Read Always Second Best by Elodie Nowodazkij Online

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Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected. Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becom Sometimes being first isn’t what you expected. Seventeen-year-old ballerina Emilia Moretti is tired of always being second best. And she’s going to prove the world she deserves to be first. In her upcoming School of the Performing Arts showcase. In the eyes of her birth parents. And in the heart of the guy she loves. She spends hours rehearsing, hours dreaming about becoming number one, hours imagining how her entire life is about to change. But when nothing goes the way she planned, she’ll need to realize what it really means to be first. Eighteen-year-old Nick Grawski doesn’t want to follow Daddy Dearest’s rules any longer. He's going to prove he's meant to be a dancer—not a lawyer—and he is not going to stay away from Em just because his father demands it. He needs to show Em that—this time around—he’s there to stay and that he won’t break her heart again. Even when her world goes down to shit, even when he finds out his dad may have been trying to protect him all along, even if being there for one another is harder than falling in love. ALWAYS SECOND BEST is a novel of hope and heartbreak and broken dreams. It’s a novel about falling in love and discovering that being first isn’t always what matters....

Title : Always Second Best
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781517270209
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Always Second Best Reviews

  • Elodie
    2019-03-01 12:01

    Companion novel of ONE, TWO, THREE...

  • Cynthia
    2019-02-21 13:11

    *I received digital ARC of this book from Victory Editing through Netgalley*Review is also posted on This is the kind of book that I wanted to love but couldn’t nevertheless. There were some points that I found good but I had problems with majority parts of it. Please know that Always Second Best is part of a series but you could enjoy it anyway as a standalone.Sixteen years old Em had her heart broken by a boy last summer. That summer should’ve been the summer she earns the ‘price’ of her patience from nursing her little crush on her brother’s boyfriend, Nick, for God knows how long. Turned out the said boy had another plan in mind. Nick broke her heart then gone to a series of date throughout the summer. The last girl he dated was Jen, the girl who’d been an undeclared enemy to Em. It was unfair that he could go around dating any girl at school while Em had been drowning herself to a pool of sorrow. Paired it with her own issue with real mother who refuses to reconnect with her and the pressure of the upcoming audition in which her future as a dancer was at stake, Em felt like the ground she stepped on would disappear any moment these days. In between the dance practice that killing her both mentally and physically, Em still had to balance her days between mentally slapping herself for still crushing on Nick and working on her last letter to the mother who never reaches out back. But as days passed by, Em discovered that there were more to what she knew behind all those issues that surrounding her tight like her dance practice schedule. There were more to the betrayal, the rejection, the false revelation, and the pressure that coming on her way. And apparently, there was more to herself that she hadn’t figured out yet all this time.If you notice, what I described on the brief synopsis above is nothing like the blurb said. Aaand, here comes my first issue with the book: the mismatch between the title/description with the content of the book. When you saw the title then you read the blurb, it was obvious that this book would tell a story of someone who struggle with a label of always being a second best all his/her life and it might end with the person could finally overcome the issue. This, truthfully, was intriguing and what got me into reading this book in the first place. But the thing is I didn’t see this ‘always-being-second-best’ issue actually being presented anywhere in the book. There were scenes where Em thought of herself as a second best but really, it was all just in her mind. Because in all those fifty-two chapters, I assure you that no one treated or even gave any impression of putting that label on Em. It was all just her, really.Then about the story itself, well, it was fine. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t any special either. But sometimes I don’t mind reading a cliché story as long as the writing style is engaging. With Always Second Best, sadly I couldn’t find it. What I noticed the most was how the author loved―like really really loved―to repeat the same first word(s) of a sentence three times in a row several times like this:I so don’t want to get into a talk with her. Not when Nick’s supposed to be here. Not when I’m supposed to finally have the talk with him. Not when I believe maybe, just maybe, we finally have a chance again. It was good at first as it helped the author to intensify the feeling that she wanted to relay to the readers on that particular scene (even I, myself, loved to write like this sometimes because it’s kind of poetic). But when it was done again and again, in almost every page of the book, it somehow became boring and even slightly tiring and annoying. Also, the author seemed having a problem arranging the plot. The pacing was real slow in the beginning as the story went on uneventfully. And then at one point, twist after twist came barreling in but the tensions only lasted no more than one minute as it moved into another scene quickly. There were scenes that seemed rushed. Several unnecessary details were included yet the seemingly critical points were overlooked or just ended up in vague closures. Most twists, even the important one like the truth behind Em’s real mother’s rejection, were unraveled curtly like it didn’t mean anything. The tension-building was almost absent as the transformation between each scene were unsmooth and happened quickly. Thus, it was hard to really connect with the story as we didn’t have enough time to feel along with the characters. The characters themselves weren’t developed well. Each character didn’t hold any certain characteristic so it was hard to tolerate them, both main and side characters. The shallowness of the characters caused me to feel indifferent to whatever they did in the story. And this is really really sad because sometimes it was the characters that pull me close when the story didn’t engage my interest. I actually was intrigued with Nat’s story but her role was cut out so sudden without any closure in the end. I liked her friendship with Em that even though they were not close, they went along alright. I could relate with this kind of friendship. And also Jen, she was the reason I laughed for the first time while reading this book. Even though the change in her character was a bit confusing, I liked her when she decided to be a little more ‘reachable’ by people around her. I also liked Roberto, Em’s brother, but again, their characters were too shallow to allow readers getting to know more of them.Despite everything, I appreciated the efforts the author put into building moments of Nick and Em. Their togetherness was not overdone to a sickening level or too plain to be called a romance. It was decent and the pace perfectly suited their age. The ending was realistic enough. Not everything worked in the end but at least everyone got what they truly needed. The moral lesson implied here was good, too. That sometimes when you have no idea where to go from where you stand at the moment, you just need to crawl back inside your heart for a while and ask your own self for a direction. Because after all, the one who can give you the best answer for that is no other than your own self.

  • Riley Edgewood
    2019-03-02 11:05

    There are so many things to love about Always Second Best. This is a multifaceted story if ever there was one. It broke my heart, halfway attempted to put it back together, and then broke it all over again. Always Second Best has Romeo & Juliet vibes for the modern YA audience, with a very different ending. It's a novel of love and of loss that shows us it's okay--even important--to question the things we feel so certain that we want. And same with relationships. Familial, romantic, platonic... Sometimes relationships seem solid in their standing, whichever that standing may be. Love. Hate. Distrust. But by the end, nothing's exactly where it began. Forgiveness and perspective and knowledge are powerful things. This is a book about discovering that no family is perfect and sometimes what may seem unforgivable is, actually, possible to let go of. Or at least to try. Nick and Emilia. Nick and Em. I already loved them from A Summer Like No Other--which, you don't have to read to enjoy this book, but you should read it anyway. "You're scared. But you don't need to be. Use this fear to show them who you are."Nick is a hell of a guy. I loved him in the prequel and I love him even more now. Even when things between Em and he are rocky, he remains a rock in the way that he's there for her. This is a second chance romance you'll be rooting from from page one. (Or, if you've read the prequel, from before the book even begins.)And Em. Man, life throws Em everything it can in this story and she stays on her feet. She's strong and determined and is given to gentle infusions of humor that make even the hardest scenes a little easier to bear. The plot twists and winds through unexpected loops, one after another after another. Grief piles on top of grief. This book will slay you at times, but it will also put you as close to back together as it can. Which won't be all the way. Because Always Second Best is the kind of book that will stick with you, deep in your chest, for a long time after reading.

  • Rê
    2019-02-27 08:55

    **Review for A Summer Like No Other & Always Second Best ***3 “Best friend's sister romance” STARSI’ve always been a fan of any variation of the “best friend to lovers” trope. In the Broken Dreams series there's a good combination of that because Emily is not only Nick’s best friend’s little sister, but Em is also one of the people he trusts the most. Em & Nick’s relationship is not only linked to Robert (Em’s brother), but they have history together. They’d been there for each other since they were kids and have shared a lot of good moments in the past.When we meet Em and Nick in the first book they already have feelings for each other. Em has been in love with her brother’s BFF for what seems like a long time, and Nick has been thinking about her in not only friendly ways, if you know what I mean.Stuck in the city for the summer, Em and Nick spend most of their time in the studio where they practice dancing and, without their friends or any distraction around, they focus their energy on each other. Of course that leads to them admiting to their feelings and moving to the next stage in their relationship. But neither of them is ready to commit to a serious relationship, so they agree to have a fling for the summer. Once it’s over, so is their relationship. You can see how this is so not going to work when the two people involved already have feelings for each other, right? Either way, they go for it.The first book in the series is a novella that follows this summer agreement – and it seems like it wasn’t originally planned. From what I understand, the author started writing “Always Second Best” before she thought of writing “A Summer Like no Other”, but later on she saw the need to show the readers the events of the summer.Honestly, I’m glad she did because reading ASB without ASLNO would’ve been too confusing. We needed to see Em and Nick choosing to take the next step in their relationship during the summer and seeing where it led in order to understand why they were feeling that way in the beginning of ASB.ASLNO also helped clarify the situation involving Em and Nick’s family problems.Nick spent all of the first book and most of the second book trying to establish some balance in his relationship with his father, a man who was willing to blackmail his own son (and practically act like his pimp) in exchange for business transactions.Em had an even bigger plot. She’d been adopted, and although she had a family who loved her, she wanted to meet her birth parents. During her search, Em learned a lot of secrets about her biological mother, her adoptive father and even Nick’s father involvement in her adoption. Though we didn’t get a conclusion to that mystery in the end of the first book, I can’t see how it would’ve worked if the author hadn’t decided to write the novella.The first book also helped show the relationship between Em and her grandmother, who was an important person in Em’s life and in the decisions she came to make later on.So, overall, I believe writing ASLNO was the best decision the author made.Moving on to the second book, ASB picked up from where ASLNO left off – a few months after the summer that ended with Nick & Em putting an end to their relationship even though both had fallen in love.Unlike the first one that focused a lot more on the romance, ASB spent a lot of time on Nick and Em’s personal battles – mainly because the two of them were separated and trying to figure out their own lives.Nick’s dad was still the same jerk who was so desperate to impose his lifestyle and understanding of what was the right path that he didn’t realize that he was making all the worse decisions and hurting his family. Nick’s mom wasn’t much better. In her defense, she evolved as a character, a human being and a parent throughout the second book, but it took her a while to get there. Meanwhile, Nick was thrown in the middle of this messy family, trying to find his voice and strength to finally stand up to himself. It was interesting to watch him go from the boy who was being blackmailed and pushed this and that way to the boy who finally told his father “no more!”.On her side, Em was spending all her time with her grandmother in her restaurant or in the studio practicing. The school had a big event coming and she wanted to get the leading role. Since Em struggled to show emotion in her performances, she wanted to get her technique perfect. She was so focused on the dance that she even left the whole “hunting her birth mother” plan for a while.The moments Em spent with her grandmother were always a great way to show her emotions and get a better understanding of her as a person. I really appreciated them and how they helped move the story forward. Those moments also turned out to be extremely important toward the end when Em chose to evaluate her passion for dancing and what she really wanted out of life.Later on, Em restarted her search for her birth mother and that led to some surprising and some not so surprising, but still interesting developments. No spoilers!Throughout all of this, Nick made sure Em understood he was there for her – and that was one of my favorite things about him. No matter what was going on in his personal life; no matter how distant Em acted; no matter how much he wanted to be more than friends, Nick never forgot to support and be there for Em. And there were more than a few times Em needed him. He was a really supportive person, and that’s always a good trait to have in a love interest.Romance lovers should not worry because even if things didn’t end well in the first book for the couple, and it took them long enough to find their way back to each other in the second, Em and Nick finally admit to their feelings and decide to make it work.So, even though I had a few problems with these books and some of the author's choices, overall this was a good series that focused not only on the romance but also on the character's personal battles.

  • Cátia
    2019-02-24 08:02

    You can see the full review HEREI read A Summer Like no Other a couple of months ago and because of that as soon as I saw this book available for request on NetGalley I knew I needed to read it especially after the way that A Summer Like no Other ended. I wasn’t disappointed with this book. I loved the characters and seeing their development through the book. One thing I especially loved was that once Em and Nick were together there were no problems in their relationship that we are used to see in YA novels. I really liked that Em and Nick were always there for each other when they needed and how important they were for each other. As I said before this book isn’t only about their relationship, it also deals with things in Em’s life, especially the circumstances of her birth and adoption and while I wasn’t that surprised with what happened (I had a suspicion since I read A Summer Like no Other) there were a few things that I wasn’t expecting and that really surprised me. Another great thing in this book is that we see Em and Nick having doubts about what they want to do in the future and if they still have the passion needed to dance and that is also something that I’m not used to have in YA books. This book had great characters and I would love to keep reading about some of them (okay I need a book about Roberto and Giovanni and other one about Jen). It was amazing how I liked almost every character from this book because this usually doesn’t happens :) .Overall this was a great book and it was a fast read. If you want to read a cute contemporary book you should give this one a try because you won't be disappointed.*I was provided an eARC by Victory Editing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  • Haddie Harper
    2019-02-17 13:13

    DISCLAIMER: I received a copy of this book in exchange for honest review.Getting to read the books back-to-back, one right after the other helped still my aching heart. If I did not have this book to continue Em and Nick's story, I think I might have had a heart attack. I am joking, but I am also very serious. I seem to take some things far too seriously, and my heart just throws me to the ground. My mom saw me pounding at my chest, I had just finished reading this, and she looked at me with bulging eyeballs of concern. When I told her it was a book heart-attack, she rolled her eyes and walked away. Nick and Em . . . it seems Fate just kept trying to either pull them together or tear them apart. Misunderstandings, heart-breaking news, amongst other things, all boiling down to an amazing outcome. CLICK HERE ON JULY 14th

  • Jenn
    2019-03-11 06:52

    Another great read by Elodie Nowodazkij!!Picking up eight months from when Emilia and Nick were together, they see themselves as attempting to work around one another. Emilia is unable to be around Nick because she loves him. She has been crushed by Nick going from one girl immediately onto the next. In order to get her mind on other things, she begins focusing all her attention on dancing and the showcase.I finished this book in a matter of hours. I felt the emotion and pain that Emilia was going through as if I was going through it myself. By the end of the novel, I really began to fall for Nick again. He stepped up and realized what he really wanted and what he didn't.This is another great novel by Elodie.4 Stars!!

  • Mischelle Andrade
    2019-02-16 08:21

    I thought it was the perfect ending for these two, even though I was hoping for a wedding... lol But I love how Elodie writes and she brought Em and Nick together in a great way.

  • Abbie
    2019-03-09 07:11

    Actual rating - 3.5

  • Katherine Paschal
    2019-02-18 12:19

    Em and Nick had one summer together, where they both knew that their relationship would have an expiration date. It has been months since that summer, which was both amazing and heartbreaking. Em has to face the rejection of her birth mother and too many secrets to keep track of. Nick has to deal with his father controlling every aspect of his life, including who he dates, so he can keep going to the dance academy. They both have so much baggage, but together they just might be strong enough to face the truth.I have read book one in this series, One, Two Three, as well as the prequel novella, A Summer Like No Other, before reading this book. I would recommend reading the prequel novella before this story, but book one could actually fit anywhere since it is a different character who’s story takes place during and after this book. I have enjoyed this series; the books are cute, sweet romances filled with family dramas and hard life choices. Pretty much growing up teen books. This book was more of a teen-growing-up book than all the rest, or at least the novella since that was almost exclusively on the romance between Em and Nick. The romance here had resolved with almost no drama and moderate amounts of angst by like page 80. The rest of the book dealt with the lies and drama that surrounded Em’s family and her choices on how to cope. This story had some hard truths the characters had to face, such as death, as well as actions that could destroy people, and mental handicaps. I like how the story alternated between both Em and Nick, each with a distinct voice and personality. The story centered on how the two come together to support the other while figuring out if dancing is their real passion. I enjoyed the relationship that Em and Jen developed, it made me happy that they could be something more than bitter rivals. It was also nice to see Nata the dancer instead of Nata the lost and broken from book 1. The one issue I had with the this book, as well as the wholes series really, is the lack of dancing and the dancing related drama I hoped for. I have learned that the dancing is just a backdrop to emotional growth the characters experience, but I am not going to lie it makes me a little sad. I started the series looking for something similar to a teen version of the movie Center Stage with some Black Swan thrown in, and these are nothing like that. Still good books, and I will read more if something else comes out in the series, but don’t have the same expectations going in that I did. On a side note, I will never think about going to kill zombies the same. I received this title from the author in return for my honest review.For more reviews visit my blog at http://smadasbooksmack.blogspot.com/

  • Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
    2019-03-12 08:12

    This is a two book series that follows Emilia and Nick who are both dancers at the same school. Emilia is adopted and has a brother named Roberto who happens to be Nick's best friend. Emilia, Nick and Roberto have been close friends and hung out together a lot in the past few years. The story is told from two point of views Emilia and Nick and goes back and forth in chapters.The first book is about Emilia's search for her mother and answers about her adoption. Emilia's adopted father has lost his job so they are also in the process of downsizing. Nick is their to help Emilia with all this change and they start to become more then just friends. In the second book we get a much better look at their relationship as well as Emilia's continued search for answers on her adoption. The first book is a super quick read that only took me a few hours to read. The story is basically taking place over a short period of time, which is the summer so it moves along rapidly. We do learn a lot of backstory on Emilia and Nick that I think is critical information to know for reading the second book. In my opinion the second book is much more captivating. The story is a lot more complex and again fast moving, but even faster then the first book. The second book spans a longer time period so each character experiences a lot of growing. Things I loved about the series is all of the changes in relationships that the characters experience. Emilia had a rough time at school with this girl Jen. Jen used to date Nick at on point in the book. Emilia always though that Jen hated her and would be mean to her. Due to a tragedy that happens to Emilia's roommate Jen and Emilia have to room together. In between this time Emilia learns a lot about Jen and they become friends. As they talk things out in the book we learn that Jen is not the person that she seems and Emilia may have been quick to judge her. I love how this friendship grew and the importance of not judging a book by the cover. Emilia and Nick both grow a lot during the series. Emilia learns everything about her adoption and has to come head first on with all of those feelings. What Emilia learns and in turn does with that information shows how strong of a character she actually is. Nick also does a lot of growing in the book he has learned to stand up to his father.The ending of the book is amazing! We really get to see the strength in the characters and what the future might hold. I received a copy of these books from YA Bound Book Tours for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of this book.

  • Christine
    2019-03-11 12:09

    ( Source: Thanks to Net Galley and for the publisher. This will not affect my reviews. )This story affect me so much, not in a bad way. They say “Make your Passion be your Profession”. And this story is all about Passion, Second Chances, and Dreams.When I read this, there’s always a pang of sadness on me every time I read the point of views of Nick and Em and how hard it is for them after what happened last summer. Their wanting to be each other is KILLING ME!! And we can relate to this story because it faces the struggle of wanting to make your family proud of you and knowing and to follow your dreams. ” Being first doesn’t always mean the first place on the podium. Being first should be about learning what it is that makes you happy and pursuing that dream and not giving up and staying true to yourself. Being first should be about journey”Em and Nick OHH!! I LOVE THEM BOTH, BUT IF I WOULD CHOOSE WHO I LOVE BETWEEN THEM, IT’S NICK. I love the characteristics of Nick, especially when he strive to do better and to prove to his dad that dancing is what he really loves. Even though his dad wants something for him. At first, I thought Nick is some kind of arrogant and stubborn son, but he is not. He easily switch girls from time to time because he follows his dad whenever he told him to date someone just for the sake of their business. But Nick changed because he loves EM.We’ve known EM in the “A Summer Like This” that she found her true mother. And it’s been hard for her especially when she thought that her true mom don’t like her and it has a lot of revelation when her father revealed that he is her true father. But she has to be strong, and Nick is always on her side. Somehow, I relate to her about her passion. She may not be a lead to the showcase but she found what she really loves to do, it’s cooking. I admired her step mom, Amanda, because she’s a sweet, supportive and strong mom. It’s hard for her to accept the revelations of her husband. It was shocking revelation even to me. Always Second Best follows a story of Nick and Em after their summer romance. A Summer Like No Other is the first part of the story.

  • Moa (The Reading Faery)
    2019-03-17 09:21

    *I recieved ARCs from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not in any way affect my opinion, and all thoughts expressed in this review is unbiased and my own.*Emilia is struggling with making her parents proud of her, and she feels like she’s never good enough. This has a lot to do with the fact that she is adopted. She is also trying to get her birth-mother to talk to her. At the same time, she’s struggling with her feelings for Nick, especially after their summer together, and trying to figure out who she really is and what she wants to do. I found Em really relatable. She reminded me a bit of myself, which made it really easy to relate to her. Everything about her felt real and genuine. I felt everything she felt. And her relationship to her grandmother was really sweet and touching. Nick is totally swoon-worthy. He’s so protective of Em, and it’s really sweet.The plot was great. I was actually surprised that it was taking place around the same time as One Dream Only and One, Two, Three, I thought it would be after, but I’m not complaining. It was actually interesting to see what happened at School of Performing Arts after Natalya had her accidents, to see how it affected everyone, especially Em.And the plot twists – especially one – were really unpredictable. I did not see it coming. I was so shocked when all was revealed. And the ending was also pretty unpredictable, although it didn’t really shock me, but it wasn’t what I’d expected, either.And I cried so much at one part of the book, you who have read it probably know which part I mean, but I won’t write it, because it’s a big spoiler. But I will say that I haven’t cried this much since I read The Fault in Our Stars. I would definitely recommend this, even if you didn’t like the first book, because I totally loved this. It was such a sweet, moving, interesting book filled with awesome, relatable characters, and packed with a lot of emotion. It was an emotional roller coaster.

  • Angelica Mae
    2019-03-11 07:12

    (I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)Always second bestTypo Error:- Chapter 37: It should be Roberto who had blood poisoning and not Nick. - Chapter 44 (page 168): where Nick shared about the last time he went to a hospital:“…the last time I went to the hospital was when my grandmother passed away. I still remember him taking his last breath.”First of all, I’m thankful for having the opportunity to read this book before it has been publish. I love Noona. I love her. I love her humility. I love her advice about love and pain and forgiveness.One of her advices that I love the most is:“But I don’t regret those loves because they didn’t mean to hurt me.I didn’t go into those relationships thinking how bad they were for me, but rather how good they made me feel.”This advice hit the spot for me. I’m the kind of person who focuses on the pain rather than how happy I can be despite the promise of getting hurt. I’d rather not experience being happy when I know in the end I’ll end up hurt and broken. But this advice made me think that sometime, feeling pain makes us human. Feeling the pain makes us cherish all the happiness and love we felt. To cherish those memories. However, I don’t really like the book. The first chapters were kinda boring and those are the most crucial part for most readers. It depends on the vibes on those chapters whether the readers will read it till the end or toss it to the other side of the room. While reading the book, it felt like Elodie got a lot of ideas for the book but it’s too much. It end up some of the ideas became unnecessary like the one about Jen’s. There are a lot of ideas cramped up and it’s too heavy and confusing. Too much ideas that some weren’t given details. Like the down syndrome of Hannah, there was no explanation or details of how it affects the father or their situation. How was it important to the story? It felt like it was just added to make the father more of a jerk. It was hanging and confusing. It was monotomous. Sorry.

  • Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions)
    2019-03-13 12:52

    Full review HEREI received an eArc from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.As soon as I was done with A Summer Like No Other, I started with this novel, which I was glad to have received from the publisher through Netgalley (thank you!). I was glad to read more about Em and Nick, I really like them!This book picks up several months after their failed relationship in the summer and I was pleasantly surprised that although the romance is a big part of the book, it is not the main theme. Instead, what they both want out of life takes central stage and they both have to decide what they want to do for themselves.I really liked that there wasn’t that much angst between them, they were both very clear about what they wanted and once they got back together, there wasn’t any hint of jealousy or lack of devotion to each other, and that is fantastically fresh in YA romance.The family aspect was so good, I loved to see more of Nick and his parents and to finally understand what was going on with Em’s dad. Although I did find an inconsistency about Em’s birth mother – SPOILER!!! In A Summer Like No Other, it is mentioned that Claire worked for Em’s dad until Em was 8 years old, however in this book, Claire says that she just talked to Em’s dad a couple of times after she was born, and that he had no idea about her twin until a few time after… I felt like something escaped me or that I didn’t understand something. Have you read this? Have you understood what was going on?All in all, I really liked this book, I was so happy about Nick and Em, and even their zombie killings… ;-)Rating: 3.8 Stars

  • Mrs. Reed
    2019-02-16 09:53

    I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.This was kind of a Danielle Steele for teenagers: lots of melodrama, plenty of forbidden romance, some who-are-my-real-parents action. It got to the point where it was just a barrage of bad things all happening one after the other, which almost made it comical.The story is told from two narrators, but their voices are so similar that I would often forget which one was talking and get confused (as they were the male and female romantic leads). Both featured choppy, fragmented sentences to heighten the drama ("There's nothing I can do. Except wait." Et cetera). I feel like I don't have much to say about it because it was so forgettable and mediocre. I don't really understand how these two narrators, the children of former friends and business partners who are now bitter rivals, somehow coincidentally managed to both be great ballet dancers at a private school? It seems like there was supposed to be a bit of a mystery with who-broke-up-with-whom before this story picks up, but I just didn't really care.Granted, I am twice the age of the book's intended audience, but I definitely can spot great YA literature when I see it. This is a bit of Lifetime fluff that will be fun and forgettable for teenage girls looking for a bit of pulp in their lives. Now, I definitely appreciate the place of pulp, and maybe this will be reasonably fun for some of those teenage girls.

  • Amber Swinford
    2019-03-08 06:57

    Seventeen year old ballerina Emilia Moretti has felt second best her whole life, and she has decided that she is going to show the world that she can be the best. (The world mainly being her birth mother and her ex best friend/summer fling.) "But when everything went crashing faster than a dancer missing his or her landing, I still had hope. I dreamed he'd come and knock at my door, that he'd tell me he was sorry, that he'd fight for me."​Like most teenage girls (and hell, us adults as well!), Emilia longs to be sought after and fought for. She bases much of her self worth on the idea of, more than being the best AT something, being the best and first choice FOR someone.Because this is such a relevant topic to women of every age the world over, I was thrilled to see Nowodazkij handle it in such a beautiful way. "Being first doesn't always mean the first place on the podium. Being first should be about learning what it is that makes you happy and pursuing that dream and not giving up and staying true to yourself. Being first should be about the journey."Much more than a romance, Always Second Best chronicles a girl's journey to self-appreciation, recognition of self-worth, and realization of her place in the world. It is, in many ways, a sort of Every(wo)man story, and I can honestly say that it spoke to me on many levels.

  • Robyn
    2019-03-17 07:12

    Book three in the Broken Dreams series. Best to read A Summer Like No Other before this to really follow along.Eight months after their summer together, Emilia and Nick find themselves tiptoeing  around each other. For Emilia, being around Nick is just too difficult for her because she's in love with him. Nick flitting from one girl to the next has crushed her. She just doesn't know why they only had one summer. She tries to focus on her dancing, since the showcase is coming up and helping her Nonna out at the restaurant. Anything to keep her mind off of Nick. Not to mention all the heartache she's suffering through because of her father and the circumstances of her birth. People in Emilia's life aren't what they seem and there are many more secrets to come out. Will Emilia learn what's most important to her?I devoured this book in hours. My heart broke for Emilia, but I loved how determined she was to figure out the truth. Standing up to a family member is never easy. Nick finally grew up and became a man in my eyes. Dancing was his passion, but he wanted to make sure he was doing it for the right reasons. I couldn't ask for anything more in the series. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Tonja Drecker
    2019-02-21 10:19

    I've read all books up to this one in the series, so I was excited to see how Em's and Nick's stories would continue.This book was as much a pleasure to read as the others, and the characters still grabbed, pulled me in and had me wishing life would finally go their way. There's some tension between Em and Nick thanks to their sort of relationship/break-up, and the way both of them build up walls seemed very realistic for people their age.The story itself moves along at a nice pace...never with super-high tension, but enough happened to keep me engaged. There are several unexpected twists and turns, and kleenex is a must. This is an emotional roller-coaster, which drags the characters through the toughest situations possible. And their desire to fight and shine above it all, makes it that much harder to watch them suffer. I recommend this to contemporary YA Romance fans as well as ballet lovers. There's a lot of heart in this story, which makes it hard not to fall in love with Em and Nick and hope they make it through.

  • Tanya Grech Welden
    2019-03-07 12:07

    I must admit I wasn't really wowed by this. I found the plot a little predictable. Nowodazkij seemed to resort to melodramatics (car accidents, life threatening illnesses, mysterious deaths alluded to with weak coughs, botched affairs, adoptions and surprise siblings) every time she wanted to get the plot moving. At times it felt like I was watching a second rate soap opera unfold. For the most part the story is competently written. Occasionally the dialogue felt out of sync with the characters. Every time Nicholas referred to his father as "Daddy Dearest" I cringed. I understand that it was meant in an ironic way but it didn't feel right for a guy to say this about his father. Nonna, sounded nothing like an Italian. Where were the non-verbal cues (hands) to allude to her cultural identity. I gather that she was born in Italy yet she had not a twang of an accent or even the slight nuance that you find in Italians born outside Italy.I'm afraid it is a miss for me. A competently written story which is lacking in depth and consequently integrity and believability

  • Paskal
    2019-03-18 14:18

    Je ne serais pas complètement objectif puisque je connais l'auteur ;-)Vraiment j'ai plus aimé ce deuxième volet des aventures d'Emi que le précédent. Moins introspectif, plus rythmé, l'auteur se bonifie. LA relation sentimentale d'Emi est toujours au centre de l'histoire, mais elle n'est plus l'élément fondamental de celle-ci.Un reproche, qui n'en est pas vraiment un, mais plus une crainte, les personnages. Si bien sûr les personnages principaux sont bien définis, les autres sont plus que des silhouettes. Leur passé et leur présent, sans être révélés, influencent leurs relations avec les autres, plus que dans d'autres séries de livres, et on peut se demander combien d'intrigues parallèles les histoires verront se développer.Mais à part cette interrogation, je maintiens les 5 étoiles. Le livre est facile et agréable à lire, les personnages sont attachants, et l'histoire n'est pas neuneu. Que demander de plus à un roman ?

  • Christina
    2019-03-12 14:56

    Romantic yet honest, this is a coming-of-age novel about looking beyond the pressure to succeed and taking control of your own happiness.Emilia is concentrating on her forthcoming auditions to show the world, her birth mother, her parents, and her ex just how good she is. Nick is determined to dance for himself and get Em to give him a second chance. But when her world starts crashing around her, they both need to dig deep to realise what it is that truly matters.Coming-of-age, romance, and the pressure to succeed all come together in this wonderfully brutal portrayal of life in a performing arts school. The characters were deep and multi-faceted, the themes of family and life pressure strong, and the plot was peppered with subplots that all added to the main thread of the plot. Recommended.*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review

  • Megan Coppadge
    2019-02-20 15:07

    I received this book and the previous ones in the series courtesy of the author.I loved this book. Loved it. Getting to know the characters and watching them go through so much and grow from it is an amazing thing. So many characters in books these days are so flat. No personality, no growth. But Elodies characters are the complete opposite and it's a wonderful thing. The storyline was great, the book moved along almost seamlessly. However there were a few small things, mistakes or some repetition that bothered me and that's the reason I didn't give 5 stars. NOTE: This may be because I'm reading an ARC and it's not showing it as one on my nook I'm not sure.Nevertheless this was a great read and I would definitely recommend it!

  • Ane Pedersen
    2019-03-05 07:59

    I am glad, that I got a chance to read this book, so I got a ending to Em and Nicks story. I like the book, it was clear from the start, that Em and Nick still had feelings for each other after their summerromance. I really like how their relationship was in the end of the book. I really don't like neither of Em's and Nick's father's and all their secrets, it was a lot of secrets, but some of them turn out to help Em understand a lot about herself and who she is and nick was by her side all the way. Sometimes the book was very tragic and it broke my heart more than ones, but it all turn out good in the end.

  • Harriett Trombatore
    2019-03-16 07:21

    Great story of a true-to-life romance between two young people who have the same interests -- ballet. Em and Nick are really two typical teenagers, with one exception. Em's father has been fired by Nick's father and Nick's father has forbidden him to continue a relationship with Em. In spite of this, love finds a way and a severe illness of Em's brother leads to a reconciliation of the fathers. Nick also gains the ability to talk to his father about what really matters to him, and gains his father's approval of his relationship with Em. An entertaining read by an excellent writer.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-07 13:21

    So happy to have the chance to finish reading about Em and Nick! I read their novella this summer and to see their story find it's way to a conclusion was lovely. In the world of ballet, full of twisted relationships and lies, these two find their way back to each other after letting their families get in their way. Beautiful and heartbreaking because of the different challenges that they are facing, I was very satisfied with the way this story went and I hope to find another by Nowadzkij where she tells me about Jen or Rob... I want them to find their happy endings as well!

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-19 13:12

    After reading the prequel to this book, I was anxious to find out what happened to Nick and Em and to finally learn the truth behind Em's adoption.I loved Em and Nick's character growth. She's such a sweetheart and I'm glad she found happiness. And kudos to Nick for taking a stand.There was drama and romance and a hopeful ending and reading this series makes me feel like I'm visiting old friends (Nonna is THE BEST and I wish her restaurant was real so I could go there).

  • Jenna
    2019-03-12 09:56

    This was horrible, some much BS drama all for nothing. For the first 70% nothing is really happening then all off a sudden we have to much happening that not makes sense either and everyone is getting a trip to the hospital.The characters had no depth they were one dimensional. The love building was stupid and made no freaking sense. I wanted to slap the characters so many times.

  • Mandie Baxter
    2019-03-16 08:51

    Sometimes you read a book thinking this is really good, I'm enjoying this book and then the plot twist smacks you in the face and wow and then it ends and you're thinking how did I not read this sooner all while in tears. That was this book.

  • Peggy
    2019-03-04 15:14

    Another great book by author Elodie Nowodazkij! The writing is fantastic! The plot of the story amazing! This author knows how to make her readers fall in love with the characters of her book! *Received for an honest review*