{Review Redux/Giveaway} LETTERS TO NOWHERE by Julie Cross



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O P E N I N G   L I N E:

MOM AND DAD, 

We're meeting with a lawyer today. Grandma's not telling me what this means, but I'm not stupid. I'm seventeen. Still a minor. My house is in St. Louis with no adults to live in it. Grandma's house is in New York and something big is going to have to change in my life. I like logic. I like lists of pros and cons, but I can't decide if it's right for me to shift into that mode or if I’m too distracted missing you to think clearly. The house already feels cold and dusty. I don't want to stay here, but I don't want to move to New York either. Grandma doesn't even know me. We have no idea what to say to each other. Our conversations over the past week have all revolved around funeral arrangements, schedules and meetings, and gymnastics practice. She hasn't asked me if I'm okay. I lost my parents and she hasn't asked me a damn thing. But lost her son and I haven't asked her a damn thing either.

I think I'm stuck. I think we're all stuck. How do I get over being grateful that I wasn't in the car with you that night? 

Love, Karen 

(pg. 2, US ebook edition)
This post first appeared at A Backwards Story on September 13, 2013.

The art of gymnastics has always enthralled me. It and ice skating were always the two sports I rushed to watch (and tape!) on TV growing up. I begged to take classes, but we couldn't afford it. When I heard that LETTERS TO NOWHERE revolved around the world of elite gymnastics, I immediately wanted to read it.

Karen has been training to be an elite gymnast for years, but has never been quite *good enough* to make that final leap. She's planning to put aside her dreams and complete on an (NCLA) scholarship in college rather than once again suffer the heartbreaks of her limitations. Then her parents die in a car accident and everything changes. Her coach becomes her legal guardian and takes her in. Karen is finally able to make her own decisions without her parents' influence. Does she do what her parents want and play it safe for college, or will she finally listen to her heart and go for gold?

When I finished reading LETTERS TO NOWHERE, I was immediately struck with the same emotions that came during the Make It or Break It TV series finale. I had sweated and bled with these girls. Cried with them. Cheered with them. Experienced their failures and triumphs. There was closure, and an answer to the direction life will go, but that's it. Neither show nor book is *real,* so I can't legitimately follow the careers of these girls. I want to know, though. Oh, how I want to know. Despite the closure, I sincerely hope Cross sets another book in Karen's world. I'm not ready to say goodbye yet. (Edited to add: She has! Books 2 and 3 are out now...and I NEED to read them. ASAP!)

LETTERS TO NOWHERE has a little bit of everything. We get to be in the gym and watch Karen grow (And I learned even more about gymnastics than I already knew; the practice pit really intrigued me). There is heartbreak as Karen deals with the ramifications of being an orphan at seventeen and learns to fit into her new life on her own. There is romance as Karen slowly falls for her coach's teenage son Jordan. They've both experienced horrific loss and fit well together. Jordan helps Karen deal and slowly move on. When I first saw the description and the cover, I thought the novel would be super romancey, but it's balanced well and realistically. All of the elements blend together for a well-rounded, full-developed novel that was a joy to read and over much too soon.


~*~
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

Not my favorite cover. This wouldn't make me look at it twice, which is sad, because I really enjoyed reading this book. I wish there was more to what the story entailed and not just a couple kissing. Been there, done that. What's so special about it? There's so much more to this novel. For example, gymnastics!

do, however, like the postcard/stamp aspect in the background of the title. That's a great touch!
   ~*~
O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Title: LETTERS TO NOWHERE
Author: Julie Cross
Release Date: Aug. 2, 2013
Publisher: Julie Cross
Received: For Review
SUMMARY:

From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest Series... 

Set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics...

I've gotten used to the dead parents face. I've gotten used to living with my gymnastics coach. I've even adjusted to sharing a bathroom with his way-too-hot son. Dealing with boys is not something that's made it onto my list of experiences as of yet. But here I am, doing it. And something about Jordan--being around him, talking to him, thinking about him--makes me feel like I can finally breathe again. That's something I haven't been able to do lately. He knows what it feels like to be me right now. He knows what it's like to wonder--what now? I think about it constantly. I need answers. I need to know how to get through this. In the gym, if you're struggling, you train harder, you do drills and conditioning. How do I work hard at moving on? At being on my own? And what happens if I might be...maybe...probably falling for Jordan? I mean we live together now. That can't happen, can it? But kissing him...well, let's just say it's not an easy activity to forget. 
~*~
****Giveaway*****

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Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting the giveaway my fingers are crossed!

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