One, Two, Three by Elodie Nowodazkij
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, seventeen-year-old Natalya Pushkaya 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. Keeping him an arabesque away proves to be a challenge for Natalya and his patient charms eventually draw her out of her shell.
When upsetting secrets come to light and Tonio’s own problems draw her in, Natalya shuts down again, this time turning to alcohol herself.
As Elodie’s debut novel, this was beautifully depicted Natalya’s dream brought to life through words. Natalya is a fighter, who’s grieving, experiencing intense emotions in regards to her relationship with her mother, working on rebuilding her friendships, and realizing/accepting who she is and who she wants to be. Natalya meets Tonio through her friend Becca and he opens her up where she used to turn away and be closed off. This is a story of learning to accept help and cope in healthy ways. There’s teenage love, family crises, and deceit. The way Elodie describes ballet as an escape for Natalya, her peace, sounds serene and the fluidity of her movements and positions, despite her injuries sounds breathtakingly beautiful. Whereas some could easily take advantage of using ballet to escape at inappropriate times, Natalya does not do so! Elodie providing us with a full circle completion of this novel left me very much fulfilled with how she ended Natalya and Tonio’s story. I did find myself not completely following the history of Tonio, Diego, and Camilo and the situation they got themselves into, and think more depth in regards to this would’ve helped clarify this confusion. This was a novel that grabbed hold of my emotions to build a relationship with the characters and I’ll definitely be reading more as Elodie releases future installments in this One, Two, Three series! Give this a try and find your next book crush! Rating: 3.5 stars
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 use her commuting time to write the stories swirling in her head. She’s also a serial smiley user. ONE TWO THREE is her first novel.