Thursday, March 10, 2016

Real, Raw, Palpable, Heart-breaking, and Hopeful | Mini Review: Finding Center by Katherine Locke

Finding Center by Katherine Locke
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: August 17th, 2015
Zed and ballet are my two greatest loves

It took all of Aly's strength to get them back after a tragic accident ripped them from her six years ago. A long road to recovery led to her return, dancing full-time for the District Ballet Company and carrying Zed's child. But Aly is slipping. Each day becomes a fight to keep her career from crumbling under the weight of younger talent, the scrutiny of the public eye and the limitations of her ever-changing body. A fight she fears she's losing.

I'm scared Aly is broken to her core

Zed recognizes the signs, but he doesn't know how to fix her. The accident left him with his own demons, and while he wants nothing more than to take care of the woman he loves, it's getting harder the farther downward she spirals. When Aly's life is threatened and Zed's injuries prevent him from saving her, he's never felt so useless, so afraid he's not capable of being the man Aly and their child needs.

With new life comes new hope. And with their fractured lives already hanging by a thread, Aly and Zed must discover if they have what it takes—both together and apart—to rebuild and carry on.
"This book in particular is raw and haunting but also hopeful."

"It made me feel understood too, and that made me feel a little less alone."

THIS BOOK. I'm not sure why I waited so long to read this, but I was really missing ballet, so I picked this one up. And I'm so glad that I did.

I loved Second Position, but I didn't realize I could fall in love with Locke's story even more. Yet Finding Center did just that. It still contained the ballet that I love and was looking for within Locke's story, but this one hit so much more and focuses much more on the characters and their development. 

The story continues with the emotional character development in the first book. I absolutely love how Locke handles mental illness within her books. She handles it deftly and carefully but doesn't leave anything out, doesn't sugarcoat anything. This book in particular is raw and haunting but also hopeful. We see that there's a way through. It never leaves you, but it gets easier, and you learn how to handle it amongst everything else in life.

But the journey to get there is an emotional one. There are so many ups and downs, so many miscommunications, so much that is conveyed. Locke shows how people can change but also how slow and how much of a process it is. The changing point of view is especially effective in this book and in getting the message across. Both are going1 through so much and shut others out, but we can see both sides of it, and I think that is so important and so well done.

The book is never lagging, and the struggles are so real and palpable. My heart broke so many times, and I cried so much while reading this, not just because the plot was often so sad and distressing but also because it just understood what it felt like. I definitely don't have anything close to what Aly and Zed are feeling and going through, but I can understand how they felt. It made me feel understood too, and that made me feel a little less alone. (And of course the dance/ballet portions are beautifully written, as always. The conflicts are well written and envisioned, and I loved every moment of it.)

I implore you to go read it (and/or Second Position).
Finding Center: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Katherine Locke: Website | Twitter | Tumblr 

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