Awhile back I interviewed Ashley Elliot of Inklings Press for her blog tour on her first published novel, Becoming Nikki. Since then I've been able to read it and am now here to share my thoughts on it! :)
First of all, it's a story about a broken brother-sister relationship. I LOVE a good brother and sister relationship in stories (probably because I have a brother of my own and we have so much fun together and I love him :)). In think in today's culture, brothers and sisters are typically portrayed as enemies at worst, sarcastic and annoying to each other at best. And while the latter may or may not be true (at times-ahem-) it certainly isn't the case for ALL brothers and sisters, and shouldn't be the only way brothers and sisters are portrayed.
-steps off soapbox-
Sorry, everyone, got a little carried away there. Back to the review....
Nikki was a great protagonist and very relatable. She's introverted and nervous when she has to interact with strangers. Underneath her shy and sometimes awkward demeanor though she's very caring and sensitive. Throughout the story she struggles to forgive her brother for the way he's treated her in the past years. Which brings me to Alec.
Alec was beyond irritating (and mean) at first but soon grew to perhaps be my favorite character.
When he woke up after his accident and Nikki found out he lost his memory I cried SO hard. I personally think it was one of the best, emotional scenes of the book. You could really feel Nikki's fear and bewilderment. It was so heartbreaking. BUT, after his accident (and still without his memory) he's so very sweet and kind to his sister. He remembers nothing of his past attitude toward her, for which Nikki is grateful for. As they go about their daily lives, continuing their ice dancing career, they grow closer, but she still can't bring herself to trust him fully. And she still can't forgive him.
Dylan and Natalie (ha) were two close friends of Nikki. Dylan was a really nice guy and it was fun to see him and Nikki grow closer as the story progressed. Natalie was funny and outgoing from the first, always there for Nikki to comfort and encourage her and make her laugh. Plus they watched period dramas together! I loved all the references to movies I've seen (and love) such as Little Dorrit, Bleak House, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (95!).....
Probably my favorite "minor" character was actually the nurse, Kate. She was really sweet and helpful to Nikki, acting as an "older" friend who gave her advice and comfort when she needed it. Plus she was British, so it was fun to imagine her British accent in my head as I read it. :)
I loved the ice-dancing aspect of the story. It was unique and fun and prompted me to google videos of Charlie White and Meryl Davis. I was kind of hooked for awhile and really wished I knew how to ice skate like them! (Keep dreaming, Natalie. haha)
I also found videos of Disney On Ice and...ahem...may have had too much fun watching those...
Anyways, I keep forgetting I'm reviewing a book. :P
So, as Nikki and Alec prepare for the ice dancing Nationals, Nikki worries what will happen when Alec's memory returns. Will he still like her? Will he revert back to being mean and uncaring?
I want to say more, but I don't want to give away too much...so you'll have to read the book for yourself!!! I completely recommend it- it was a sweet and inspiring story, and one I'm glad to have on my bookshelves! :)
Make sure to check out Ashley's blog: Inklings Press