Series: Letters To Nowhere #1
Published by Long Walk Press
Pub Date: August 1st 2013
Format: ARC | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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.
Letters to Nowhere is a story about a girl, Karen, dealing with a lot of changes in her life, some extremely more difficult than others. Not only does Karen lose both her parents, and also is now living with her gymnastics coach and his son, but her body is going through changes that couldn’t have developed at a worse time. It’s a lot. Luckily for Karen, Jordan, her roommate/coach’s son, is there to listen and help her try to cope.
Karen and Jordan, while uneasy about one another at first, bond fairly quickly. They have both suffered the same kind of loss and grief, and Jordan feels like he can help Karen being that he’s been there. Jordan is one of the good ones, you guys. He’s hot, Ivy League smart, funny, and super caring. He did have a bit of a player streak when we meet him, but it appears he was only just waiting for the right girl to come along because he was nothing like that throughout the book. In the end, they actually end up helping each other through more than either of them could have imagined. Their chemistry was really sweet and I loved their stolen moments together. I did feel that their voice was a bit too mature at times, specifically Jordan’s. He just sounded older than his 17 years sometimes. Really, that was the only reason it didn’t get 5 stars, because otherwise, I absolutely loved this story.
While I LOVED Karen and Jordan, I was also really surprised by how much I enjoyed submerging myself in this gymnastics world that Julie Cross shared with us. I never knew I would enjoy it so much. It was really interesting learning how much work gymnasts put into their athletic careers and how competitions worked. Julie did a great job creating such a clear picture for us.
I hope Julie Cross continues to write more stories like this one. I’d actually really love a sequel to this book because I’d love to know how everyone turned out.
Now check out this guest post and excerpt!
The First Kiss is the Deepest
A Letters to Nowhere Excerpt
First kisses are so much fun to write and it’s one of the main reasons I love writing YA. Karen and Jordan, my two main characters in Letters to Nowhere are probably the most enjoyable and natural couple I’ve ever written. I think it’s all the humiliation of suddenly living with a teenage boy that you’ve never met before and getting through those hurdles leaves them so little to hide. While Karen is away for the weekend at training camp, Jordan calls her to chat and the conversation leads to kissing…well talking about kissing since they’re just friends at this point. Karen hasn’t had her first kiss yet, but walking in on Jordan making out with his “study partner” a couple weeks prior and her growing affection for this boy has got her wondering about the particular milestone.
Silence fell over both of us for a long moment, then Jordan finally spoke again. “New subject?”
I laughed. “So…have you seen any more of Sara? Or had any other random make-out sessions lately? Or should I say study sessions?”
“I did mention there is currently a very old lady residing in my home, didn’t I?” he said. “Besides, we’re young. We’re supposed to kiss a lot people, figure out who’s superior. I’m sure someone like you can appreciate that. You probably give scores.”
My cheeks flared up even though no one was around to see me blush. “Okay, you’ve obviously learned nothing at all from me,” I said, laughing. “Think about it, Jordan…do you really think I have any experience with this subject whatsoever?”
“Wait,” he said. “You mean you’ve never kissed anyone?”
“Not a non-relative,” I said. “It’s not like I go around advertising this to people, but I figured you would get that I’m a little behind in that area. If I had known you thought otherwise I probably would have been happy living a lie just to avoid this conversation.”
“Seriously? Not even during an innocent game of spin-the-bottle? Or seven minutes in heaven?”
“No,” I said more firmly this time. “Nothing. I went to parties with kids from gymnastics and we talked about Disney Channel movie star crushes and gymnastics—that’s it. No boys. No spin-the-bottle or whatever that other game you mentioned is.”
“Well,” he said. “I think it’s cool.”
“No you don’t. It’s weird, even I know that, but I’m okay with it.”
“Really, it’s kinda cool.” His voice held no hint of the patronizing tone I’d expected. “I wish I could have my first kiss all over again, but better. Or just that feeling of anticipating something that seems so ordinary to me now. Once you cross that line you can’t take it back.” He laughed. “And I don’t mean that in an abstinence, wait-for-marriage kind of way, but in the sense that…I don’t know…it’s like the feeling you got on Christmas morning, as a little kid, looking at all the wrapped gifts and endless possibilities that came with not knowing what was in them. Once you open the gifts, that feeling is gone.”
“So what you’re saying is, anticipating a first kiss is better than the kiss itself?” I asked.
“Sometimes,” he admitted. “Depending on who you’re kissing. But I think my jealousy of your lack of experience stems from my resistance to the whole growing-up concept. I’d rather not. Just between you and me.”
I smiled to myself. “I’m sure ninety-nine percent of people our age feel the same way. But I doubt many are able to admit it like you have or even realize it at all.”
“Admitting you have a problem is the first step, right?”
“Right,” I said, smiling again. “I should get some sleep. Tomorrow is going to be hard enough without adding sleep deprivation.”
“Talk to you later, Karen.”
I hung up my phone and tucked it under my pillow, my ears still lingering on the sound of my name…Jordan saying my name…it rolled off his tongue, smooth and fluid and I was pretty sure I’d be happy listening to him saying it over and over again.
About the Author
Julie Cross is the International Bestselling author of the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, and the final installment, Timestorm (St. Martin’s Press). She’s also the author of Letters to Nowhere (8/13), a mature young adult romance set in the world of elite gymnastics, as well as several forthcoming young adult and new adult novels with publishers like Entangled, Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, and St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books.
Julie 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. She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility’s, Julie Cross is a committed–but not talented–long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict. You can find her online via twitter, her personal website, email, facebook, Goodreads, or co-moderating the YAwriters section of reddit.
Connect with Julie!
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
– BANG by Lisa McMann
– REALITY BOY by A.S. King
– NEVER FADE by Alexandra Bracken
– SIX MONTHS LATER by Natalie D. Richards
ARCs of NOV 2013 – FEB 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 of Following BIG prizes)
– Basic US Kindle (valued at $69.00 USD)
– $50 US Amazon Gift card
– $50 US Barnes and Noble gift card
*As some prizes may not be redeemable by international participants, alternative suggestions are welcome but not guaranteed.