One, Two, Three… by Elodie Nowodazkij
Date of Publishing: June 26th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: ★★★
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 first thing that I thought of when I started really understanding Nata’s struggle was this—at what point does an artist give up? When do you throw your hands up in the air and say that you can’t do this anymore?
How long until you turn bitter and blame other people?
And now that I’ve finished reading this I realized this: Never.
A true artist—whatever they might be, a painter, a dancer, a writer—never ever gives up. You don’t let go of your dream. You don’t get tired or bored of it.
You hold on to it and you make it happen.
One, Two, Three… is the story of Natalya Pushkaya, a teenager who has lost a lot more than just a career opportunity. She’s lost her father. She’s lost the one thing she lived for.
And though her mother might be with her in the flesh, Nata’s lost her mother in spirit.
I think it was the synopsis that won me over. Or at least, I thought it did. But in all honesty, the concept of the story was just amazing. It was well-written and the thing is, I got it. I got what the author was trying to say. I understood the plight of the characters, all their different situations that in some way made them all messes.
One, Two, Three…has the sort of characters that you want to help. The types that you don’t want to see in the situation that they are in, right now.
Take Natalya for example. She’s just another teen with a dream. And by the way she described her old life—the one before the accident—I can truly see it for the way it was.
And then in the blink of an eye, it was gone.
The Natalya after the accident is closed-off and scared and heart-broken. She stays away from her best friend, her mother is…not her mother anymore and Natalya has lost the one thing she could fall back on—ballet.
But salvation comes in the form of Antonio—a latino soccer player with problems of his own. Of course, Natalya isn’t too impressed with him in the beginning but I’ll give it to him—the boy has a charm that’s way too irresistible.
And of course, Natalya succumbs.
The book deals with realistic teen issues, while also dealing with family and relationships. There are messages of love and forgiveness, but also some heavy issues of a healthy parent-child bond.
A definite recommendation for all contemporary lovers 🙂
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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.
*I was provided a free ecopy of this book in exchange of an honest review. This did not in any way, however, influence the content of this review.*