Author: Julie Cross
Title: Letters To Nowhere
Publication Date: August 1st 2013
Publisher: Julie Cross
Rating: 4.5 starts
Her family may be shattered, but her dreams aren't...
From the International Bestselling Author of the Tempest series
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.
Jordan stepped closer, resting a hand on the red brick beside my head. “I’m gonna kiss you.”
My stomach jumped up towards my heart.“What?”
“I’m going to kiss you.” He had this serious, determined look on his face. “I mean, I won’t if you don’t want me to . . .”
I could feel my eyes widen as he leaned closer, my heart hammering faster, every other muscle in my body completely frozen. No words of protest were able to fall from my tongue before his mouth was on mine. My eyes drifted shut, my stomach doing a dozen floor routines beneath my rib cage.
Holy crap. Jordan Bentley is kissing me.
His mouth was soft despite the cold air. He pressed his lips more firmly against mine for a second longer before pulling back and slowly opening his eyes.
My heart thudded so loud I could barely hear anything going on in my head. And I really liked when my thoughts were silenced.
Jordan’s forehead wrinkled. “Was that okay?”
“I’m not sure,” I admitted. “It happened so fast. And I’m not sure exactly why you did it?”
Nerves and confusion filled his expression and then he backed away and leaned against the wall beside me. “I’m gonna be totally honest with you and you should appreciate that, considering how rare it is for a guy my age to spill exactly what he’s thinking.”
My chest was still rising and falling, post-treadmill style.
“First of all,” Jordan said, turning his head toward me. “Confidence in a girl is such a turn-on. You have no idea.”
I laughed, despite the awkward tension.
“Second, I never really have anything to offer anyone.” He smirked at me. “Besides my abs and hamstrings.”
I rolled my eyes. “Of course.”
“But with you—” The smile dissolved from his face and I felt my heart flying again. “It feels like I’ve known you forever. And when I think about everything you’re going through, how much I get it . . . it just makes me want to kiss you.” He paused, watching my face carefully like he was ready for a big reaction of some kind. “I don’t know what that means . . . I wish I did.”
End of Part 1.For Part 2 visit John @ Dreaming in Books.
Karen can't stand to live in the same house she did all these years because she will be completely alone and she doesn't want to leave St. Louis and move to New York will her grandmother.But she won't have to do that because her coach has a proposition for her.Stay with him and his son,Jordan and continue being an elite gymnast until it's time to head off to UCLA compete college gymnastics.But after a few training sessions, Karen becomes better and better,UCLA becomes less tempting and making the Pan American Team becomes top priority.
She also has to live with two guys,which is kind of hard when you've lived sixteen years with a motherly figure to look up to.Apart from that, she has to deal with the horrible nightmares that she has of her parents because if she doesn't, then her chances to attend international elite competitions will be non-existent.
Letters To Nowhere has plenty of characters that are essential to the story and that's something that I really liked.Karen narrates her life right after her parents died in a car accident and she also writes letters to them, her coach, Jordan, her shrink and her team athletes.But these letters don't have a receiver.That's why they are letters to nowhere.
Throughout the book,Karen tries to gain her life back after the tragedy she had to go through.The only thing that can make her forget,even for a few hours, is training.As a result, Karen performs skills that bring her one step closer to her goal.
In my opinion,the person who gave her the hope she needed to move on is Jordan because he knows what it's like to lose someone you love.His "small" actions,like giving his bedroom furniture to Karen because she couldn't stand her own because of the memories and the smell that reminded her of home was so thoughtful of him.But he has issues of his own to deal with.He sees nightmares as well and his relationship with his father can't be described as the normal 'father-son relationship'.
Then we have Coach Bentley who has welcomed Karen to his house because he didn't want her to give up gymnastics.In the beginning they have a professional relationship but as the story unfolds he becomes the father that Karen needs more than anything right now.There's also Stacey,the team's beam coach.In the gym she's pretty strict and helps the girls to make everything perfect but she's also a mother and she will treat Karen as her daughter when Karen will need her to.
And let's not forget about her team athletes.Blair,her best friend and the one person who has always supported her,Ellen, the thirteen year old gymnast with a mother that is more competitive than Ellen will ever be and then there's Stevie,the gymnast that almost reached the top,had to quit and now she's back and ready for everything.What surprised me is that she will help Karen realise what a great and talented athlete she is.
Letters To Nowhere is a must-read!If it's in your TBR list,start reading it now or if it's not start reading it no matter what.It's a story of grief,losing the people you love the most and finding out that even if your loved ones are irreplaceable,sometimes someone else can fill that empty part of yourself and help you move on.Love,anger,questions,hope,teamwork and letters.....letters to nowhere.
I live in central Illinois with my wonderful husband and three kids currently between the ages of 7 and 12 (the kids not the husband). My writing journey began in May, 2009 with a short story in a notebook.
Within a year, I had written seven (some good some God-awful) young adult novels. Not being a college graduate and having spent the previous fifteen years teaching gymnastics and working as a YMCA Program Director for Recreational Gymnastics, professional writing wasn't in my plans. Not even close. But ever since the day I started that short story, I haven't been able to stop. It was love at first sight.
After about a year of writing, I had a three book deal with St. Martin's Press, and a film option with Summit Entertainment. Crazy, right? I know. It wasn't until August of 2011 that I quit working full time in order to be at home with my kids more and of course, write more. My young adult time travel debut novel, Tempest, released on January 17, 2012. The rest of my personal story remains unwritten.