Monday, November 9, 2015

Review: Second Position by Katherine Locke

Second Position by Katherine Locke
Series: District Ballet Company #1
Published: April 13th, 2015
Publisher: Carina Press
200 pages (ebook)
Genre: Contemporary NA
Acquired this book: Bought
Warning: May contain spoilers
{GoodReads || Buy this book: Amazon || Chapters/Indigo}

Four years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight...

Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in Washington, D.C. and regularly attends AA meetings to keep the pain at bay. Aly has returned to D.C. to live with her mother while trying to recover from the mental and physical breakdown that forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet world, and her adoring fans.

When Zed and Aly run into each other in a coffee shop, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But without the buffer and escape of dance—and with so much lust, anger and heartbreak hanging between them—their renewed connection will either allow them to build the together they never had... or destroy the fragile recoveries they've only started to make.

Second Position is a beautiful, unique story about second chances at life and at love. Aly and Zed’s scars - mental and physical - run deep. They hurt each other, they hurt themselves, and now they’re trying to heal, together and separately. Nothing came easily for them, and I appreciated that, because every step of their recovery, every step back to each other, although painful to read about at times, was believable. It made me root for them that much harder because their obstacles never felt like plot devices, they felt like things real people go through. Aly and Zed had so much history, and that was both good and bad. They’d changed so much in the years since the accident, so while things were familiar and certain traits and habits were familiar, they had to get to know each other all over again in a lot of ways. These two characters became so real to me, I felt like I was watching two friends struggling to find their way.

One of my favourite things about Second Position was Aly’s growth. She had so much going against her. Her own mind was her worst enemy, and that’s a scary and dangerous thing. I loved her passion, and that even though ballet had the potential to destroy her, it was more than just what she did, it was who she was. The lessons she learned - working toward being okay, learning to be healthy, learning that sometimes you have to fall apart to find yourself and put yourself back together - were not only beautiful and poignant, but relatable as well.

Second Position is unique in a lot of ways. It deals with different situations than many other books, particularly in NA, plus Locke’s writing style and the way in which the story is told is really unique. I liked the alternating chapters and getting to see both Aly and Zed’s perspectives, and I also really enjoyed Aly’s therapy sessions. The very last chapter was one of the most creative ideas I’ve seen, and while at first I was like ‘wait, what’s happening here?’ it only took a minute to realize that bold move added to this book’s uniqueness. I was smiling and crying happy tears by the end.

If you enjoy books that feature strong, relatable characters who leap off the page, vividly written scenes, and situations that will make your heart ache even as they fill you with hope, Second Position shouldn’t be missed.

Have you read Second Position? What did you think? If you haven't read it, do you plan to? Do you have a favourite book that deals with serious issues like depression, anxiety, eating disorders, etc? How about a favourite book that features a dancer as a main character? Let's talk here or on Twitter!

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