Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finding Center by Katherine Locke

Title: Finding Center (District Ballet Company #2)
Author: Katherine Locke
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: August 17, 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher
Buy the Book: Amazon / B&N / Indigo
Zed and ballet are my two greatest loves.

But a tragic accident ripped them from Aly’s life six years ago and it took all her strength to get them back. She’s had a long road to recovery and has returned, 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 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 Aly, it’s getting harder the further 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 is no longer 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.

Earlier this summer I finally read Katherine Locke’s Turning Pointe and Second Position and loved reading about these two flawed ballet dancers. And I wanted more. With Finding Center, I got everything I wanted and loved reading this story. 

Six years ago, everything fell apart for Zed and Aly. Slowly, they’ve been working and finding their way back to themselves. Now they’re together, and though it’s a battle everyday, everything is going well for them. But Aly is pregnant again, and all her old fears are coming back. Zed wants nothing more than to be there for Aly and to be what she needs, but he can only do thatZed has his own demons to fight. Zed and Aly are hanging on, but everything could fall apart again at any moment.

Just over a month ago, I read Second Position and pretty much tore through it. Though it didn’t end up being exactly what I wanted, I fell in love with the story and the characters that Katherine Locke wrote. I got attached to Zed and Aly, I got fully invested in their story. And when I finished reading, I wanted more of them. So Finding Center? Exactly what I wanted and exactly what I needed when I read it. Where Second Position was surprisingly dark, Finding Center was somewhat lighter. There were still plenty of moments where the story took a darker turn. I mean, how can it not being a story about an alcoholic and a ballerina who suffers from anorexia and anxiety, amongst other issues. While the first book was about Zed and Aly reconnecting after being away from each other for four years, Finding Center was about them finding their way. It led to many touching moments that warmed my heart, sometimes even bringing me close to tears. I was happy to be able to read this part of their story. And more than anything, I absolutely loved how it all came full circle and ended.

I already loved Zed and Aly after reading Second Position and I love them even more having now read Finding Center. When this part of their story starts, they’ve been together for two years and are slowly finding their way. Reading their story, I can see that it’s not always easy for them, but they do their best, being there for each other and supporting each other.  Even though it’s not perfect, and Aly and Zed both have their flaws, I just love their relationship, the way that they are there for each other and that being together makes them want to be their best self. I’m not going to lie, there were quite a few moments when Zed and Aly totally brought me to tears (the good kind) and that made me love them more. And, like I’ve said already, I loved the way their story came full circle and they more than got their happy ending. And that happy ending made me so happy for Zed and Aly. And there were more tears involved on my part, because that’s apparently how I roll. 

I loved Katherine Locke’s Finding Center even more than I loved Second Position. This story made me smile and it made me cry and it gave me the happy ending I was so hoping for for these characters. And even though they got their happy ending, I wouldn’t be opposed to more stories about Zed and Aly.

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