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Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Through to You

by Lauren Barnholdt

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It started when Harper's best friend Anna convinces her to put school color tinsel in her hair as an acknowledgment of school pride day. When Penn, an aloof, but hot guy in her class drops a folded note on her desk, Harper is surprised and intrigued by what it says “I like your sparkle.” Right after reading it, she's called to the nurse's office for the mandatory physical she's avoided all year. Instead of going these, she heads for the bathroom.
Meanwhile, Penn's going through mental gymnastics, wondering what in heck made him write the note in the first place. He's a mess inside, in part because his dad is a serious binge drinker and the family pretends nothing is wrong. Then there's the issue with his shoulder, the one seriously damaged in a collision at home plate with his former best friend. Penn has been told there's no way it can be fixed, but there's a tiny ray of maybe in the form of a specialist in Boston, but getting in to see her is almost impossible. In short, Penn is a hurting unit who hooks up, but shuts down when anything close to feelings are involved.
For reasons he can't explain, Penn gets a bathroom pass and follows Harper. Before either know it, he's convinced her to skip school and ride around with him. Thus begins the uneasy and so very interesting not-romance between a budding choreographer who has never even been kissed and a player who is a world of hurt inside and runs when anyone comes close to getting him to open up.
How Harper and Penn navigate this teen minefield makes for a great romantic read. I particularly like the way the author sets you up with a prologue called 'The End” that has Harper crying her eyes out in a hotel bathroom. Teens who like romance, who have had their heart broken or who have painful family secrets will all like this book a lot. It's a definite add for both school and public libraries. ( )
  sennebec | Sep 25, 2014 |
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

My Summary: Penn and Harper are two people who should never have met. They run in different social circles, take different classes, and have very different ideas about what constitutes a good time. But a note dropped on Harper's desk changes all that.

Soon Harper and Penn find themselves in the midst of a whirlwind romance - but all good things must come to an end, and when Penn decides to shut Harper out emotionally, the relationship can't possibly last.

Can Penn find a way to let Harper in, or was the relationship doomed from the start?

My Thoughts: I've been a big fan of Lauren Barnholdt's novels for years. They never disappoint, and they always keep me hooked from start to finish. Through to You was no exception.

Harper was an extremely relatable character - Lauren Barnholdt's characters always are - and you feel for her when things with Penn get tough. I loved that the characters were so complex and layered, and that both Harper and Penn had rich back-stories and lives outside of their relationship.

The writing itself was flawless and the plot flowed nicely. I loved the switching point of views, as well as the ending.

Final Thoughts: I recommend this novel to anyone looking for a fun summer read, and to fans of Lauren Barnholdt. Fans of romance and contemporary lit will also definitely enjoy it! ( )
  sch_94 | Jun 30, 2014 |
I received this free eARC in exchange for my honest review.

I am a huge fan of Lauren Barnholdt so I was excited to get this novel early! However, I've had some hit and misses with Barnholdt's books and this was closer to the miss side.

I just couldn't understand the characters at some point. Especially Penn. Yes, he has issues but when you leave a girl and act as if you are going to your car to drive away without looking to see if she was following until you get to the car? Not the best way to win a girl over, man. Not at all. And it wasn't just one time he did that. I could understand that. Not, it happened quite a bit.

So I can understand Harvey's reaction when he kept coming around after weeks of silence only to give her that grin and act like nothing happened... I mean, what? I don't think I would have been as forgiving, even if he was cute. How can a girl trust someone like that not to leave her stranded in a strange town?

I don't feel like the characters really learned anything. I mean, yes, Penn opened up to Harvey at the end but the reader didn't get a chance to see him really redeem himself. To be put in a situation where he wouldn't just walk away and ignore her for a period of time. That he would actually stay and talk to her, rather than get moody and dark.

One thing I enjoyed reading was Harvey's future career plan. I never really thought of people wanting to be just choreographers and it was intriguing to me.

I'm glad I got to read this, though! I still really liked this novel, it just wasn't my all time favorite novel. Can't wait to see what Barnholdt has in store for us next! ( )
  JeracaFite | Apr 3, 2014 |
This book just wasn't for me. The pacing felt rushed. I didn't feel emotionally attached to the characters, I couldn't relate to their romance. I didn't feel empathy for anything that was going on in the characters lives. The story was told in a diary style narration from both POVs, and the males didn't seem authentic.
Overall, some may like this book, but it wasn't a book for me. ( )
  asgwilli | Mar 22, 2014 |
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"When bad-boy Penn reaches out to cautious Harper, a tumultuous relationship blossoms, and the two learn that their bond may not be strong enough to overcome their obvious differences"--

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