elizabeth McSweeney): Jordan: So I’m stuck going on this trip with Courtney. Mercedes: Okay. Jordan: Just so you know, nothing’s going to happen. Mercedes (starts taking her clothes off so she and Jordan can have sex): I know. Jordan: You want to have sex again? We just finished two hours ago. Mercedes (climbs on top of him): Yes. (Pauses.) This Courtney girl or whatever her name is, she’s not cute, is she? Jordan: No. Mercedes: Cool.
When Jordan and Courtney got into it, their verbal sparring was very funny, though you could actually tell how both of them were hurting underneath the witty banter. There were no sexy sex scenes, but they definitely had chemistry.
The plot was fine, though I have to doubt anyone’s parents forcing them to make a several-days long road trip with someone who had recently broken their heart. There were deeper issues involved than just the relationship between Courtney and Jordan, and for the most part, they were handled truthfully.
The cover is eye-catching, but the specifics don’t make much sense. But I won’t nit-pick (for once), I’ll just say it matches the idea of the book just fine.
A fun road trip full of heart and chemistry.