Follow up to Letters to Nowhere, an Amazon #1 Bestseller in teen sports fiction!
IMPORTANT! Note from the author—Karen and Jordan’s story will continue in shorter installments with more frequent releases. If you haven’t already, please check out the full length novel, LETTERS TO NOWHERE to read how the story began.
ABOUT RETURN TO SENDER (Letters to Nowhere Volume 2)
If only summer could last forever…
Karen and Jordan might be out in the open with their relationship, but that doesn’t make it any easier for them to face events looming in the future. Like Jordan leaving for college halfway across the country. Or Karen’s win at a big international gymnastics competition setting the bar high for her future and adding pressure like she’s never experienced before.
But when Nina Jones (aka-US Gymnastics Dictator), makes plans for Karen and teammate Stevie to train at a gymnastics camp for a month—the same camp where Jordan coaches—romantic summer interludes replace their fears of being apart. Both Jordan and Karen know that when fall comes, some very tough decisions will have to be made, but for now, it’s stolen kisses, racing hearts, and whispered words.
After finishing Letters to Nowhere, I couldn’t wait to continue Karen and Jordan’s story and picked up all three sequels. The first is Return to Sender and is really only a third of the story. The biggest difference in this book is the addition of Jordan’s point of view which we get starting in chapter 2. It’s refreshing to read a teen male POV that is not angry, swearing every other thought, or always trying to get laid. He may be one of the most authentic teen male characters I’ve read. Certainly the most authentic recently. He’s just as unsure about his future as Karen is about hers, even though he’s been accepted to Stanford.
With Jordan heading off to Stanford in the fall and with plans to work at a gymnastics camp over the summer, tension and uncertainty increase. At least until Karen discovers she’ll be spending the summer training at the very same camp where Jordan will be working.
Karen struggles more with gymnastics in this go round, but I think that’s understandable given her recent success. The pressure mounts and she’s having a hard time juggling her ongoing grief, indecision about her future, expectations about her athletic performance, and an increasingly serious relationship with Jordan that is becoming both more emotional as well as more physical.
Because this is only the first of three parts, it’s hard to really distill the plot in this first third. But there are some decisions made and Karen confronts her grief head on, so I feel like it’s really setting up well for the next two books. The emotional punch that Julie Cross delivers is powerful. I don’t cry much when I read books, but I must admit to wiping a few tears with this installment. They were the good, beautiful, bittersweet tears, though, not the rip my soul out and stomp on it kind.
The world of gymnastics is still front and center and still solid as a rock.
Karen and Jordan are both growing and we see some of that growth developing already. Jordan’s camp roommate, TJ, is a welcome addition. I have a feeling he’s really going to shake things up, as is Liberty, Jordan’s girlfriend from the previous summer.
Top Five Things I Love About Return to Sender
1. Jaren – Still cute as ever.
2. Karen’s Uncertainty – I love that she’s still struggling with her future. Even though things worked out so well at the end of Letters to Nowhere, the fact that she’s still sorting it all out makes her more three-dimensional.
3. Karen and Stevie – The complex nature of their friendship is so real. It’s neither perfectly chummy nor antagonistic. It is a friendship that is forged on a common interest, driven by competition, and sustained by genuine respect.
4. TJ – There is so much more to TJ than meets the eye and I can’t wait to find out what it is.
5. The Big Emotional Scene – I won’t spoil what it is, but it has been building for some time and it was just the release the story and Karen needed.
Return to Sender is a worthy follow up to Letters to Nowhere. It’s the first of three parts that sets the stage for the remaining two installments, but still manages to provide a satisfying read.
About the Book
Title: Return to Sender
Series: Letters to Nowhere #2
Author: Julie Cross
Publisher: Long Walk Press
Release Date: October 20, 2013
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes
About the Author
Julie Cross lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She’s a former gymnast and longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former gymnastics program director with the YMCA.
She’s a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres.
Outside of her reading and writing credentials, Julie is a committed—but not talented—long-distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar-weather survivor, and expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym-shoe addict.