Opposites attract—and then complicate—in this romantic, relatable novel from the author of Two-Way Street and Sometimes It Happens.
It starts with a scribbled note in class: I like your sparkle. Harper had casually threaded a piece of blue and silver tinsel through her ponytail in honor of school spirit day. And that carefree, corny gesture is what grabs Penn Mattingly’s eye. Penn—resident heartbreaker of the senior class. Reliably unreliable. Trouble with a capital “T.” And okay, smolderingly sexy.
Harper’s surprised by Penn’s attention—and so is Penn. The last thing he needs is a girlfriend. Or even a friend-with-benefits. The note is not supposed to lead to anything.
Oh, but it does. They hang out. They have fun. They talk. They make out. And after a while, it seems like they just click. But Penn and Harper have very different ideas about what relationships look like, in no small part because of their very different family backgrounds. Of course they could talk about these differences—if Penn knew how to talk about feelings.
Harper and Penn understand their attraction is illogical, yet something keeps pulling them together. It’s like a crazy roller coaster—exhilarating, terrifying, and amazing all at once. And neither knows how to stop the ride… (Goodreads)
My rating: 2 stars –
I first read Two-Way Street by Lauren Barnholdt when I was in 8th or 9th grade. Last year I picked up One Night That Changes Everything and enjoyed it. So, when I came across Through to You I didn’t second guess myself. If I’ve liked two books already who says I wouldn’t like another one? And plus I also have a soft spot with books about opposites attract (which can be seen by my obsession with Perfect Chemistry by Simon Elkeles). What I was hoping to be a good book full of little romantic moments really turned out to be more of a bore-a-thin and writing that seriously made me want to scream.
If any of you are in high school then you have most likely read Catcher in the Rye. Personally, I hated that book. Holden was the worst character I have ever read and I despised Salinger’s writing. And as I started reading through to you I saw a connection to dear ol’ Salinger and Miss Barnholdt. See, it wasn’t Harper and Penn per se, I was okay with them, it was the writing. Often their passages were full of thoughts taking different directions. It’s like they could be talking about a goddamn cat and the next thing I know they would be talking about some cat their neighbor had and that it was a very nice cat or something like that. But all I kept thinking was Oh dear god I’m reading Cather in the Rye only a lot less depressing and more teen angst. It confuses me really that Barnholdt would be writing like this when her other books never sounded like this. A drastic change if you ask me and not one I enjoyed.
It wasn’t just the writing that made me so angry, it was also some of the things that happened. Here’s my list:
1) Penn’s constant “I didn’t mean anything but giving her that note but yet I sort-of did but yet I didn’t” train of thought.
I wanted to grab Penn by his ear and yell at him to just MAKE UP HIS MIND. Because even if you didn’t mean anything it’s messed up to constantly follower Harper.
2) Harper so easily following Penn.
Look, we’ve all liked jerks here. It happens to the best of us. Hell, it happened to me two times this year. Yes, two flipping times. Sometimes we just really don’t think. So who am I to judge Harper? I can’t. But I can judge her on doing something stupid like, you know, ditching school with the guy who JUST GAVE YOU A NOTE. When the guy I liked kept pressuring me to drink I didn’t just do it because he may have liked me. I was uncomfortable to I said eff off. But Harper didn’t and that really made me angry. You barely know the guy but hey, at least he’s hot.
So technically this isn’t something that happened, but Penn was the cause for half the things I hated. I didn’t like his indecisiveness. As I stated in the beginning of this list, all Penn did was question whether or not he truly meant anything by his note. It was getting to be annoying after a while.
I decided to only give you guys the three main things that really annoyed me with this book. If I didn’t then this list would be very long. Now, the one thing I do want to say is that maybe I’m a little biased because I hated the writing mainly because it reminded me of Salinger. So if you didn’t read Catcher in the Rye (which you are lucky if you haven’t) you could still like Through to You. That being said, I also hated half the things that the characters did so that really isn’t biased. Which leads be to saying don’t bother with this book. Maybe if you you’re to barrow the book then read it. But your money isn’t worth spending.