Series: Letters to Nowhere #1
Publisher: Self Published on August 1, 2013
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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.
“‘Showers are great, aren’t they?’ he said after seeing my eyes open.’I think I blew about twenty pounds of snot down the shower drain. Hot water clears the sinuses.’ ‘Yeah, for about ten minutes, then it comes back again.’ I sat up halfway and reached for the glass of water Stacey had left for me. ‘But it’s a lovely ten minutes.'”
Favorite Character: Jordan.
“When Coach Bentley dropped me off at home after morning practice, an Audi that didn’t belong to my parents was already in the driveway.”
My Musings: I have yet to read Julie’s Tempest series, but when I saw this on sale, I couldn’t help but pick it up. The premise was interesting: set in the world of Elite gymnastics, something I hadn’t ever read about. However, being a former gymnast my self, I couldn’t wait to see what Cross brought to the table, as she was a former gymnastics coach.
Adding to the gymnastics, we have a girl struggling with losing her parents to an auto crash. She isn’t dealing to well with the grief, so when her gymnastics coach, Henry Bentley, takes her in so she doesn’t have to move, and she finally has something to focus on: making the Worlds team for gymnastics. But things start heating up with Bentley’s son, Jordan, who Karen can’t help but connect with–they both suffered losses within their family and are trying to life through it. But dating her coach’s son, who happens to live with them, is dangerous territory, and something that the two of them have to keep hidden.
“‘Still planning on helping me with my paper?’ I asked, in between kisses. ‘Damn, I forgot. We should go soon.’ He scooted away from me and lay flat on his stomach, pressing his face into the blanket. ‘Just give me a minute…or five.'”
I really really loved this novel. Sure, I say that about a lot of books, but this one just stood out. I liked the gymnastics incorporation. It fed just enough into the plot to keep the novel entertaining. Also, I liked the concept of Karen writing letters to nowhere. And to any and everyone: Jordan, her parents, Bentley, her psychologist. It was an interesting concept to include and really gave insight into what Karen wished she could say to the people she wrote to. Without them, the reader definitely would have been more confused regarding Karen’s actions.
“His hand moved through my hair. ‘What did I miss in the life of Karen Campbell while I was at school and then crazy drunk?’ ‘I did a bunch of Amanar vaults, but Stevie’s were better. I scared a little girl by screaming at her when I thought her basketball was my dad’s head rolling around in the gym and probably a whole bunch of preschool parents have now announced my insanity on Twitter. I haven’t checked today. That drama led me to go looking for obituaries in the garage, and then you know the rest.’ ‘A day in the life of an elite athlete,’ Jordan said.”
Karen, in my opinion, was a phenomenal female protagonist. She was struggling with the death of both of her parents, and I must say that she dealt with it pretty well, although she didn’t believe that herself. She was hardworking and driven, especially when it came to her sport, and strove to be the best that she could be. What she was dealing with was relatable, and that really helped me to empathize with her character.
“Jordan, You are the most perfect boy in the world, if such a thing exists. Please don’t ever stand behind anyone else in the dark again. Just me. Love, Karen”
Jordan was the love interest. A former gymnast and current dare-devil, Jordan was dealing with demons of his own, which is what drew him and Karen together. Regardless, Jordan tried to be her rock, even though he had issues of his own. He was funny, a bit on the arrogant side, and just an all around well rounded character. He wasn’t perfect and had his own story, which made it a thousand times more interesting to read about him.
“I smiled at the phone and Blair raised her eyebrows. ‘Are you texting a boy?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘a boy is texting me.'”
The secondary characters in this novel were Karen’s teammates and Coach Bentley. Coach Bentley, like Jordan, was still suffering from losing people that he loved, and he put that love into Karen. He really cared for her both in and out of the gym, and wanted her to succeed. Karen’s team was life her adopted family. They were there for each other and Karen while she dealt with things, and pushed each other to be the best that they could be. I really enjoyed thier friendship and I can’t wait to see it develop even more in the rest of the novels.
“Jordan held a giant package of pads in each hand. ‘I wonder what the difference is in inches. Should we open them up to compare?’ Oh. My. God. ‘And how does one know if they need wings or not?’ he asked. ‘Have you ever tried flying one of these like a paper airplane?'”
My favorite part of this novel was the relationship between Karen and Jordan. It was interesting to say the least. They connected because of their loss of someone imporant to them: Jordan, his family (grandparents, mother, and sister) in a London bombing, and Karen, her parents in a car crash. Jordan was there for her through it all, even when they were dying sick on the couch and when Karen got her first period. The connected in such a unique way, and I don’t think that I’ve read a romance so interesting as theirs. Karen was kind of new in the boy department, and it was interesting to see Jordan work with that. Regardless, they had some major chemistry that was pretty much undeniable, and I can’t wait to see where their relationship goes.
Letters to Nowhere was a unique and unforgettable novel. Brilliantly written with interesting aspects in the form of letters and gymnastics, it’s definitely one that you’d want to pick up.