Welcome to my stop on the Rockstar Book Tours Letters to Nowhere Blog Tour! I was given an eARC of the book in exchange for my honest review of the book, which I am so excited to share!
Click the banner for the full tour schedule!
Title: Letters to Nowhere
Author: Julie Cross
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Available: Barnes and Noble
From the Publisher: 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.
There is absolutely nothing that I don’t love about this book.
I’ve never read anything by Julie Cross before, and damn if she’s not one of the best writers I’ve come across in a long while. And I don’t just mean the story, character development, and world building. I mean her voice. The voices she gave to her characters. When I read this book, I believed I was sitting there listening to Karen and Bentley have a conversation. Her writing made their voices real. They came alive to me through their dialogue – outside of simple narration – in a way that hasn’t happened to me in so long that I can’t remember when.
I’m a big fan of gymnastics – it’s the only sport I watch during the Summer Olympics. I watched every episode of that ABC Family show Make It Or Break It and I loved Jeff Bridges as a gymnastics coach in Stick It. And it’s very clear that Julie knows a lot about gymnastics when you read this book (she’s a gymnastics coach). She writes it as if it comes as easily to her as breathing.
It’s also clear that Julie has likely dealt with death – or at least loss – before, given how she writes the grief process. After Karen’s parents are killed, she begins to write letters to deal with things. Letters to everyone. Some she writes down. Some are just in her head. None are sent. These are the Letters to Nowhere.
Do you miss Mom as much as I do? Can we just talk about it instead of reading books? We spent thirty minutes on the phone today and I didn’t ask any of the questions I really wanted to ask you. Are you so sad you can hardly breathe? Are you so sad you want to stop breathing? Sometimes I feel like that, but I can’t tell you because I’ve accepted it and I’m adjusting well.
In addition to the letters scattered throughout the book, there are sentences like this one that just punched me in the gut:
I don’t feel like a whole person anymore. Something is missing and I’m afraid I can’t ever get it back.
My heart broke with Karen as she dealt with her grief. And I fell in love with Coach Bentley and his son as they opened their home and their lives to her.
It’s not all about the grief! Don’t get me wrong – that part was just hugely powerful to me, but I spent a lot of time cheering Karen on as she had her first kiss and fell in love and made some pretty life changing decisions about her gymnastics career and college.
There was honestly not one single thing I didn’t love about this book. And I haven’t been able to say that in a very long time.
There are two tour-wide giveaways.
–GRAND PRIZE PACKAGE GIVEAWAY to ONE Winner.
–An eBook of LETTERS TO NOWHERE to FIVE Winners.
The Grand Prize giveaway is open internationally, however international winners can only select five of the books listed due to shipping costs.
GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY
Autographed Finished Copies of…
All 3 of Simone Elkeles’ HOW TO RUIN series
TEETH by Hannah Moskowitz
GONE GONE GONE by Hannah Moskowitz
LET THE SKY FALL by Shannon Messenger
BITTERSWEET by Sara Zarr
ARCs of October 2013 YA Releases
UNBREAKABLE by Kami Garcia
ANYWHERE BUT HERE by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
BANG by Lisa McMann
REALITY BOY by A.S. King
NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken
SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie D. Richards
ARCs of November 2013 – February 2014 YA Releases
ALIENATED by Melissa Landers (Feb 2014)
ROOMIES by Sara Zarr & Tara Altebrando (Dec 2013)
AFTER EDEN by Helen Douglas (Nov 2013)
Other Book Prizes
Personalized signed copies of TEMPEST + VORTEX (a foreign edition if available can be swapped for the U.S. edition)
E-copy of LETTERS TO NOWHERE by Julie Cross (if print is available at time of shipping, a print copy will be sent, too)
WINNER’S CHOICE (ONE ONLY)
Basic US Kindle (valued at $69.00 USD)
$50 US Amazon Gift Card
$50 US Barnes and Noble Gift Card
*Note: As some prizes may not be redeemable by international participants, alternative suggestions are welcome but not guaranteed
*Note: all purchase links are affiliate links.