Read Second Position by KatherineLocke Online


Four years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight...Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in WFour years ago, a car accident ended Zedekiah Harrow’s ballet career and sent Philadelphia Ballet principal dancer Alyona Miller spinning toward the breakdown that suspended her own. What they lost on the side of the road that day can never be replaced, and grief is always harshest under a spotlight...Now twenty-three, Zed teaches music and theatre at a private school in Washington, D.C. and regularly attends AA meetings to keep the pain at bay. Aly has returned to D.C. to live with her mother while trying to recover from the mental and physical breakdown that forced her to take a leave of absence from the ballet world, and her adoring fans.When Zed and Aly run into each other in a coffee shop, it’s as if no time has passed at all. But without the buffer and escape of dance—and with so much lust, anger and heartbreak hanging between them—their renewed connection will either allow them to build the together they never had... or destroy the fragile recoveries they've only started to make. Book One of the District Ballet Company...

Title : Second Position
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781426899706
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 193 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Second Position Reviews

  • Navessa
    2019-04-02 03:14

    FAITH IN THE NEW ADULT CATEGORY: RESTOREDMe, trying to write a review for this: Because how the ACTUAL fuck do I put my feels into words? This book is like some sort of White Whale of literature. One of those elusive tomes that rises up out of the deep and swallows you whole. And once you’re caught between its pages, you realize that the whole reason you kept stubbornly sailing the NA seas even after most of your friends abandoned ship was because you’ve been waiting for it to devour you all along. This is how you write a second-chance romance.“We’re each other’s fairy tales. Maybe that’s why we always come back to each other. Our story’s not finished yet.”Four years ago, Aly and Zed, two young ballet prodigies with promising careers ahead of them, had just begun to realize that they weren’t really friends. That their love wasn’t platonic, and that what was growing between them was something you could build your whole life around. But then a tragic car accident tears them apart, and the two are left adrift, unable to bridge the gap that rises up between them in its wake. Bereft, they walk away from each other. Four years later, they meet again by chance, in a coffee shop in D.C., and what follows is one of the most relatable love stories that I have ever read. Both Aly and Zed are struggling in their own right. The car crash scarred them, both physically and mentally, and neither ever really processed the resulting trauma or what they lost in the accident. This is how you write a believable male voice.“If I look at her, I will stop seeing her in pieces. I will stop seeing her as a braid, thin arms, nimble fingers, big eyes in a pale face. I will see all of her, all over again. If I look at her, I will fall to pieces, and I don’t know that I can put myself back together again. The last time literally almost killed me.”I am so goddamn sick of alphadouches masquerading as romantic leads. I am so goddamn sick of reading a book from first person male PoV only to find page after page after page of f-bombs, grunting, and a one-track mind with a repetitive internal monologue that goes something like this:“I MUST CLAIM HER. I MUST MAKE HER MINE. I WILL PEE ON AND AROUND HER UNTIL SHE ADMITS SHE BELONGS TO ME.” These archetypes do nothing but reinforce a dangerous extreme of traditional gender roles. To quote Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, they put men into that small, hard cage known as masculinity, only leaving enough room for them to demonstrate, anger, violence, and lust. I see enough of that shit in my day-to-day life and on the news. The last thing I want to do is read about it. Because, for the most part, I read to escape. I read to forget how shitty life can be and all the problems that plague our society. I don’t read to be reminded of them. This male lead is the antithesis of those alphadouches. He’s passionate, emotional, affectionate, poetic, caring, understanding, but best of all, he doesn’t try to hide any of these facets of his personality. He doesn’t think that crying makes him any less of a man. He doesn’t try to dominate or sublimate the female lead. HE READS LIKE A REAL, COMPLEX HUMAN BEING. For that alone, I could love his character. But I love Zed for so much more than just that. I love him for the way his mind works. I love him for the way he sees the world around him. I love him for the way he loves Aly: “My heart was still in her. It could never be in me, driving me to dance, when she carried it with her. I could almost see it pulsing beneath her skin.”This is how you write a complex female lead.Whoo, boy. I don’t even know how to describe Aly. I’m almost afraid to. Because if I tell you how much I related to her, I’d be giving up a piece of my soul in the process, and while I’ve written some personal reviews before, including one about being raped, I don’t think I’m ready to talk about all the ways Aly and I are alike. Let me just say that she’s as real as Zed is, and, if anything, she’s an even more complex and complicated character. She suffers relapses, makes some heartbreaking decisions, and keeps things to herself. But she is trying. She is progressing. Her character growth throughout this was incredible, and so organic that, like Zed, I forgot she was a fictional character. I love her as much as I do him. I love her flaws, her faults. I love her for her heart. I love her for the way she sees the world around her. I love her for the way she loves Zed: “Zed, my first friend. Zed, who didn’t take any of my bullshit. Zed, who was never jealous. Zed, who shouldn’t have been in that car with me that day. Zed, whose fingers still ghost over my skin in my dreams. Zed. Zed. Zed. The end of the alphabet and the end of me.”Oh, and if you can’t tell from all the quotes I’ve added to this review, Locke’s prose is a reader’s wet dream. It’s lyrical, enchanting, and as utterly captivating as her characters are. BASICALLY, THIS BOOK WAS FUCKING AWESOME.I have to thank my go-to reccing ball, Dahlia, for putting this book on my radar, and Aoife, for reminding me that I NEEDED to read this.For anyone who loves a second-chance romance, or complex characters, or needs their faith in the NA category restored:This review can also be found at The Book Eaters.

  • Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
    2019-04-11 04:20

    4.5 stars. I wish I could have stopped crying but alas, I guess that's what happens when you read such a poignant and beautiful story. I regret nothing. ▨ I wish I could express how and why I think that Zed and Aly's journey should be read, but alas, I have this ball of emotions boiling in myself right now and I'm honestly afraid to let it go. I still welcome all the overwhelming feels because sometimes, you just have to.▨ I wish I could quote the hell out of this breathtaking and heartbreaking novel but then I would copy/paste the whole thing and alas, copyrights are a bitch. Also, I really want you to try this book, and we wouldn't want you to know everything already, would we? ► This is, in my honest opinion, what New Adult should be about. No endless players and perfect girls who slut-shame like nobody's business. No fabricated drama and decisions that make no sense. No idiotic male-POV that anger me on men's behalf. No "that's not gonna fit" roll-eyes-worthy bullshit, either. ▨ I wish more NA novels could stay clear of all this crap and offer us more characters like Aly and Zed, fleshed-out and endearing and realistically flawed. I love them to pieces. ▨ I wish I wouldn't feel the urge to roll my eyes every time a strong issue is tackled in NA because I'm so tired of magic dicks and the likes. ► And yet, surprising and lyrical gems like this one make me remember - in the best way possible - why I never give up on any genre. Second Position is very character-driven, and is not perfect by any means (the secondary characters could have been more present & layered, and the plot is pretty simple) but I couldn't care less. The raw emotions, the beautiful writing and our adorable couple outweigh all the little flaws by far. Thank you, Katherine Locke. With all my heart, thank you. For more of my reviews, please visit:

  • Dahlia
    2019-04-08 01:09

    What a beautiful, romantic, thoughtful, lyrical, and unique book. There was so much to love within, from the passion of the characters for both each other and dance to the quick, clever therapy sessions between Alyona and Dr. Ham. It's a far more character-driven novel than most New Adult books, and I didn't realize how much I was missing them from the category until I fell head over heels in love with the two narrators driving this one. I'm so, so glad there are more books featuring Zed and Aly, and I can't wait to pick up every single one. ETA: I am very good friends with the author, in case anyone requires that disclaimer, but had I not loved this book, I would've just pretended I'd never read it. That's the very mature way in which I roll.

  • Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
    2019-04-10 07:28

    YES YES MANY YESES TO THIS BOOK. The story just consumes you. I seriously don't know what to say other than I am so happy I got to read this amazing and - you know, it's like a punch in the stomach? it's so real it hurts. But you feel good??? It's a book that makes you feel all kinds of things. {Review will be up closer to release day}- REVIEW TIME -It's not even possible to explain my undying love for this book.Since the first time I heard of it, I was captivated and intrigued by the blurb. You can give me anything of ballet and I'd totally read it. Best of all it was a New Adult book! It just got better and better to be honest. The cover is amazing and as soon as it was in NG, I requested it lighting-speed. Katherine Locke is unique, I can tell you this. Her writing is different and raw as hell. She tells the story how it is. Her characters are so real it hurts and their problems are not to be put in a locked box inside themselves. Katherine wrote a diverse book with ups and downs and happy times and sad times. She told the most amazing story I've ever read.Partners in crime:Aly and Zed are two ballet dancers - and one night four years ago changed their lives forever. Now Aly has take a leave from her ballet company because she had a mental breakdown, still trying to put the past in the past but being unable to. And Zed. Zed lost ballet that night. And Aly in the process. So we have two broken souls and the only they want is to grow. Their relationship is SO there, you know? You root for them since the very first start. Katherine makes you want to hug them and kiss them and bake lots of cookies for them. They grow on you, Aly and Zed. You get butterflies in your stomach, the whole I-want-to-scream-and-shout-and-let-it-all-out thing. THEY DO THAT TO YOU.Katherine Locke knows how to punch you in your heart.I love this book so much - so many developments happening and the ZIGS and the ZAGS Katherine puts up for us. This is amazing. It's an amazing book that tells a lot because it has to be heard. This story has to be heard and to be felt and everything in between. It's just that powerful. There should be a shrine for this book. And Katherine! Can't wait for more from her *heart eyes*

  • Sherwood Smith
    2019-04-20 00:15

    This romance turned out to be at the edge of my interest, that is written unrelentlessly in intimate space, so that the entire book focuses in tightly on the inner and outer lives of the romantic couple. Aly and Zed had been besties since they were kids in ballet school, and lovers more recently--before a car crash took away Zed's leg, and with it, his dance career, and caused Aly to miscarry their child.Four years later, after total silence between them, they happen to meet in a coffee bar in Washington D.C. and it throws them both into near tailspins. From there the rest of the book trades chapters as they examine their own emotional difficulties and one another's with minute detail. I tend to like a larger cast, and I really need humor leavening my romance reading. There is very little humor in this book until Aly meets Zed's best friend, and the wit really sparks.There is little sign of ballet at first, though the context imbues the book with dance, especially through the controlled, euphonious prose. When ballet began to appear the description was spot on, aware of the dancer's life. It was an intense pleasure to read, and a couple times I felt my muscles clench in long-forgotten memory.And that's what kept me in: the writing is so graceful, so aware of real and telling details--emotionally, physically, sensorily as well as sensually--rather than relying on the standard figurative phrases, that it kept me glued to the pages. In fact the writing was so compelling, and the tight focus so unrelenting, that the few copyedit glitches bounced me out more sharply than they would in most books. Not that there were many, beyond the frequently occurring spelling of "All right" as "alright". Another thing I noted was the handling (mostly off-stage) of Zed's parents. As soon as I saw them introduced as fundamentalists I rolled my eyes, ready for the usual one-dimensional, cardboard evil zealots so popular in contemporary fiction today. Fundies are easy villains, but bigotry is bigotry and I was glad to see a hint of actual human behavior in this thread toward the end of the book.

  • -y.a
    2019-04-21 00:27

    4.5-starsNew adult is not my favorite genre. I occasionally pick up books from this category, but very few NA books make me feel.Second Position is Katherine Locke’s debut novel and can be read as a stand-alone. I read the prequel first and it gave me a better understanding of their back stories and what happened to Aly and Zed four years ago.Zed and Aly met at age 13...the Zed I met on the day of auditions, the boy who wanted to love a world that didn’t love him back, the boy who composed music on my body.We always sought different things from art. I sought peace. He sought salvation. It took us a long time to reconcile these differences between us. Sometimes I worried he lost sight of why he loved dance. Sometimes I worried I didn’t want to hold on to the things I loved, like dance, like Zed. Do you think we’ll ever find us again?I don’t know.Is it worth looking?I think it is.This novel has NOcheesenon-sensical bullshits like I can never be fixed because I am so broken.filler sex scenes.ex whose only existence is to stir jealousy, and create misunderstanding.It does have heartfelt drama with superb characterizations, lyrical, descriptive writing and a satisfying ending. The dialogue is sharp throughout, sprinkled with humor in between.A beautiful love story about second chances. I really enjoy it:D#duo POVs

  • alexis
    2019-04-08 03:33

    Review originally posted on Lacy Literacy“In the moments when the stage fails to save us, we've always sought to find the bottom of the well where things are magical again. We're each other's fairy tales. Maybe that's why we always come back to each other. Our story's not finished yet."Second Position has been collecting dust in my electronic TBR for a year and half now. I ended up loosing interest, but when I signed up for the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge and saw there was a bingo space for a book at the bottom of your TBR, I knew I had to read this. I am glad that I did. Second Position is what New Adult/Sports Romance should be: actual sports and quality romance. It is a true gem, and deals with grief and reconciliation.I love second chance romances, so right off the bat I knew I was going to enjoy Zed and Aly. I liked that their relationship before the car accident was moving in into friends to lovers, but didn't quite make it. When they meet again in the coffee shop, it made their journey that more interesting. On top of the grief that came with the car accident, they had to try and rebuild relationship that was on the verge of something new. All of their interactions were adorable, and I loved seeing how they mended things. Aly struggles with mental illness and an eating disorder, while Zed is disabled and a recovering alcoholic. Zed's treatment of Aly's eating disorder and mental illness, and Aly's treatment Zed's disability and struggles with alcoholism was done well. They built each other up, and were mindful of how each other's actions impacted the other. There were two short chapters from each of their points of view. One had "Inappropriate Things People Say When You're dating a Very Thin Dancer" and the other had "Inappropriate Things People Say When You're Dating an Amputee". I thought it was a really nice touch. What I really loved about Second Position was Aly. She was an amazing character, and really the main focus of the book. Her eating disorder was portrayed so well. We get to see her get better and then relapse again, which was cool because eating disorders can't be fixed overnight. As someone who has had an eating disorder, it was nice to see a character who struggled and had bad moments, but still worked towards getting better. Also, as an athlete who had an eating disorder, it was really nice to see that portrayed through Aly and how it played into ballet. I loved that Aly was still a work in progress by the end of the book. Another thing I appreciated about Aly, was her therapy sessions and her dialogue with her therapist. I've only read one other book (Appealed by Emma Chase) where therapy is an important and recurring part of the main character's development, so I was really happy to see that again with Aly.The side relationships and characters in Second Position were compelling. Zed and Dan's was relationship definitely the highlight. They both met in AA, and had been friends since. Zed reached out to Dan whenever he had problems, and they had a great support system in each other. It was a really nice change from New Adult novels where the hero just punches a wall when he is angry or hurt (you really wouldn't believe how many times I've seen this happen) instead of turning to someone. (I'm really tired of the toxic masculinity in New Adult). Dan was also just a great character. If you like lyrical writing and want to read Sports Romance or New Adult, but are tired of the tropes so common to the genre, then I would totally recommend Second Position.I read Second Position for the 2017 New Adult Reading Challenge Bingo for a Book on the bottom of your TBR.

  • Molli Moran
    2019-04-13 01:19

    THE PROSE, YOU GUYS. Katie writes super beautifully. It's haunting. It's descriptive to the point that you're THERE, feeling what the characters feel, seeing what they see, aching with them. Because of how gorgeously Locke writes, you immediately get drawn into SECOND POSITION effortlessly, there in that coffee house where Zed and Aly come face to face for the first time in years. When we talk about "second chance romances," (aka the number 1 way to get me to read a book), I have to list Katie's book as one of my favorites. It's all there. That rich, undeniable history. That complicated friendship, bleeding into more. That ache, that gorgeous, full-body ache, that comes from a shared past. That beautiful hope, the hope that this will be different, this time will be redemption and a beginning, instead of an ending. Katherine Locke nails the essence of second chance romance, and makes it look easy (it isn't.) I definitely enjoyed this one a lot. Even if it did make me cry three times.

  • Caitlin Rantala
    2019-04-06 04:13

    I LOVED this book. It swept me off my feet and made me wish I was a dancer. It made me resent the fact that my parents let me quit dance classes when I was nine (thanks a lot, Mom and Dad). It made me want to find a dancer to fall in love with (so then HE could teach me how to dance!). The emotional, reflective story that Locke weaves is truly a breath of fresh air in the New Adult genre. The characters and their issues are real and tangible; and I love a story told from dual perspectives – especially when it's executed as flawlessly as Locke has done here. Her writing is as captivating and compelling as dance itself. I'd highly recommend you do yourself a favor and pre-order a copy!

  • Rashika (is tired)
    2019-04-23 02:29

    YES YES AND YES. READ THIS BOOK if you love complex relationships and slow burn second chance romances. PLEASE DO IT.

  • Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
    2019-03-28 07:21

    For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.Rating: 4.5 starsReading books by authors you know, whether just online or in real life, never really gets less nerve-wracking. I’ve never met Katherine Locke, but I talk to her fairly regularly on Twitter. When I saw she had a debut with Carina Press, I was happy for her, but I wasn’t sure if I ought to read it. Not liking the book of someone who might actually notice is just the worst. Still, I’m a curious cat, and I couldn’t resist requesting it, especially since I’m always looking for good new adult novels and have been in the mood, even more so than usual, for romances. Locke’s debut Second Position is everything I want from new adult: it’s raw, bantery, and all about dealing with problems.Second Position doesn’t really follow typical new adult lines. Zed and Aly are on the older end of the new adult spectrum. They do have a whole host of issues, as is generally the case in NA, but the novel really deals with them. The issues aren’t merely obstacles to be tossed aside once the ship gets going. They’re presented in a very real way, with a good deal of humor, often dark. Second Position isn’t fluffy, but it’s also not melodramatic or angsty, because of the way in which the subject matter is handled. You should also be warned that there’s a good deal less sex in the average new adult novel.Zed and Aly were both did ballet, until an accident shattered their lives togethers. That same accident took Zed’s leg. Their relationship didn’t survive. Zed’s mom pushed Aly out of the hospital room, and she left; once he was well, he didn’t feel like following someone who left. Fast forward four years to Zed spotting Aly in line for coffee in the coffee shop beneath his apartment. It’s a true coincidence, one that neither of them was ready for but that’s for the best.Aly’s on year-long leave from her ballet company in Philadelphia after having a breakdown and hitting another dancer. She checked herself into rehab to deal with her anorexia, but that’s only one of a whole host of problems Aly’s dealing with. For those four years, Aly threw herself completely into dance, unable to cope with the everything she lost in that car crash. Finally, work wasn’t enough anymore, and Aly’s cracks became full breaks, visible to everyone.The treatment of mental health in Second Position is just beautiful. My favorite relationship should perhaps be that of Aly and Zed, and I do like them a lot, but it’s not; my favorite relationship is Aly and her therapist. Told in a back and forth dialogue, with no dialogue tags or descriptions, her sessions with Dr. Ham are incredibly powerful. It was never hard to track which character was speaking in these long conversations, because the voices were strong enough to pull off this risky technique. Ham banters with Aly, and he knows when to push her and when to hold off until she’s ready.More to the point, more beautiful than the artistry and banter of those scenes, is that no one every judges Aly for needing therapy. Aly, though she doesn’t always want to go, commits to therapy, and she checked herself in for help. Even then, she sometimes has setbacks. The reader gets to see Aly slipping and siding, Aly feeling fat or anxious. It’s very clear that her mental health is a process. It’s not simple, and Zed’s love cannot fix her. Being with Zed again helps her in some ways, because she feels loved and wants to be better for him, but it also adds more stress into her life. Love can be a catalyst for change and can help, but it can’t do everything. It’s very clear that Aly wouldn’t be making the progress she does without the help of her therapist and her medicines.Zed’s doing better than Aly in Second Position, but that’s because he spun out four years ago and has already done a lot of work putting himself back together. In the wake of losing his leg, Zed became an alcoholic, but he too realized he’d gone too far and went to AA. There he made a good friend, Dan, who’s minimally in the novel, but who I really like. Zed too still has shit to truly confront, and I love that Second Position shows that no one’s ever completely healthy. We’re all working and growing and trying to face the hard truths all the time.For both Zed and Aly, their jobs are important to them. Aly has to figure out how to fit ballet into her life without falling prey to anorexia and the rest of the things that can come with it. Zed’s managed to make a good life for him at the sundering of his leg and ballet career. He works at a private arts high school, teaching theater. His students love him, and he works incredibly hard trying to help them make their dreams come true. Though Second Position doesn’t focus much on his work, it’s there enough to show the way he helps two students Mia and Ainsley View Spoiler ». Zed’s actually assisted in this by his tough past, because he totally gets where the more troubled teens are coming from and knows how to help them funnel that emotion into the arts.As for the romance, I liked it a lot. I didn’t ship them passionately, but I did care about them and wish for them to work it out. They’re sweet and bantery. I like a lot that they fight, sometimes about small things and sometimes about big ones. Fictional couples don’t do that enough; relationships are in the working out of arguments, because no relationship’s going to be perfect. Because of their shared past they haven’t entirely recovered from, Zed and Aly fall hard and fast, but they also fall carefully. There’s not much sex in the book precisely because they have to start fresh, even though in some ways being together feels just the same as it once did. They’re new people, and they’re not ready or able to be the same as the were before. I love the slow process by which they feel one another out and find a new dynamic.What I adore about Locke’s writing is how dialogue-driven it is. A large portion of the novel is told through dialogue alone. The characters are built predominantly through their own words, and that’s a really wonderful thing. It’s hugely showing and not telling. The descriptions were a bit more typically new adult, sometimes tending a bit too much to the sentimental. I also loved the way that Locke ended the story with an article about the couple a bit after the rest of the novel. Having a different perspective was a strange choice, but I think it really worked.Give me more new adult novels like Katherine Locke’s, which is primarily about figuring out how to be a healthy adult. The romance, ballet, and banter were pluses, but it’s the healthiness of watching two people trying to figure their shit out that really made Second Position work so well for me. I’m eager to see what happens in the next District Ballet Company novel.

  • Siiri (Little Pieces of Imagination)
    2019-04-19 05:26

    THIS SHIP JUST ABOUT KILLED ME OK. I love second chance romance stories especially when it's between best friends. The romance was on point; I laughed and swooned and cried some. This book is hot and emotional and so freakig feels-y <3The 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

  • Chasia Lloyd
    2019-04-09 06:33

    SO EXCITED MY FIRST NETGALLEY ARC WAS SECOND POSITION! THIS DOES NOT INFLUENCE MY OPINION OF THE BOOK IN ANY WAY AND I WAS DEFINITELY GOING TO BUY THIS ANYWAY AND PROBABLY STILL WILL.I got to a sentence early on in the book that both accurately sums up the book and made me aware that I would finish the book in one day or dry my eyes out trying.“Second Position” is about recovery. Aly and Zed already had their metaphorical and literal car crash four years prior to the start of the novel. As a result of the crash, Zed lost his leg and ended his ballet career and took up the bottle. Aly’s mental health took a sharp turn for the worse which exacerbated her eating disorder and eventually caused to her suspend her own ballet career. The former friends-turned-lovers-but-maybe-always-lovers-just-not-physically went four years without a word to each other.When Zed and Aly meet again and decide to try “them” again, Zed is sober and going to meetings and fairly adjusted to his new career as a teacher. Aly is fresh out of a stint in a treatment center for her eating disorder and seeing a therapist. They are in recovery, but they’re not cured. The same goes for their relationship. Just because they’ve agreed to try “them” again doesn’t mean everything is perfect.There is a lot of hurt and unwillingness to really talk about the past between them. The bitterness and distrust that clouded their words and actions could be so scathing I often wondered why they were trying. Then there would be moments of pure sunshine that reminded me of how deep their love for each other goes, and I cheered for every uncomfortable conversation they had. Each time they were brave about their feelings and the past, their relationship danced a little further down Recovery Road.And speaking of bravery, the author expressed a lot bravery in the writing itself. There would be chapters of pure dialogue, and there was a time skip compromised of lists. A little jarring? Yeah. But it added so much character to the book.Aly is the multi-faceted jewel of “Second Position”. She was so complex with a range of moods and motivations for actions that she was almost a different person every chapter. Zed brings up seeing the “real” Aly when she’s dancing, but I found myself disagreeing. She is the real her the whole time. She’s hurt. She’s reserved. She’s playful. She’s dreamy. She’s Fire. She’s Ice. She’s Earth. She’s Wind.Katherine Locke brings a tragic couple back together and never lets me, the reader, forget recovery is a work-in-progress even as she stuns me with heartfelt kissing scenes and a grand display of affection for the ballet world.

  • Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
    2019-04-05 06:13

    This is my first real foray into the New Adult genre...well, potentially the contemporary genre as well. I tend to avoid books that focus too much on real life, six years of medical school means I see the tumult of human existence everyday and don't necessarily want to go home and read about it in my down time too. My one exclusion from the rule is contemporary books focusing on mental health. I'm always curious to see how my medical area of interest is portrayed on the page, and it was that which drew me to 'Second Position'. I'd heard good things about the mental health and disability representation in the book and was not disappointed. Aly and Zed meet four years after the accident that ripped their burgeoning relationship apart, an accident that led to Zed losing his leg and his livelihood as a ballet dancer. Aly has spent the last four years pretending that everything is ok, dancing to suppress the trauma of that night and her lifelong struggle with an eating disorder. Neither have seen each other in those intervening years, both are terrible at talking about their emotions and, unsurprisingly, they are still hopelessly in love with one another. Not a huge amount happens in the book, it is very character driven, but I do wonder whether I only feel that because I'm used to reading more fast paced fantasy novels. I really enjoyed it, it was bittersweet and painful or joyful and heart wrenching in all the right places. The characters of Aly and Zed were rich and developed, the relationship between them and its maturation was so satisfying and realistic. I'm still not sure whether I enjoy contemporary storylines as much as fantasy and sci fi, I sometimes find myself missing the escapism, but I did enjoy this book. It was a refreshing change from the YA I've recently been reading.

  • Edna L. (thebooknymph)
    2019-03-31 00:12

    4.5 This tore my heart in pieces but in the best way possible

  • WhatIReallyRead
    2019-04-24 01:08

    This book goes straight to favourites. Because I cared about everything in it.As is my habit, I went into it knowing nothing about the book except for the title and the cover. I expected a pretty standard romancey thing, but I was wrong. This book is full of struggle and pain but without moaning or wallowing. It's full of love without being romance-centric or romanticizing dependence. It's full of strength, vulnerability, striving and failure. It's full of life, ultimately.At 3% I knew this wasn't going to be just any book, not for me anyway. The descriptions of Zed's struggle with walking hit pretty close to home. Reading some of the descriptions I felt like I was speared right through the heart and left bleeding in my bed. The book deals with some pretty heavy subjects without falling into standard angsty-bullshit tropes. It's honest. I loved the writing, which was somewhat poetic. I loved that chapters alternated between Aly and Zed. I loved the distinct voices of the journalist and the therapist. I believed and felt connected to every character, every detail. I JUST LOVED THIS BOOK, OKAY?!P.S. If you've read it and hated it, please don't tell me, I don't want to know.

  • RavenclawReadingRoom
    2019-04-13 23:08

    I love ballet themed things an unhealthy amount. So when a friend told me about this series, I knew I had to read it as soon as possible. And it was totally worth it. I mean, a ballerina with an acknowledged eating disorder who's also struggling with anxiety and self harm who's in love with her former ballet partner who lost his leg in a car accident? That's not exactly your standard boy-meets-girl contemporary. Aly's eating disorder and Zed's disability were both handled really well, and their relationship was incredibly sweet. It did feel ever so slightly repetitive at times, but it was so adorable that I didn't really care. Honestly, I think my one major gripe would be that my head canon states that Zed is African American, and the cover is blowing that head canon right out of the water. I JUST WANT HIM TO NOT BE WHITE, OKAY?! So yeah. It's confronting at times, particularly where the discussion of Aly's mental health is concerned. But it's worth it. And I'm thrilled that the second book comes out in August so that I only have four months to wait...

  • Jen
    2019-04-17 02:23

    I enjoyed that! Makes me wish I could go to the ballet now. While not required, reading the prequel, TURNING POINTE (free link on the author's website), does provide background on Aly and Zed's relationship in all it's complicated beauty. Locke's prose is as lyrical as the dance her characters perform. And she does a fantastic job of delving deeper into the issues surrounding both Aly and Zed which made their story feel authentic and real. There are no easy fixes. Healing and recovery takes time, effort and patience. For a NA, this has very little sex in it, HOWEVER, this is an intensely romantic story. Read it. And then go lose a few hours of your life on Locke's Pinterest boards.

  • Stephanie D
    2019-04-23 01:14

    Realmente quería que me gustara este libro. Desde que leí la sinopsis me atrajo y no esperé mucho para leerlo, pero sinceramente no me atrapó, no llegó ese momento donde no podía parar de leer. No es que sea una mala historia, al contrario, me pareció profunda, y trata con temas que no vemos muy seguido, pero no me conecté del todo con los personajes, y se me hizo un poco lenta. A pesar de eso, sí quiero saber el final de la historia de Aly y Zed, todavía queda más de ellos por ver. Trataré de leer pronto el 0.5 (no se si debía leer ese primero), y en algún futuro, espero cercano, leer el dos.

  • Candice Montgomery
    2019-04-13 03:15

    I don't want to say that this book hit me harder because of the fact that I dance ballet but holy fucking hooker, it sure felt like every feeling was magnified and zoomed in on for my express purpose. It was hard to read because of how spot on so much of the dancer's life and lifestyle and feelings and thoughts were conveyed. Every word has purpose. Every scene, laugh and touch between Zed and Aly was so delectably precise. Never been so thrilled to live in a ballet book as I was to ache and live in this one. My pride swelled hard with this read. Won't even front.

  • Elizabeth May
    2019-04-13 04:14

    This is the first contemporary romance I've read in a long time, and WOW. Just. WOW. I'm still putting my feelings together and trying not to gush all over GR about Katherine Locke's beautiful writing and the characters and the story. So basically: this book is really fucking good and you all should read it.

  • Book
    2019-04-07 23:22

    It's always nice to be able to say "this doesn't read like normal NA" and mean it. I've read a few lately that makes me cautiously optimistic, but really I wonder if books like this one are actually NA outliers. Either way, I enjoyed this a lot.

  • Christina
    2019-04-06 04:31

    I was lucky enough to be one of the very first readers of this book and devoured it in one sitting. I love Zed and Aly and can't wait for their story to be out in the world. This is NA, but more lyrical and self-reflective than anything else on the market. You don't want to miss this one!

  • M
    2019-04-12 01:33

    this is a surprising and very sturdy book about two people. super loved a lot about it, but i think mostly the characterization was done extremely well. can't wait for the sequel!

  • Lynn
    2019-04-10 00:10

    I don’t usually read New Adult books anymore but this book reminds me of why I still occasionally try. Sure, it has the broken heroine and troubled hero thing so overdone is this classification. It has some angst and drama. However, the treatment of it is very different and that makes a lot of difference.This is a second chance romance. This is about two people who used to be a couple but fell apart after a tragic event (view spoiler)[ car accident where the H lost his leg which ended his ballet career and the h miscarried their baby(hide spoiler)]. Due to poor coping and issues with grief aided by the H’s mother who wanted them apart they fell apart and loose contact for 4 years. The H becomes an alcoholic for the first 2 years before he gets himself into recovery. At the book's start he has been sober and actively attending AA for about 2 years. The h turned obsessively into ballet with an unhealthy focus and her already problematic issues with food turned into full blown anorexia. She ends up depressed and breaking down after her inadequate coping. At the book's start she is fairly fresh out of an inpatient hospital stay and seeing a therapist.While the book was still a bit more angsty than I usually go for I appreciated a few things that this book did differently than the typical NA. FIrst of all, love does not cure all in this book. These two have therapists, AA meetings, sponsors, inpatient treatment and all of that with a lot of self work is what is getting these two on a healthier path. If anything their getting back into a relationship adds stress to already fragile people and adds new challenges to their recovery. It’s worth it but still an additional thing to deal with on top of their healing. I appreciated this. It really bothers me when mental health issues aren’t dealt with realistically or bad messages are given out. This book mostly does a good job of realistically looking at the issues rather than using them for cheap plot device. I wish more New Adult books were written this way if they were going to include heavy issues, especially of the mental health variety.Another thing is that the author allowed the natural angst to lie without pushing it to unrealistic extremes. Sure there were misunderstanding and trouble communicating but not in a way that felt gimmicky or a plot device. It felt natural to the issues. Also, things weren’t carried out too far or over the top. In general it felt a bit more realistic than what you usually find with NA.The book doesn’t develop the side characters, few that there are, very thoroughly. It seemed that this was deliberate the keep the focus on the main characters. My reading preference is more light hearted books with a nice ensemble of well developed characters but I understood why this book did not develop the side characters very fully. The focus stays squarely on the two MC’s and their story.The books writing style won’t work for everyone. It is chocked full of metaphors. It is metaphor on top of metaphors inside of metaphors. Even the characters thought and talked in metaphors. Some people will find that style beautiful and rich, I found it a tiny bit much but went with it. It was a little weird to have the characters think and talk in this style too but they are artists so I gave it a pass. My advice? Read a sample and decide if you can take it.Safety Gang notes:For those 4 years apart: (view spoiler)[ The h is celibate. This is mostly due to her coping method. She threw herself into ballet so fully she had no time to grieve but that also meant not time to form relationships of any kind. Also, as a side effect of her anorexia she lost her sex drive during this time which is a real consequence of this disease. It is mentioned that the H, on the other hand, for the two years that he was an alcoholic, was not celibate. There are no details and it isn’t pushed for drama. He was in a very messed up place for those two years and doesn’t even remember the two years very clearly. Once he was sober it seems that he was celibate and I think it was mentioned that he also didn’t date at all. It is mentioned only in passing twice. Once when the hero thinks about whether to tell the h during their first real talk to scare her away because he is scared to start something with her again. There are no details. He doesn’t tell her then. In a later conversation when they both talk about the 4years apart he admits that there were others but that’s all that is said. She had already sort of assumed and moved on so didn’t hold it against him.Normally double standards bother me but since the book stayed true to the diseases the two characters suffered and didn’t push it for drama or describe anything I was able to deal with it.(hide spoiler)]No OW/OM drama

  • Maria Rose
    2019-04-07 03:17

    I'm a regular attendee at our local ballet, having had season tickets for several years and quite used to seeing 3 or 4 productions a year ranging from classical to modern ballet. When I saw that Katherine Locke had released a new adult novel based in the world of ballet I was very intrigued to see how she would approach the story. Because new adult romances (at least in my experience) tend to have a lot of angst and emotional topics, I knew it wouldn't be an easy read, and I had high expectations. I'm happy to say that this story met all of them.Zed and Aly have been friends since their teenage years, when they first started out their ballet careers. Things were going along well, and their relationship had slipped from friendship into something more intimate when a devastating car crash destroyed Zed's leg , and seriously injured Aly. While both were recovering in the arms of their families, they disconnected, the grief and pain of loss being too much to handle and spent 4 years apart, during which time Aly went back to her ballet career and Zed moved on to teaching music and theatre. Now Aly is back, having run into Zed while on leave from her ballet company for mental health issues. Can the ashes of their love be rekindled?When I say that a new adult romance usually has emotional issues to contend with, this story provides a prime example of that. On the one hand you have Zed, a strong and independent man for whom ballet was his life, until the accident took away his career and his future. He ended up with a prosthetic leg and sunk into an alcoholic depression before regaining his sobriety with the help of AA and finding a new career in music and theatre. Then you have Aly, a principal dancer who has thrived in the ballet world and all it entails, including suffering from an eating disorder in the never ending quest to remain thin and pliable. Along with that, the grief and pain of the accident has never really left her and she's now suffered a mental and physical breakdown. A lovely matched pair indeed! It's safe to say that without the accident the intensity of the ballet world would have most likely resulted in some troubles for them, especially with Aly and her eating disorder. But the accident changed everything for them, and instead of relying on each other to cope, they abandoned each other - not really willingly, but aided by their families and the grief it was just easier to grow apart. When they meet again after their separation, it is a tentative relationship. The only thing they had in common before was ballet - and they don't have that anymore. While it seems easy on the one hand to slip into old habits together, the ones of friendship and companionship, they no longer have the link that held them together and they will have to forge new connections if they want to consider a future relationship. It's obvious that they still have strong feelings for each other, feelings that have lain dormant and are returning in full force. But it's going to take more than that to make their relationship work. I felt empathy for Zed in particular, as he is frustrated by Aly's refusal to consider doing something other than ballet, even though the stress and tension of remaining a principal dancer has driven her to her current breakdown. I found the behind the scenes look at the ballet world, including the descriptions of various ballets and techniques to be very interesting. Being familiar with ballet already, I understood much of what was being described but I think any reader new to ballet would easily be able to follow it. Ultimately the story is about two twenty somethings at a crossroads, one that could bring them back together or tear them apart for good. I loved how the story progressed, and the romantic relationship between Zed and Aly was interesting and unique. They get their happy ending in this story and it is well deserved. 4. 5 stars. Note: a copy of this story was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for review.

  • Nenia ✨ Queen of Literary Trash, Protector of Out-of-Print Gems, Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Mother of Smut, the Unrepentant, Breaker of Convention ✨ Campbell
    2019-03-31 23:30

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || PinterestAlyona Miller is a famous ballerina. Zedekiah Harlow used to be a famous ballerina. Then the two of them got into a terrible accident and life as they knew it ceased. Alyona lost a baby, and her already fragile mental health. Zedekiah lost his leg and his girl. When the two meet by chance in a coffee shop after being estranged for years, they're both forced to come to terms with what happened.And how they're going to proceed.I don't read many second-chance romance type books. I think it's because part of the fun of reading a romance novel is seeing a couple discover themselves and their feelings for one another in a way that's shiny and brand new. Second-chance romance books are more about forgiveness and polishing or hiding the tarnish.Aly and Zed have a lot of tarnish. I did like that they actually deal with it, though, rather than taking the passive aggressive route that many other new adult novels are so fond of. It was refreshing to see characters who got involved in one another's lives without being domineering or creepy, as well as actual, bona fide communication. Even during sex. Especially during sex. Can we talk about the sex, actually? (It was gooooood.)The secondary characters in here are also well done. Both characters' parents appear in the book, and get involved in their children's lives (for better, or for worse). They have friends. Zed has students. Aly has a therapist and a couple contacts with whom she's remained in touch. All of these characters were extremely developed and added an extra layer of dimension to the story.The book is also beautifully written - to the point where it is far more polished and sophisticated than comparable works being dealt out by much larger publishers. The desolate, but lyrical, prose is highly reminiscent of authors like Janet Fitch. That writing! It begs to be an embroidery sampler framed on a guest-room wall. I really look forward to seeing what other books Locke comes up with in the future, because she unquestionably has a lot of talent. I could see her doing something big, easily.The only drawback to this story is that it feels remote. The characters have emotions but they don't quite make it to the page, which is disconcerting because of the first-person narrations. This is an emotional book, but the writing itself wasn't, and I feel like the characters did more "telling" about how they were feeling, rather than "showing." I felt removed from the characters when I wanted to connect with them, and that made it hard to really get emotionally invested in their well-being.SECOND POSITION is still good, though. I enjoyed it - although the writing is complex enough that you're going to want to make sure that you have the time to devote to reading this in large blocks, while uninterrupted, or else it's going to be hard to follow what's going on. I'd recommend it to readers who are looking for NA with substance, or who enjoy reading realistic angst & hurt/comfort books. Plus, it's only $1.99 on Amazon (and the prequel is free)!3.5 stars!

  • Kaitlin
    2019-04-19 00:27

    *I received an e-arc of this book in exchange for an honest review.Second Position was story about love, trust, and recovery--how they're journeys, not destinations. It featured two characters who had to learn and grow on their own and with the help of one another. Aly and Zed had an amazing connection. They knew each other so well, yet the they also had to get to know the newer parts of each other, which was a huge struggle. Their relationship felt like it was old and new at the same time. The old--that familiarity they felt--still existed, but both had new issues to deal with. That got scary for them. Sometimes, their relationship teetered on a thin point where it could all fall into utter heartbreak if pushed too far. They sure experienced an emotional rollercoaster! I loved how they had to rebuild their trust and revise how they approached each other. The two needed to adjust and find a way to be stable in the "new" relationship. They just could not exist the same way as before the accident.This romance kinda scared me a little. There was a ton of heartbreak and sadness buried between Aly and Zed and sometimes I thought it wasn't healthy for either of them to even be around each other. I loved them, though, and kept hoping they would figure out how to fit together again in a way where they didn't feel so heartbroken. They may or may not have done that. You'll just have to read the book to find out!Besides Aly and Zed, the biggest thing that stood out to me was Aly's therapy sessions. There was a lot of dialogue and quite a few deep moments. The progress she was making on her journey was evident in those chapters. They allowed me to get to know her so much more than if they weren't there.There were a few moments where I wasn't as connected to the book as I was in the majority of it, but besides that, there wasn't anything that I really disliked. Overall, Second Position was a great, romantic, yet pain-filled NA that lived up to my expectations. Aly and Zed's special connection made this book well worth reading. I'm looking forward to reading more from this author!

  • Jackie
    2019-03-27 00:28

    Rating: 4.5 out of 5 starsI've always been a fan of anything to do with dance because of it's grace and delicateness (if that's not a word, it is now) so when Nori from Read Write Love 28 came up with the Sunday Street Team and gave me the opportunity to review this book i was ecstatic! From the Minute I picked the book up, I fell in love! I absolutely love the fact that the book was told in two different points of view and that both of the main characters were broken. Usually what I've found with stories like this is that there is always one main character who's whole and has to try and fix the other. However, In this story Ally and Zed both had to fix each other and find ways of coping with their mutual past as well as with their own demons. The other thing I liked about this book is that Katherine made a main character with a prosthetic leg, but did NOT center the book about him or make me feel pity for him because he'd lost a leg. Instead, she made Zed a strong and competent character who had to get past the fact that he could no longer leg. At the same time, she didn't make Zed pity the loss of his leg too much which was great because it didn't create a whiny main character.Another issue Katherine dealt with was eating disorders. The way Katherine wrote about what Ally was going through made me understand, and connect with her more as a person. Having friends who deal with eating disorders and helping them cope, I feel that Katherine in no way overdramatized the subject! I LOVED how she showed Ally's different moods as she dealt with her eating disorder and other issues she was dealing with. I also like how she incorporated the coping mechanisms Ally used to make her a more three dimensional character.Lastly, i adored the therapist's whit and overall personality! Where can I find one like him?Overall, Second Position was an AMAZING book with a great premise.

  • Diep
    2019-04-13 06:30

    "In the moments when the stage fails to save us, we’ve always sought to find the bottom of the well where things are magical again. We’re each other’s fairy tales. Maybe that’s why we always come back to each other. Our story’s not finished yet."**TW for ED, suicidal thoughts, self-harm and alcohol abuse**What the fuck did I just read? Honestly, I'm so blown away. This book has easily become one of my all time favourites. I thought the novella has already caught me off guard, but Second Position, is on a whole new level: It was incredibly sad yet so beautiful and unique. I don't think I can find the right words to describe my feelings for this book.Katherine Locke touches upon many serious and important topics and she did not sugarcoat anything in that matter. Her characters are so real, flawed and complex; I'm head over heels in love with Aly and Zed.Tears couldn't stop falling from my eyes when reading this book; it was a rollercoaster of emotions. Aly and Zed had a difficult relationship since they were hesitant to talk about the past due to the pain and visible consequences that resulted from the accident four years ago. Both of them are in recovery and trying as much as they can to be the best versions of themselves. The love Aly and Zed have for one another is just hard to express in words. I love their flaws, their faults, their passion, their happy and sad days, their character growths.This book is so powerful, beautiful, lyrical, magical and everything you need in a New Adult novel. It won't leave your thoughts for quite a while.With Zed, I am wanted just for me. Pure and simple. Loved, pure and simple. Cherished, pure and simple.