Today’s a big day. Not for me. For me, today’s a regular Thursday, part great because it’s almost Friday and part not so great because there’s still a whole lot of workday left before the weekend.
But today’s a big day for my friend Elodie Nowodazkij, whose debut YA novel One, Two, Three releases today. I’m so excited for you guys to read this. First, a summary:
When seventeen-year-old Natalya’s dreams of being a ballerina are killed in a car accident along with her father, she must choose: shut down—like her mother—or open up to love.
Last year, Natalya was attending the School of Performing Arts in New York City. Last year, she was well on her way to becoming a professional ballerina. Last year, her father was still alive.
But a car crash changed all that—and Natalya can’t stop blaming herself. Now, she goes to a regular high school in New Jersey; lives with her onetime prima ballerina, now alcoholic mother; and has no hope of a dance career.
At her new school, however, sexy soccer player Antonio sees a brighter future for Natalya, or at least a more pleasant present, and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.
But when upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
The blurb really gets at the romance aspect of the book—and since it’s a contemporary romance, the relationship is a major focus—but what I loved most was Nata’s struggles with her family. Much of the book is her coming to grips with her father’s death, dealing with an alcoholic mother, and a some other personal issues I won’t get into because, well, spoilers.
I also have to mention Nata best friend, who was one of my favorite characters in the book. She was such a great support for Nata, and I loved the history they shared as well as the way they worked through issue with their relationship.
And, of course, I loved Camilo, Tonio’s gang member ex-best friend. This should be a given, considering I always tend to love the antagonists. I’ll be honest, there were times I liked him more than Tonio, and not because I wanted Nata to end up with him (don’t’ worry there’s no love triangle) but because I loved the layers to his character. I really felt for the guy and how he really couldn’t get out of his own way.
In short, congratulations, Elodie, on the release of a book that’s one part heartbreaking, two parts sweet, and three parts completely satisfying.