In the past I wasn’t an audio fan. But Ready Player One changed my mind on that. And the audio version of Letters to Nowhere confirmed to me that as long as I like the narrator then audio works perfectly for me. A huge thumbs up for this book and in particular the audio version. I have a rule that I only listen to audio when I exercise but this book was far too good to be restricted like that and I was constantly sneaking in listening sessions whenever I had free time.Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
Series: Letters to Nowhere #1
Published by Long Walk Press on 1 Aug 2013
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Realistic Fiction, YA Contemporary
Source: Received from Author
Length: 10 Hrs 30 Mins
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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.
First Line of Letters to Nowhere:
“Jan 18 : Mom and Dad, we are meeting with a lawyer today.“
My Thoughts on Letters to Nowhere:
The narrator (Erin Spencer) has a perfect voice for Karen; she sounded young and her tone was really pleasant to listen to. I loved how she caught the emotions of elation, sadness and awkwardness, those butterfly-in-the-stomach feels of falling head first into your first relationship and the release of your inner flirt. This book has a range of feels in it and the narration did them justice. When doing Jordan’s voice, Erin deepened her voice slightly. Just a tiny difference but enough to make the conversations work really well.
I enjoyed the characters and the setting of this book so much. Karen is such a strong character. She is disciplined, focused on her gymnastic career and has a lovely innocence about her. After the tragic death of her parents, she hides from her pain with gym goals that require a single minded focus.
The setting for this book is one of my favourite things about the book. I know very little about the technical side of gymnastics but love watching during the Olympics. So the technical side of the book intrigued me and I think the author did a great job of slipping in explanations of the routines and various moves. And seeing how hard Karen is pushed by her coach and how hard she pushes herself leaves you in no doubt as to what an unforgiving, competitive world this is.
Her coach’s son Jordan is another character that I can’t help but love. He knows what a battle Karen has on her hands to accept the death of her parents and he is full of practical support. Their relationship is so sweet and I love how they have awkward but fun conversations about sex, first times and lack of experience. It is just so believable and I don’t think this is an area covered often enough from this angle in YA books. Karen’s embarrassment initially when talking about the subject made me laugh and cringe and is very easy to relate to.
Karen’s relationship with her teammates was fun too. They are like sisters and they don’t hesitate to be blunt when the occasion calls for it. Just like any good sister would. And I’m looking forward to seeing how this progresses in the future as they will be going head to head in competitions with the highest of stakes. I smell trouble!
The letters that Karen writes form a huge part of the book too and this was another aspect that really worked. They do a great job of portraying all the emotions that Karen tries to suppress during the day.
Overall this book has a great setting, believable main characters and a great support cast. It copes with a deeply emotional subject without becoming twee. And despite the heavy subject, it is also good fun at times (helped by the cutest of romances!).
|Did I feel it?|
Who should read Letters To Nowhere?
If you like contemporary YA novels then I can’t recommend this one enough to you. And if you have an interest in gymnastics (even if it’s only from the couch like me!), then this is a must read. Or if you want a sweet romance with two very cute main characters; then give this one a go. And again I want to give a special shout out to the Audio version, it was excellent and I recommend this to you if you like audio.
Thanks to Julie Cross for giving me an audio version of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.