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Second Position (District Ballet Company Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
I think what set this apart for me was how well the romance was woven in with Aly struggling to find her feet and Zed’s adjustment to having her back while still struggling to figure out if he actually has her or not. This is a messy, codependent relationship, one that in some ways makes them both so much better, but at the same time could (and has in the past) tear them to pieces if they aren’t careful. It just felt very real and grounded in reality in a way that some of my romance reads (for all that I do love them) just aren’t. I guess it felt less like wish fulfillment and more like the kind of relationship that a normal person dealing with their issues could still strive for, if that makes sense. Honestly, I can’t explain just how much I love these two and their story. I ached for them all throughout this book.
And gah the dance and music and theater references everywhere made my heart just sigh with happy. I miss being involved in an art community of any kind (beyond books & writing I mean), and this is making me more and more tempted to find somewhere to take dance classes again. I was never terribly good at it LOL, but it centered me much the way Aly did, and frankly I feel like I could use that sort of a hobby again after reading this.
Any way! Another thing I loved about this book was the way it was formatted – we got multiple POVs with both Aly and Zed in first person, but also had the therapy sessions which were mostly dialogue, and the final chapter of the book intrigued the hell out of me with the way it was written. I’ll leave it as a surprise for those of you who haven’t read it yet, but it just worked so well for me. I couldn’t even tell you why – it just did.
I do need to use some trigger warnings here, I think. SECOND POSITION is an #ownvoices book for some hard topics: specifically Aly’s anxiety, depression, and eating disorder. Locke does not remotely shy away from these, and in fact one of the POV’s is centered on Aly’s therapy visits which are handled really well, I thought, and rounded out the story in a very interesting way. It could definitely be hard for someone suffering from any of those three issues to read though, so just be prepared. There is also a scene of self-harm related to Aly's struggles, as well. Also, Zed is an amputee, so trigger warning for anyone that might be an issue for as well.
Overall, this was just a brilliantly written book, and part of me wants to immediately dive into the sequel! While of course the other part of me is reminding me that I was crying at work & recommending I wait until the weekend. We’ll see which of me wins that argument LOL.
The writing is gorgeous, compelling and truly crawls under your skin to create little sparks inside you. I think the writing is what made the characters shine and their struggles, fears and worries punched deep hurt into me as well. The ballet and dancing part were just as beautiful and haunting if not more than in the prequel novella. Also, topics such as eating disorder, depression and more + Zed's disability were handled with care, which is very much appreciated.
This book touched me deeply and I loved it a lot lot lot lot, and, as you probably know, talking about amazing things is often a struggle, because out of words and whatnot, so I'll just point out a few things that I had minor problems with.
I did notice though that there is more telling than showing and eventually the gorgeous writing couldn't hide the fact that the plot is lacking a little and the side characters are underdeveloped.
I hope in the sequel we get to know the side characters a little more as well, because I feel as though I don't really know Carmen, Cara, Will, Dan, and what was Dan's wife's name again? Maddie? I mean, for instance, if the others had a point being in this book.. I don't really understand what was Carmen's point in this book? If you take her out of the book, nothing would have changed. She's just the barista that flirts with Zed and stares/glares when listening in on his conversations with others. There was absolutely no point to her character whatsoever. So I hope that in second book she does get that point of being written into the book as much as she was in SP. Because since we don't know anything about her besides what I just revised here, she's just taking up page count which is annoying. BUT I really hope we get to know her AND the other characters more, because they're a cool set tbh and Dan x Zed x Aly interactions were hilarious at times. The chess game was totally A+ hah.
All in all this was a great book and I already started the sequel which of I have read 20% already and some of these issues have been resolved (esp regarding the plot), so it looks promising :) If you want books that are super emotional with angst, second chance romance and emphasis on discussing and showcasing different issues, definitely give this a go! (PS! I think what made me love this book more was that I read the prequel novella first and that novella is ah-mazing, so definitely try it if you're interested.)
Overall rating: 3.9 out of 5.0