Saturday, August 10, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross

Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the Letters to Nowhere blog trour! Hosted by Living in a Book World. This was a great book and I am so glad I got the chance to take part! The book was an amazing story of love and conquering tragedy. While at the same time fighting for your dreams. Please feel free to take a look at my review and enter the giveaway at the end of the post!

Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren't...

From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest series

A Mature YA contemporary set in the tough world of Elite Gymnastics.

Seventeen year old Karen Campbell has just lost both her parents in a tragic car accident. Grief stricken and alone, her gymnastics coach opens his home to Karen, providing her a place to live while she continues to train, working toward a spot on the world championship team. 

Coach Bentley’s only child, seventeen year old Jordan is good-looking and charming enough to scare away a girl like Karen—someone who has spent ten times more hours on balance beams and uneven bars than talking or even thinking about boys. But the two teens share a special connection almost immediately. It turns out Jordan has a tragic past of his own, grief buried for years. 

As Karen’s gymnastics career soars, her nightmares and visions of the horrible accident grow in strength. She can only avoid facing her grief for so long before it begins to surface and ultimately spin out of control in a very dangerous way. Can discovering love and lust (simultaneously) help with the grieving process or will it only provide a temporary distraction while waiting for reality to hit full force.

I turned around to face Jordan. He looked like the most vulnerable, worried boy ever, his hands stuffed in his pockets, his eyes not meeting mine. Then he finally did look at me and let out a long sigh. “I’m totally giving you the wrong idea here, aren't I?”

“Kind of.” I wiped my sweaty palms on my jeans. “I’m just nervous, I guess.”

My admission seemed to give him confidence because he stepped closer and took one of my hands. “Just tell me what to do, Karen. I like us. I really like us. And I don’t want to screw it up.” He smiled at me. “In fact, if you could just give me a list of all the possible ways that I can screw this up that would be extremely helpful.”

Feeling brave all of a sudden, I took a step in his direction, closing the gap between us. “I’d say it would be an epic failure on your part if you brought me all the way here and didn't even kiss me at least once.”

“That . . .” He placed a hand on the back of my neck. “. . . was a great line.”

I looked up at him and laughed. “It was, wasn't it? I’m pretty proud of myself.”

My Review
Letters to Nowhere is a book about overcoming grief and tragedy. Karen is an elite gymnast. She has been working hard her whole life. Until, one day when her life is changed forever. Her parents are both killed in a car accident. That’s where the book starts. They are deciding where to place Karen since she is 17. Coach Bentley, Karen’s gymnastics coach, offers her a place to stay at his house. Karen chooses to live with her coach and continue her training in town at the gym. What Karen doesn’t know is that Coach Bentley has a son, Jordan.  This worries her just a little…sharing a house with two buys. She handles it really well though. Karen doesn’t have any experience when it comes to guys.  She has spent all her free time with gymnastics.  Her life isn’t like normal teens. She does online school and trains the rest of her day. Jordan is perfect for her. He has grief of his own to deal with and is just the person to help her pull through this. Will Karen be able to accomplish her dream with gymnastics? Will Jordan be her knight in shining armor? Will the nightmares ever stop?

Karen has a lot going on inside her head. She is trying to grieve and compete. See a therapist helps her I think. I think the therapist is able to kind of open Karen’s eyes and bring her back down to Earth with her goals. She has a lot that she can’t control. Karen also suffers from panic attacks. She keeps having dreams and imagining her parents after the accident in pieces. Specifically her Dad’s decapitated head. It is a work in progress. Karen feels like if she knows more about how the accident happened that the visions will go away. Unfortunately, that opens up a whole new can of worms that sets Karen back.

Jordan is a great guy. He has been through a lot. He is exactly what Karen needs. Maybe she will even learn more about boys and get her first kiss? Jordan has more experience but, he is so open with Karen. About everything! He knows when to talk to her, kiss her, or leave her alone. As Karen’s gymnastics take a turn for the better, she second guesses her choice to go to college. Will she and Jordan be able to work together and grieve together? Or is the breakdown inevitable? Will it be worse? 

I really liked this book. It was written so well and I felt close to Karen, like I was grieving right along with her. I am glad that her and Jordan got to know each other and didn’t just jump in bed to make each other feel better. It was a nice change. 

About the Author

I'm the author of the YA sci-fi trilogy, the Tempest series (St. Martin's Press). I'm also the author of the YA contemporary novel, Letters To Nowhere.

But even more importantly than the above, I'm a fan of books and an avid reader/reviewer. Keep in mind, however, that a review is just one person's opinion, one perspective. My goal is to show as much bias in my reviews as possible because this makes it easier for you to decide if your perspective is similar to mine or different. Everyone's tastes are different. I like books with emotion and believability. I don't mind edgy and heavy themes. I also like humor and quirk. I like weird characters in odd situations.

I have low tolerance for insta-love, flowery sex scenes, or mushy declarations of feelings. Not a fan of possessive/controlling male characters who get the girl in the end. When I recommend books, I always ask about favorite current reads and cater to each person's taste.

I believe every book plays an important role whether I love it or hate, it's having an effect on society. It's changing, shaping, and molding the future of publishing. Regardless of my feelings about a book, I value the author's time and effort put into creating their work. I only rate books available for purchase (or soon-to-be available) and consider those books as published works and their creators as professionals in their field therefore I treat them as professionals, giving my honest opinion on the work itself and not the person producing it.

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