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Right of Way
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Right of Way

4.3 19
by Lauren Barnholdt

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Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling


Can a road trip repair a romance gone wrong? Find out in this standalone companion to Lauren Barnholdt’s Two-way Street.

Here are Peyton and Jace, meeting on vacation. Click! It’s awesome, it’s easy, it’s romantic. This is the real deal.

Unless it isn’t. Because when you’re in love, you don’t just stop calling one day. And you don’t keep secrets. Or lie. And when your life starts falling apart, you’re supposed to have the other person to lean on.

Here are Peyton and Jace again, broken up but thrown together on a road trip. One of them is lying about the destination. One of them is pretending not to be leaving something behind. And neither of them is prepared for what’s coming on the road ahead…

Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Despite their breakup, handsome Jace Renault agrees to take beautiful Peyton Miller back to Connecticut from Florida on a road trip that is not only underfunded, but completely illogical on the parts of both characters. Seventeen-year-old Peyton really only wants to go as far as North Carolina and live there, but she hasn't enough money for the trip, much less starting a new life, and Jace is supposedly ducking an opportunity to give the valedictory speech at his graduation in order to accommodate her. Hijinks and romance predictably ensue. None of it is particularly believable. Jace is the least likely-to-be-valedictorian character ever, and Peyton is beyond naïve about money, despite her parents' continuous arguments on the subject. Ostensibly, the lesson they both learn is that "you have to put it all out there, you have to be willing to let yourself be vulnerable. Otherwise there's no way you're going to be able to have anything real." Each teen takes turns narrating events, and their accounts wander through time to explain what has led up to the present predicament, including why Jace has suddenly acquired a dog and the peccadilloes of the adults in their lives. Some swearing is thrown in, an apparent but unconvincing attempt at verisimilitude, but the romance never gets steamy enough to raise eyebrows. An unsatisfying romantic road trip that doesn't go the distance. (Fiction. 12 & up)
Children's Literature - Miranda McClain
Peyton has a plan. Well, had a plan. Currently things are not exactly going the way she thought they would. And now she is stranded in Florida with no way to get home. Not that she planned to go home. Her parents are in the midst of a messy divorce and things at home are a disaster. What she intended was that she and her best friend, Brooklyn, were going to run away and spend the summer in South Carolina, but Brooklyn backed out at the last minute and now her only option is to ask Jace, her ex-boyfriend, for help, something she did not want to do. But there seems to be no alternative. That's how Peyton and Jace end up on a road trip neither one of them truly wants to be on. Both have been hurt. Both believe they are the victims. And neither one is being completely honest with the other. Will they manage to work out their differences and make it to South Carolina as friends, or perhaps something more? Or will Jace's mom finally catch up with them and make them come home in time for Jace's graduation? Readers without enough melodrama in their own life will find more than enough for even the most histrionic appetite in this romantic teenage saga. Reviewer: Miranda McClain
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Peyton Miller and her long-distance ex-boyfriend Jace Renault are reunited at a wedding in Florida. The reasons for their breakup are not initially made clear and both are anxious about their meeting. Their chemistry is instantly revived and then extinguished in yet another mysterious falling out. Their backstory is pieced together as they embark on a spontaneous and ill-planned road trip to deliver Peyton to her home in Connecticut. However, Peyton is secretly planning to go off on her own once they reach North Carolina so she can escape the hardships and anxiety surrounding her parents' impending divorce. The mystery of the teens' relationship, brief as it turns out to be, and their unexplained estrangements, fuel the plot. Readers are left wondering why they keep coming back together. Though the two voices are barely distinguishable, the alternating viewpoints infuse events with romantic tension and the drama of the misunderstood intentions. The ending is satisfying but somewhat convenient given Peyton's desire to abandon her mother's habit of relying on men for money and problem solving. Readers willing to forgive these minor flaws will race to the end of this light summer read.—Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.20(d)
HL730L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 Years

Read an Excerpt

Right of way

  • Saturday, June 26, 10:03 a.m.

    Siesta Key, Florida

    I’m a traitor to my generation. Seriously. All we hear about these days is how we’re supposed to be strong women and not depend on anyone else and blah blah blah. And now look what I’ve done.

    “Are you sure there’s no way you can come?” I say into my phone. I’m crouching behind some bushes outside the Siesta Key Yacht Club, which is not comfortable. At all. The bushes are prickly, there are bees floating around, and the ground is kind of wet. Which makes no sense. I thought it never rained in Florida. Isn’t it called the Sunshine State?

    “I’m sorry,” my best friend, Brooklyn, says on the other end of the line. “I’m so sorry, but there’s no way I can come now. My parents found out, and they’re freaking out. And honestly, Peyton, I kind of think you should just forget the whole thing. I mean, what if my parents call your parents?”

    My heart leaps into my throat. “Are they going to?”

    “I don’t know. My mom said she wouldn’t as long as I talked you out of it, but you never know what my mom’s going to do. She’s a loose cannon.” It’s true. Brooklyn’s mom really is a loose cannon. One time last year she came down to our school screaming about women’s equality on the wrestling team. It was pretty ridiculous, since Brooklyn is totally unathletic, and no girls were even trying out for the wrestling team. But her mom had read some article about Title Nine that had gotten her all riled up.

    “But what am I supposed to do?” I ask. “My parents already left. I can’t call and tell them I don’t have a way to get back to Connecticut. They’ll be pissed.”

    Brooklyn and I had this whole thing planned out. She was going to fly down to Florida from Connecticut, and meet me here, in Siesta Key, at my uncle’s wedding. Then we were going to rent a car and drive to North Carolina, where we were going to spend the summer. It was a very simple two-part plan. One, she takes a plane down here. Two, we rent a car and go to North Carolina. Leave it to her parents to wreck everything.

    “You’re going to have to call your mom or something,” Brooklyn says. “It’ll suck, yeah, but what else are you going to do?”

    I don’t say anything. My eyes fill with hot tears. There’s a bee buzzing near my face, and I don’t even bother to swat it away. I really, really do not want to call my parents. And not just because they’re going to be pissed. But because it’s going to mean that I have to go home, and I really, really do not want to do that.

    Brooklyn sighs.

    “Look,” she says finally. “Is there any way you can book a flight to North Carolina? And maybe get a ride to the airport?”

    “I don’t have a credit card. Or any money, really.”

    “Can you ask Courtney for help?”

    “I could ask her, I guess, but I don’t know if she has any money either.” I stand up and scan the outdoor tables for my cousin. I don’t see her dark hair anywhere. I look for her boyfriend, Jordan, but I don’t see him either. In fact, I don’t see anyone I recognize. Most people have already left the brunch and gone home. The wedding was yesterday, and the festivities are over.

    I guess I could call Courtney, I think, taking a step back toward the tables that are set up on the lawn of the yacht club. But who knows if she would tell my parents? Or her dad? I mean, I trust her, but—

    My eyes stop scanning the crowd as they land on the only person I recognize who’s still at the brunch. The only person I don’t want to see. Jace Renault. He looks up from the table where he’s sitting, talking to some older couple that he probably just met. The old lady is laughing at something Jace is saying. Which isn’t surprising. Jace is charming like that. Ugh.

    He catches my eye, and I quickly turn away.

    “Brooklyn,” I say. “Please, can you lend me the money for a plane ticket? I’ll pay you back, I promise.”

    “Peyton, you know I would if I could, but my mom took my credit card away.”

    “I can’t believe this,” I say. “I planned so hard so no one would find out, and now—”

    There’s a tap on my shoulder. I turn around. Jace is standing there, a huge smile on his face. “Hello,” he says.

    I turn and start to walk away from him. “Who’s that?” Brooklyn asks.

    “That’s no one,” I say loudly, hoping that Jace will get the message to go away. But of course he doesn’t. He just starts to follow me as I walk through the grass of the club back toward my room. He’s doing a good job keeping up, since I’m having a little trouble walking. My shoes keep slipping on the wet grass.

    “You really shouldn’t be walking through here,” he says conversationally. “I don’t think the groundskeepers are going to be too thrilled with all the divots you’re making.”

    “Who the hell is that?” Brooklyn asks. “Is that Jace?”

    “No,” I say.

    “Yes, it is.”

    “No, it isn’t.”

    “Yes, it is!”

    “No. It. Isn’t.”

    “No it isn’t what?” Jace asks from next to me. He’s caught up to me now.

    He really is like some kind of gnat that I can’t get away from. I knew there would be pests and bugs in Florida; I just didn’t expect them to be six foot two and of the human variety.

    “I’ll call you back,” I say to Brooklyn. I hang up the phone and whirl around. “What do you want?” I ask.

    He shrugs. “I don’t know,” he says. “I saw you staring at me, and you looked upset.”

    “I wasn’t staring at you!” I say. “I was looking for Courtney.” I smooth down my dress. “And I’m not upset.”

    “Courtney and Jordan left a little while ago,” he says.

    “Do you know where they went?” I ask, my heart sinking.

    “I’m not sure.” He shrugs like it doesn’t matter. And I guess to him, it doesn’t. He’s not the one who’s stranded at some wedding in Florida with no way to get to North Carolina. “Why?”

    “None of your business.” I’m walking again, looking down at my phone, scrolling through my contacts. I wonder if there’s someone I can call—someone who might be willing to help me. Why didn’t I make more of an effort to get to know someone at the wedding? Why didn’t I befriend some nice old lady who would be able to take me somewhere—preferably a senile one who would be too out of it to ask any questions? Because you were too busy with Jace.

    “Do you need a ride or something?” Jace asks.

    I snort.

    “What’s so funny?”

    “I just think it’s kind of hilarious that suddenly you’re so concerned about my well-being after what you did to me last night.”

    “Peyton—” he starts, his voice softening. But I’m not in the mood.

    “Stop.” I hold my hand up. “I don’t want to hear it. And I don’t need a ride. So just go away.”

    “Then how are you getting to the airport?”

    “I’m not going to the airport.” God, he’s so annoying. How can he think that after what happened between us last night that I would get into a car with him? Is he crazy?

    Although I guess when I really think about it, it’s actually not that surprising.

    Anyone who is as good-looking as Jace is usually completely out of touch with reality. It’s like they think their looks give them the right to just go around saying whatever they want to say, and doing whatever they want to do. As if the fact that they’re six foot two and broad-shouldered with dark hair and gorgeous, deep-blue eyes gives them the right to get away with anything.

    “If you’re not going to the airport, then where are you going?”

    I keep ignoring him, continuing through the grass in these stupid high heels, trying to get back to my room. And he keeps following me, still not having any trouble keeping up. I glance down at his feet. He’s wearing sneakers. Of course he is. Jace Renault would never do anything as, you know, polite as wearing dress shoes to a wedding. Although technically he’s wearing them to the brunch the day after the wedding. But still. Proper attire should be worn. Proper attire that doesn’t include sneakers.

    I’m so caught up in looking at his feet that I don’t realize that my own shoes are sinking farther into the wet grass, and so when I slip, I’m halfway to the ground before I feel his arms grabbing me around the waist.

    He’s so close that I can feel his breath on my neck as he lifts me up, and it sends delicious little shivers up and down my spine. He looks at me, his eyes right on mine, and I swallow hard. If this were a movie, this would be the moment he’d kiss me, the moment he’d push my hair back from my face and brush his lips softly against mine, telling me he was sorry for everything that happened last night and over the spring, that he had an explanation for the whole thing, that everything was going to be okay. But this isn’t a movie. This is my life.

    And so instead of kissing me, Jace waits until I’m upright and then he says, “Those shoes are pretty ridiculous.”

    “These shoes,” I say, “cost four hundred dollars.”

    “Well, you got ripped off.”

    “I didn’t ask you.”

    He keeps following me, all the way back to my hotel room. What is wrong with him? Like it’s not enough that he stomped all over my heart? Now he has to keep torturing me with his nearness? When we get to the outside of the suite I’m staying in, I unlock the door and push it open.

    “Well, thanks for walking me back to my room,” I say, all sarcastic.

    But he doesn’t seem to notice. In fact, he just peers over my shoulder into the sitting area of my room. “Jesus, Peyton,” he says, looking at the mound of bags that are stacked neatly in the middle of the floor. “How long did you plan on staying? A few months? I knew you were high maintenance, but that much luggage is a little crazy, don’t you think?”

    “I’m not high maintenance!”

    He shrugs, as if to say I am high maintenance and everyone knows it, so there’s no use denying it. Like he knows anything about me and my high-maintenance ways. (And yes, I am a little bit high maintenance. But not in a bad way. I just like to have things the way I like them.)

    “Looks pretty high maintenance to me.” He steps into the room, then reaches down and picks up the bottle of water the hotel has left on the desk. He opens it and takes a big drink.

    “You owe me four dollars.” Plus I wanted that water. But I’m not going to tell him that. Why give him the satisfaction?

    “Don’t you mean I owe your parents four dollars?”

    I narrow my eyes at him then hold out my hand. “Give it to me.”

    “Fine,” he grumbles, reaching into his pocket and pulling out a bunch of crumpled up bills.

    “Figures that you don’t have a wallet,” I say.

    “Figures that you would notice something like that, being that you’re so high maintenance.” He grins at me sweetly.

    “I am not high maintenance! So stop saying that!”

    “Then why do you have a million bags for a weekend trip to a wedding?”

    I feel the anger building inside me—he’s so damn arrogant I can’t even stand it—and before I even know what I’m saying, I’m telling him. “Because,” I say, getting ready to savor the look of shock that I know is about to cross his face, “I’m running away.”

  • Meet the Author

    Lauren Barnholdt is the author of the teen novels The Thing About the Truth, Sometimes It Happens, One Night That Changes Everything, Two-way Street, Right of Way, and Watch Me. She is also the author of the middle grade novels The Secret Identity of Devon Delaney, Devon Delaney Should Totally Know Better, Four Truths and a Lie, Rules for Secret-Keeping, Fake Me a Match, and the Girl Meets Ghost series. She lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. Visit her at LaurenBarnholdt.com.

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    Right of Way 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I was excited to read this book because i fell in love with two way street, and have literally read all of lauren barnholdts books. The beginning of this book got my attentiom, the story is being laid out but to be honest after getting prety far in the book i realized it was lacking a strong plot and the charactrr details were so on the surface. The only major thing we hear about family is from Peyton. Theres hardly any romance its actually pretty bipolar between the main characters. There was alot of romantic thoughts and " i wish i could tell her this" or " i wish i could do that to him" but there was NOT enough action. I felt like this is supposed to be somewhat of a teen romance novel but the main characters barely kissed throughout the whole book. Kind of depressing. The ending was super abrupt honestly felt like i read over 200 pages just to get that kind of ending.. really! I expected more
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I haven't read a book in awhile because I tend to be picky, and I've been browsing for forever but I came across this one and oh my, its a romance between two teens, its very sweet and sour at times, but it pulled me right it. If you love the sappy love story kind of thing, you might enjoy reading it. Missing my lover now, oh love stories are my favorite (: enjoy!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I enjoyed this book. It was (somewhat) realistic with characters that seemed real. The road trip part was generic, but it was still fun to read. I generally liked this book, but i do wish the ending wasn't as predictable.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Loved this book soooooo much : )
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Ambur More than 1 year ago
    Two-Way Street was actually my first Lauren Barnholdt book, and it also happens to be my favourite, so when I first heard about Right of Way, I knew I had to read it! Right of Way isn't a sequel of Two-Way Street, but it is a standalone companion, and I was pretty ecstatic about that! :D I absolutely loved that we got to see a bit of Jordan and Courtney in Right of Way! It was really awesome to see a bit of what they were up to. I also just really loved Peyton and Jace. They were fantastic characters, and I definitely loved that Right of Way had the same feel to it as Two-Way Street. It wasn't a retelling of Two-Way Street, but it was a similar story with the whole road trip aspect, and I loved that it shared that similar dynamic. The dual point of view also worked amazingly with this story. It made it very easy to see the true feelings of both characters, and to understand why they weren't getting along. :P This is one of those stories that I just couldn't put down once I started, and I kept reading until I'd reached the last page. It's fast-paced and quickly draws you in. It's the kind of contemporary romance that I absolutely love with great characters and a story that just compels you to finish it. Right of Way is also written by one of my favourite contemporary authors, too, Lauren Barnholdt! I really loved reading it, and I am definitely looking forward to reading more books from her! :D Overall, I thought that Right of Way was a fantastic story! I'd recommend it to anyone who loves contemporaries about love going wrong, and the crazy antics that ensue when two people who aren't getting along and have serious chemistry are forced to be near one another. ;) * I received an ebook of Right of Way through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. * This review also appears on my blog and on other social media sites.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
    Fun Road Trip Book I love road trip books, so I was looking forward to reading Right of Way.  I will say that I have not read Two-way Street yet, which this book is a companion novel to.  I did still enjoy it and hope to read Two-way Street sometime also.  Jace and Peyton are on a road trip together after having broken up, though each blame the other for the breakup. The story is told from a dual POV, and the secrets and reasons behind the breakup are revealed as it progresses, which is something that keeps your interest, and it also goes back and forth between and before and now perspective.  They argued a good bit, but I also enjoyed the banter between them.  They come to deal with the reason they broke up, but are also very aware of how attracted to each other they are and the chemistry is definitely still there.  Right of Way is a cute road trip book and I did enjoy it, my only complaint was that it didn't feel quite finished at the end and I would have liked to have seen something more, though it is still a nice story.  
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    majibookshelf More than 1 year ago
    Having read a few books by Lauren Barnholdt, I was very excited to start Right of Way! What better than a road trip story to read in summer time? I have always been a fan of road trip books, and I seriously had high hopes for this one. Peyton and Jace have once had a thing together, but then it just stopped. When being told that they were going to meet in some relative's wedding, Peyton and Jace were kind of hesitant and scared to see each other once again. I loved that this book was told from both Peyton's and Jace's point of way, because that way I was able to fully understand both characters feelings towards each other. Peyton was kind of annoying with her forceful attitude and snarky comebacks, but she later grew on me. Jace was a great guy too, but I don't think there was anything different about him. Jace will be one of those typical forgettable characters, and I hate that. What I didn't like in this book was how it would switch to the past and present. It would kind of confuse me sometimes, and I just wanted them to be on the road! This wasn't much of a road trip books like other books out there, but it was still enjoyable. There was a cool story to this book, but I don't think it was that different or significant. Overall, right of way was an entertaining book that I flew reading. If you're looking for a cute, chill, summer book, then you might want to consider this one!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Readergirl_Revus More than 1 year ago
    I'm a big fan of roadtrip stories, especially ones that throw two people who clearly have feelings for other but won't admit it, into a car together where they have to talk and fight and work it all out. I really enjoyed the first installment to this story, Two-Way Street because it was like that, and this one is similar, but with completely different people, different situations, and different emotional issues to work through. I really liked Peyton and Jace. They were interesting characters, and their chemistry together was very good and kept me interested in the story. Early on, I had a little bit of trouble connecting to Peyton, only because she seemed a bit immature and whiny at first. But in a way, I felt that this was deliberate on her part, like she used it to keep pain away, and to keep Jace away. Jace was a typical guy, and I really liked that. I love stories that let you inside the guy's head so you can see how they think, what they think, and to understand why they react to certain things the way that they do. And Jace has typical guy thoughts that made him seem very real as a character. The story is told in alternating points of view, but also in alternating time frames. You would think this would be confusing, but it wasn't at all. I was able to follow it very well, and I actually really like it, because I didn't find details out too quickly... I got to discover them a little at a time this way, and this made me feel like I was an even bigger part of the story. I think this is one writing techniqe that Lauren Barnholdt does very well. I really enjoy her stories. They are real, emotionally driven, simple but impactful stories that touch the heart. This was a really good summer read too, a nice romance that I truly enjoyed.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
    I was so excited to get approved for this book! I keep hearing awesome things about Lauren Barnholdt and have been on a contemporary kick lately- not to mention- summer, road trip? Yes, please! I thought this would be the perfect summer read! This book definitely engaged me, as I only planned on reading 50 pages. 50 pages turned into staying up until 2am finishing this book! I guess it was the whole 'I have to keep reading because I have to see these two finally get together' thing. I won't lie. While I didn't hate this book, I didn't love it either. I had some major problems with the characters and I guess I thought it would be more road trip than what it actually ended up being. At first I found the going back and forth between the past and the present along with the dual POV's to be a bit confusing, but I finally got the hang of it. I do like that we learned the backstory of Peyton and Jace and how they came to be at the point they currently were. For a senior in HS, Peyton had some serious maturity issues in my opinion. She came off as a brat for about 90% of the book. I honestly don't know what Jace even saw in her. I liked him a bit better than Peyton. He genuinely did like her, but he did overreact as to why he would just out of the blue stop talking to Peyton. I've said it many times, if I can't identify with my characters, I have a lot of trouble liking a book. What kept me going was that I wanted to know why Jace stopped talking to Peyton all of a sudden and I wanted to know what happened the night before the road trip at Peyton's cousin wedding that they both kept referring to. I do feel a bit bad for Kari's character. She's not a major player in the book, but Jace knew he was still hung up on Peyton, so I don't think he should have started anything with this other girl. Especially since he knew he would be coming face to face with Peyton at her cousin's father's wedding. That whole angle seemed a bit forced and seemed put in just to add another unnecessary barrier for Peyton and Jace to break through. I also felt like the book just ended rather abruptly. After all the drama, after all the build up, boom? It's all ok now? Everyone's happy and this is the stuff true love is made of? Quite a few things lacked resolution: What about the situation with Peyton's mom? And her family situation? What about Peyton and Jace's relationship? Is it going to continue to be long-distance? What about their trust issues with one another? Are those magically fixed? I teach high schoolers on a daily basis. I know how they overreact and freak out about the smallest of things. But for Jace to be angry over this? Sure, she kept a secret from him and he was hurting because they shared a lot and he thought she trusted him. Yet, he should have called her and just confronted her about it, instead of taking the 10 year old 'I'm not talking to you' approach. And Peyton? Instead of ignoring the problem at hand, she should have just let him explain instead of acting like a little diva. Not to mention the boy offers to drive you from Florida to Connecticut. Show a little gratitude! Overall, this one just fell short for me. The characters were not likeable, the plot had potential but didn't go in the direction I expected, and a lot was left to be resolved. I will still read more by Barnholdt but if you're looking for a good road trip, summer read: Try Golden by Jessi Kirby or Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    good book.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago