Title: One, Two, Three…
Author: Elodie Nowodazkij
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Length: 296 pages
Format: ebook, paperback
Buy At: Amazon
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?
My thoughts: Lately I’m signing up for pretty good book tours and cannot be more happy. Natalya and her mom are forced to move her mother hometown because of a horrible car accident that killed Natalya’s father and ended Natalya’s future ballerina career. Add an alcoholic mother and a bunch of family secrets. It’s a great book premise and it delivers some pretty raw content. Nata still has to cope with the loss her father, the possibility of never fully recovering and becoming a professional ballerina, a new high school, her first love. There’s a lot on her plate.
Sometimes I liked Nata and sympathized with her suffering, at the otherwise I was almost screaming “Don’t do that!”. But that makes it a good book with nuanced characters. The ballet terms peppered in Nata’s thoughts were a very nice touch. Also, I really liked Tonio, Nata’s love interest and I loved the fact the story between them wasn’t rushed and felt kind of natural. I utterly disliked Nata’s mom, but I have a sore spot for alcoholics and it was great that she wasn’t magically “cured”.
There are some similarities with Perfect Chemistry, but I didn’t find the use of Spanish words as annoying as in that book. Mainly because it was kept at a minimum and not overused. And the gang aspects were a bit more realistic and not glamorized.
The pacing seemed slow at times and the big family secret wasn’t really that unexpected, but this are minor issues as the book is overall very enjoyable. I’m quite curious to read Elodie’s next book and if she’s working on a sequel. I would personally love to see more of Nata and Tonio.
My rating: 4 stars
About the author: Elodie Nowodazkij was raised in a tiny village in France, where she could always be found a book in hand. At nineteen, she moved to the US, where she learned she’d never lose her French accent. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Modern Language & Linguistics, and later earned master’s degrees in German Cultural Studies and European Studies. Unbeknownst to her professors, she sometimes drafted stories in class. Now she lives in Germany with her husband and their cat (who doesn’t seem to realize he’s not human), and uses her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user.
You can find Elodie here: