Genre: Contemporary Fiction, YA Publication.Date
June 15th 2014
Pages: 296 Published By: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Website Elodie Nowodazkij One Two Three Goodreads
Where to get:
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.
Can Natalya learn to trust Antonio before she loses him—and destroys herself?
What inspired you to write this book?
I used to love dancing ballet as a kid, and I won a writing contest to go see the Opera de Paris. We saw the dancers train, it was magical. Those moments stayed with me. Then, one day, I was talking about the movie Center Stage on Twitter and Natalya’s voice came into my head. At first, all I knew was that she was seventeen and an accident had killed her hope of becoming a professional ballerina...The accident turned into a car crash that also took her father’s life. Natalya’s voice was sad and broken, but full of want.
From there on, it became her story.
Do you have a specific writing style?
Not particularly. Or maybe it’s one of those questions I should ask my readers J It’s tough sometimes to look at your own writing, even though it is necessary to analyze it in order to become better. And…I am stopping now.
How did you come up with the title?
It comes from the breathing techniques one does when needing to relax and memories from my years of dancing, when my teacher used to say “hold the position. One, two, three.”
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The theme of forgiveness is pretty big in the novel: forgiving others, forgiving yourself. And,Natalya has to learn to let others help her. Those are the messages I’d love for readers to walk away with. It is ok to ask for help.
What books have influenced your life most?
So many. So so so so many. When I was young, I read Voltaire and Zola, and Camus and Judy Blume, and so so many more. I always had a book by my bed, and was (still am) very eclectic in what I read. One of my Master´s degrees is in German Cultural Studies, and my thesis was about Medea by Christa Wolf, so during a period of my life, I ate, breathed and slept Christa Wolf J
In the recent past, I fell in love with JELLICOE ROAD: the writing, the story, everything. And then, Stephanie Perkins. Whenever I was feeling down, I picked up ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS, it became a pick-me-up-and-let´s-smile book. Just a few examples.
I could fill out an entire novel with books that played a role in my life and influenced it somehow.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
My writing got better thanks to my critique partners and beta readers. All those wonderful ladies who know what I`m going through and are always there for me are definitely my mentors. Plus, I am so lucky because I get to read their books, and their writing is AMAZING!
What book are you reading now?
I am just starting BEHIND THE SCENES by Dahlia Adler. I am super excited about it. Dahlia was my mentor during the writing contest Pitch Wars and she helped me so much.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
There are always new authors grasping my interest. Sometimes, they are debut authors, and sometimes they’re just new-to-me authors. In the last 3 months: Jessica Love & Chelsie Hill and their debut PUSH GIRLS, Katja Millay and THE SEA OF TRANQUILITY, Elizabeth Briggs and her debut MORE THAN MUSIC, Jennifer Ellision and her debut THREATS OF SKY AND SEA, Kristin Rae and her debut WISH YOU WERE ITALIAN, Elizabeth Eulberg with BETTER OFF FRIENDS. I am lucky enough to call some of the authors my friends and I am in awe of what they’ve accomplished! (and I cannot wait to read more).
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Trust my instinct earlier. There was a little voice in my head telling me that the draft I queried needed a major overhaul. This overhaul ended up happening much later in the process.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From reading mainly, and wanting to craft the stories in my mind…when I was maybe 12 or 14, I wrote a bunch of poetry (especially about a crush I had but also about society…).
Then, in high school, I started writing a full novel (which I never finished). Some of my friends were reading it as I went, encouraging me. I loved, loved, loved writing and getting lost in the characters.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I think one of the things I had to work on is trust myself and my writing more. I am French, currently living in Germany, writing in English. I lived in the US for several years, I studied there, I taught there and my higher education was pretty much in English. My day job also requires English and I speak English with my husband…so it comes naturally for me to write in English. But it is still one of my worries.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Only one? Really? I have several must-buy authors. If you really want me to pick only one, I will have to go with Melina Marchetta. The way she writes really grasps me and I fall utterly in love with her characters, they feel…real.
Ok, and a bonus one? Judy Blume. Her books accompanied me throughout my teenage years and I also absolutely loved her book SUMMER SISTERS.
Who designed the covers?
Derek Murphy from Creativindie. I love his work!
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
There are certain scenes in the book, where I had to really push myself, where my critique partners wrote in the margins, "I want more. You can doooo it!"
I pretty much bawled writing certain scenes and I think the result is much better.
Dancing's always been my future. Dancing's always been who I am. So even if I can't dance like I used to, even if I can't put too much pressure on my knee, I'm convinced I'll train my way back to the top, that I'll show Dr. Gibson and the rest of them that they got it wrong, when they said It was very unlikely I would ever go back on stage.
I know way too well how guilt can eat you up from the inside, take away everything you thought you knew about yourself, and spit out your happiness on its way out.
No longer scared of what' to come for us, not longer holding back. This date is magical. That means I get a happy ending, right?
One, Two, Three is one of those contemporary reads that you can curl up with on your sofa and fall in love with within minutes. The character's of Natalya and Antonio are worthy of your love from the first page.
Natalya is a ballerina in her heart and soul. She can't imagine doing anything else, being anything else in life. Then tragedy strikes her and a car accident kills her father and injures Natalya to the point that the doctors aren't sure she'll dance again on stage. She is heartbroken and lost. She moves into her grandmother's house with her drunken and lost mother. The only thing that holds her together is her drive to beat the odds and dance again and her best friend Becca.
This book is about learning to live without the one thing you thought you couldn't and realizing that the people who matter are often the ones that are just as broken as you. I loved the lesson this book taught, and I think young readers will get a lot out of it. Elodie's characters are strong and just jump off the page and into your heart.
Elodie Nowodazkij has written a powerful book that reminds me a bit of "Save the Last Dance" which I absolutely loved!! She seamlessly developed her characters and the attitude of this novel without much flaw. From the beginning I was hooked on her words and how she brought this story to life!!
Win a signed copy of "One, Two, Three" by Elodie Nowodazkij
About the Author
The long story: 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