Finding Center, by Katherine Locke

jawolffe's review

Go to review page

emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced


melbsreads's review

Go to review page


This was basically the happily ever after to Second Position, but I was totally on board with it. I loved that Alyona continues to struggle with food, that happiness didn't instantly fix her mental health problems. I loved that Zed finally realised that there's still hope for his future. I loved that Alyona's in therapy and that she's open about having good days and bad days.

It DOES contain
Spoilerthe most cringe-worthy public proposal of all time. Like, stops in the middle of performing a ballet to hundreds of people to propose in the middle of the stage kind of cringe-worthy
, but the rest of it was pretty stinking great.

acdom's review

Go to review page


Oh Aly and Zed, I'd read so many more books about your ballet adventures.

natulcien_reads's review

Go to review page


4.5 stars

This is such a great conclusion to the duology.

hmfogel's review

Go to review page


Thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for the ARC!

The best books are heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time--this is one of those. Aly and Zed are once again sympathetic and relatable and make you care so much about them; they are the hot fudge on top of the refreshing, cool sundae made of gorgeously rhythmic writing. If you loved TURNING POINTE and SECOND POSITION, FINDING CENTER will definitely not disappoint.

ratcreature's review

Go to review page

emotional hopeful medium-paced


Expand filter menu Content Warnings

vegancleopatra's review

Go to review page


There will likely be spoilers but I read this awhile ago so I cannot confirm nor deny...

This series is just extremely melodramatic and this often makes it tedious. The first installment works better because you have not grown tired of the constant drama, drama which is almost always OLD drama that will not go away.

I really, really did not enjoy this turning into a baby/pregnancy book. That is in the top two of my least favorite things to read...and I only say top two because there might be something I dislike more but right now I can't think of anything.

The therapy sessions in this book feel really unrealistic to me. Both MCs are really messed up and unsteady, especially Aly, yet nothing is said about Aly being a mother? Even the therapist says she is terrible at multitasking yet is that not a major skill of parenting? Am I missing something here?

Major issue: there is no way, absolutely no way, that these two characters we have followed for two books and a short story are anywhere near stable enough to raise a child. Yet, not having the child or giving the child up for adoption etc. is never even discussed. Not likely. Why the fuck would no one, NOT ONE, person suggest or ask about whether she was keeping it? They're both messed up emotionally and are not stable, not even with each other, but a baby is a good idea? Really? They can barely keep their own lives from spinning out of control every chapter but a baby? Sounds like a plan apparently. That child is going to have a very unhealthy childhood if you ask me. Maybe the next set of books will be this child at his/her own therapy sessions!

reader_fictions's review

Go to review page


3.5 stars

Katie’s debut novel, Second Position, really impressed me. As such, I was really looking forward to Finding Center. Ultimately, Finding Center was less good for me, not because of a change in quality but because of the subject matter. I do think that Finding Center continues to be very strong in all the ways that Second Position was.

Why did I not like this one as much?
SpoilerBABY. Aly spends most of the book pregnant, something I pretty much saw coming, since I’d just read the prequel novella. Locke’s set up a parallel between Aly and Zed when they were young and now. As pregnancy/baby plots go, this was really well done. I did still like the book, which is definitely a point in Locke’s favor. The fact that they kept calling it the poppy seed was super cute. Still, I just don’t care as much about the baby as I do other things, so my heart wasn’t in this one the same way.

Aly’s struggles with her mental health, and Zed’s to a lesser degree, continue to be my favorite part of this series. New adult loves the whole “tortured past” thing, but so often doesn’t deal with it. In Locke’s books, it’s clear that love is not the solution to psychological issues; in fact, it can make dealing with them more difficult sometimes. Support obviously helps, but you have to worry about the other person’s issues and how your issues affect them and on and on. Though Locke retains a new adult, rather melodramatic tone, it is this that makes her books feel so much more realistic.

Also, if you were disappointed by the lack of sexy times in the first book, there are many more to come in Finding Center. Pun intended.

annyway47's review

Go to review page


Now every time I wear my "My plié is better than yours" T-shirt, I'll think of Aly and Zed.

fianaigecht's review

Go to review page

May 2019: What I really, really noticed about rereading this duology two years after I first read it was how profoundly different my circumstances are now from two years ago. And I've made a lot of progress.

At the time I read these originally, I wasn't dancing. Hadn't been dancing for years. Was just beginning to get nostalgic for Irish dance, but believed I'd never be able to go back, because my chronic pain and other health problems would make it impossible. And I wasn't playing music either. Too much pain. Too difficult to start again as a beginner and try and build up my stamina slowly when I used to be GOOD.

Now, I'm a competitive Irish dancer.

I'm not back to the music yet. Zed's arc with regard to dance echoes my relationship with playing more than it does my experience of dance -- it was taken from me very suddenly by something outside of my control, and although I could maybe go back, I'll probably never be what I used to be, which makes it difficult to bring myself to even try. But you know what? I practised the harp the other day. I'm a beginner. I'm terrible at it.

I'm just starting to learn that that's okay.

The me of two years ago couldn't have known I'd end up here, so I'm raising a glass to my past self.

Rereading this book intensified my desire to go back to ballet, too. I was already planning to, but it made that need feel a little more urgent. Hopefully, once I move back to Cambridge, I will. And who knows where I'll be two years from now?

Hit me up in 2021, tell me to add to this review.


(April 2017) Less relatable for me than the first book, because there was slightly less focus on the whole disability / mental health side of things and more on issues such as pregnancy, which obviously don't chime with me on a personal level. As a result, didn't make my emotional fragility worse. This is not a proper review, especially as it's a couple of weeks after I read the book and I don't remember what I would've said if I'd reviewed it at the time.