Review: Through to You by Lauren Barnholdt

Posted 18 August, 2014 by Gabbie in Review / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Through to You by Lauren BarnholdtThrough to You by Lauren Barnholdt
Publisher: Simon Pulse on July 8, 2014
Source: Edelweiss
Pages: 288
Reading Challenges: 2014 Netgalley & Edelweiss Challenge, 2014 Review Pile Reading Challenge, 2014 Standalone Reading Challenge, 2014 YA Contemporary Challenge
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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…

Here Are My Thoughts


Through to You was the typical young adult contemporary romance–good girl, bad boy who is hiding secrets that threaten to tear them apart. There wasn’t anything that was absolutely special about this novel’s plot. Even though, it was still entertaining. Although it wasn’t something new and exciting, it held my attention nonetheless. The plot was engaging and interesting, just not downright thrilling.

Leading Lady

Harper was the typical good girl. She’s straight-laced, doesn’t get into trouble. That is, until Penn Mattingly leaves a note on her desk telling her he liked her sparkle. Harper was a pretty relatable character. There wasn’t really anything to dislike about her. She was friendly and overall good and had no annoying habits or an annoying voice. I didn’t feel a heart-deep connection with her character, but she definitely wasn’t a bad one to read.

Leading Male

Penn also fit the stereotype of bad boy well, even though he wasn’t nearly as bad as he wanted people to believe he was. Penn was hiding secrets about things that happened to him that really affected his life in a not-so-great way. He was definitely charming. He felt more like a good-bad-boy to me than an actual bad boy. The baggage that he was lugging definitely wasn’t too heavy in the realm of book bad-boys. That made his character stand out among the throes of bad boys in young adult literature.


I enjoyed the romance in this novel, especially because it began with a friendship. That friendship allowed them to get to know each other which made the relationship seem more genuine. And to think that it all started with a note. From the very beginning of the novel, which begins in medias res, we know that their relationship will have bumps along the way. It was caused by the typical reason, like so many books before it, but it was still heart-wrenching nonetheless due to the relationship they had built beforehand. Harper was really good for Penn and helped him get through some of the stuff that he was struggling with.


Through to You wasn’t anything especially brilliant but it was a great and quick read nonetheless.

3.5 Stars
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