I finally managed to finish reading my review copy of the gymnastics coming-of-age romance, Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross.
It has a 4.14 / 5 rating on Good Reads.
That’s an 8.28 / 10 … old code.
I’ve yet to come across a negative review. If you like Young Adult, this book is for you.
For example, this review by John Jacobson:
Two dead parents and a life turned upside down. Karen, lifelong gymnast with ambitions as strong as her resilience, has to try and survive after her parents are killed in a car accident one night. Her grandmother is her only real family left, yet said grandmother lives across the country. Moving across the country spells the end for Karen’s gymnastics career. Switching up coaches could mean stalled training, adjusting to yet another new coaching style, and maybe losing her chance at competing in international competition.
Karen’s coach doesn’t know her too well – he’s fairly new to the gym, replacing the old coach that left to coach college gymnastics at UCLA – but he’s willing to take her in for the year so she can complete her training without upsetting her progress. Her online schooling could continue on as usual, and Karen’s grandmother would still keep track of all of the financial and legal decisions. Her coach would simply take on the role of legal guardian for specific cases. He has no intention to infringe on Karen and become her new father; he just doesn’t want her to lose an opportunity she’s wanted for years.
Living with her coach proves to be as awkward as it is convenient. His son Jordan is a surprise, to say the least. Karen’s devotion to gymnastics has kept her out of the dating and social scene. She’s no introvert, but it’s hard to search for teenage boys to date when you’re spending a huge chunk of your time conditioning for gymnastics. …
read more – REVIEW: Letters to Nowhere by Julie Cross
I’m not the target audience for YA. Therefore I’ll restrict my review to the Gymnastics content of the novel.
I cannot recall a TV series, film or fiction where so many of the gymnastics references are correct.
Like Brenna Dowell and Elizabeth Price, Karen (17yr-old gymnast protagonist of the novel) is struggling with whether to accept an NCAA scholarship — or stay Elite.
Like other USA elites, she fears USA Gymnastics Coordinator Nina Jones (Marta Karolyi) and National Team camps.
I believe mature female teens would enjoy the book. Don’t give it to young girls, however. It has sexual content and some profanity.
The Kindle edition is only $3.99.
Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA.