“You can’t conquer everything in a day. Or even a week. Maybe not even a year. There’s no way to work hard at grieving. You just have to let it happen. And you are, so don’t fight it.”
Mom and Dad,
No more letters until I figure out where to send them. Right now they have nowhere to go.
Dear Ms. Julie Cross,
I just want to take this opportunity to THANK YOU for having the awesome skill to write books that will capture the heart of your readers like how it captured mine. From Tempest to Vortex to this contemporary YA, I think you just made it to the top of my list of favorite authors. So yeah I'm feeling grateful not just because you were too kind to provide an ARC of this book but so much more because you wrote a beautiful masterpiece that totally had me. I wish you could finish one book a day so I would have an endless supply of your work, and then I won't ever have to be disappointed with books ever again. You were very accommodating during our email exchanges and I love it when authors are just so nice to talk to!! So there. I will forever worship your work ;)
So much love from a die-hard fan,
This book is all about loss, grief, love, acceptance, growth and the unexpected family and connection we find in friends and sometimes even in strangers. This book was able to touch so many issues about death that my heart ached so much I'm afraid it would explode! The start of the book captivated me that I didn't notice I was burning through page after page. Can you believe that I finished this book within 10 hours? It did not bore me for one second that I wasn't able to set this book aside nor pick another book in exchange for this one. Karen is a very likable character. She is neither bitchy, whiny nor annoying, she's perfect for a normal teenager gymnast going through a tough time. You totally don't get the brooding, rebellious and emo girl who has to deal with being an orphan! You get a grieving protagonist but not an overly exaggerated one and as I said, she is perfect!! There's so much maturity in her that I can't help but admire her and embrace as well, her imperfections. I sympathize with her, I ache for her and I get her.
And the love story! Dear Lord! I was not disappointed! I always hold my breath, afraid that their little encounters might lead to insta-love or something worthy of an eye-roll, but then my worries were easily extinguished replaced not just a sigh of relief but an amusement to these two! They couldn't get any cuter, can they?! Ahhh, young, sweet, innocent love. TEAM JAREN. I love the natural chemistry between Karen and Jordan. She is not totally gushing about Jordan in the first few chapters which should exactly how normal people should react when they just met each other!! And unlike most of the books I have read, girls tend to get jealous of people they're not supposed to be jealous of just yet but with this book, that is totally not the case and it made me fall in love more with the bond slowly forming between the two! It feels like Karen's taking things one step at a time. Little baby steps, testing the waters in an unfamiliar territory. I also love how they are staying true to their "let's not cross that line" and "let's just be friends" agreement when they are together. I'm sorry but really I've read enough crap having the same agreement but doesn't seem like they agreed to anything with the way they still acted the day after making the agreement. With these two, they went through with their promise and just maintained their non-complicated, platonic relationship! Well yeah of course after some time they just have to give in to their feelings. Totally understandable!!! And you know what, the totally cliché happenings that would have made me gag had I read it in other books actually made me feel warm and fuzzy in is book, like it's the first I'm reading it.
Jordan punched Tony in the arm, but otherwise looked unaffected.I smiled at him and sat in front of the fire, trying to warm my hands and dry my jeans. Jordan adjusted the hat on my head, folding up the bottom to keep it from covering my eyes, then he plopped down next to me on the bench. “Give me your hands.” I put both hands in front of him and he held them in his, blowing warm air on them. “That’s very boyfriendly of you,” I said.
-Cliché move but the feelings it evoked from me were totally not cliché!!
“Anyway, what’s cool about me and you is that I don’t really plan stuff. I don’t know what were going to do next anymore than you do. I think it’ll happen on it’s own and we’ll both be ready for it. Whatever it is. The first time I kissed you, it was like that. I had no idea when we arrived at that part, I would leave thinking about you in a completely different way.”
Karen's letters to her parents, to Coach Bentley and Jordan and to anyone who matters to her were heartwarming and speak so much truth. It was so raw that I can really feel the honesty behind her words! I think one of the most heartbreaking part of the book was when she had a fever and she was remembering how her mom would have dealt with the situation. It was a bittersweet memory of her mom and dad and I think a tear might have slipped from my eyes. I love how awesome and supportive and loving and warm Karen's parents were to her that I can feel how hard it must be for her to lose them. Also when Stacey was combing Karen's hair after she took a bath and remembered something about how supportive Karen's mom was. This really was a tear jerker :(
This book felt realistic to me— no coincidental craps and over done situations, which made me like the book even more. I wish authors would write books with depth and that are carefully thought of just like this one. If that will be the case, I don't think I will be able to find myself doing anything else but read! Seriously, the authors should learn from Julie Cross on how to get things done just right! From the characters' personality to the issues being tackled, not once did I roll my eyes nor cursed Karen or anyone else for that matter for being overly dramatic.
Now I'm itching to know whether there will be a book 2!!! I am so not ready to let go of Karen and Jordan and Coach Bentley and the world of gymnastics!!!
Letters to Nowhere has the right mix of love, friendship, family and gymnastics wielded into it that will captivate everyone's hearts and will surely have everyone reaching for a Kleenex in no time. So come August, NEVER hesitate because I am a hundred and ten percent that this will be worth every penny. :-)