In the Middle of Nowhere

( 39 )

Overview

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That's what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near.

But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.

At the beginning of the school year, ...

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In the Middle of Nowhere (Willow's Journey #1)

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Overview

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That's what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near.

But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.

At the beginning of the school year, the sickly, but cute Michael sends Willow the first of many cryptic notes during homeroom. He stares at Willow and gives her the creeps. Michael never returns to school after that, but Willow ends up connecting with the poetic boy on-line where they strike up an unusual friendship.

As Willow attempts to fit in and find her niche in the ever-cliquey high school world, she is further confused by Michael who strives to win her over and mend her broken heart. But will he be able to, especially when his own existence remains so uncertain?

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
". . . its engaging, nongimmicky realism is a throwback to the days when YA fiction wasn't overrun with lovesick werewolves, mermaids or other fantastical figures." — Kirkus Reviews
Laura Christine
"This story will stick with me for many, many reasons for a long, long time."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493634545
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/4/2012
  • Pages: 246
  • Sales rank: 813,893
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Julie Ann Knudsen received her B.S. degree in Technical Writing from Clarkson University, but found she preferred writing creatively, especially after penning the play for her children's drama club for many years. She lives with her husband and children in Connecticut. Visit her website at julieannknudsen.com
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 17, 2013

    This story was absolutely heart wrenching with simultaneously be

    This story was absolutely heart wrenching with simultaneously being extremely heartwarming. I don’t think I have ever read a story in which the author manages to combine both of those emotions so seamlessly. It is also an extremely well written novel, allowing you to immerse yourself completely within the pages of the book.

    Knudsen’s sentences flow together so seamlessly that you cannot help but transition smoothly from one place to another. This makes it easier to empathize with the plight of each and every character in the novel. Each and every one of these brilliantly developed main characters are dealing with some sort of issue or catastrophe. I found it amazing that I never felt sympathy for the characters. There was no “oh poor you” feeling brought forth by this work. It was a refreshing change. Knudsen does, however, manage to evoke empathy in the reader, pulling you further and further into the story as you identify with the characters.

    I also enjoyed the fact that the struggles, challenges, and catastrophes faced by the characters are real events. Knudsen pulls on the challenges facing every day teens, including drugs, alcohol, sex, cliques, death, illness etc, and uses them as trials through which the characters prove themselves. None of the characters ever face a challenge that could not realistically be faced in the real world of normal human beings. The characters realistically display real emotions, evoking similar ones in the reader.

    Knudsen’s descriptions are also phenomenal. Everything is very vivid without being overstated. You can picture the island on which the characters reside, but it is not larger than life. It suits the novel perfectly. She also works all necessary back-story into the novel without stopping the forward progression of novel for large periods of time.

    I could not believe how caught up I was in this novel, or how much emotion it evoked in me as a reader. For once, it wasn’t solely the characters in the novel feeling, but me as well. It was brilliant.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 3, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I was fortunate to receive a free copy of In the Middle of Nowhe

    I was fortunate to receive a free copy of In the Middle of Nowhere as part of an author interview and
    giveaway on Goodreads. 

    In the Middle of Nowhere tells the story of Willow who, along with her Mother and Brother James,
    moves to Pike’s Island, a small island in the Gulf of Maine’s Casco Bay. Willow’s father died
    unexpectedly five years earlier and Willow and her family are forced to move when her mother loses
    her job, and has to rely on the generosity of her brother for a roof over their heads – hence the move.

    Willow tends to keep to herself and endures the freezing cold ferry ride to school each day. As the new
    girl in school she catches the eye of Michael, a ‘mysterious’ fellow student who seems to spend more
    time out of school than in it. She also forms a loose friendship with Tessa, and In the Middle of
    Nowhere tells the story about the development of these relationships as well as Willow’s life at home.

    To be honest, I really didn’t warm to Willow. She made some incredibly poor choices and was
    extremely selfish a lot of the time – of course, she’s a 15-16 year old, so in that sense she was a
    great character. The first couple of ‘mistakes’ she made I cut her some slack, but after that I was kind
    of amazed that she would continue to make really silly choices.

    Tessa was an interesting character who I actually felt quite sorry for. She was clearly lonely and looking
     for the attention that she wasn’t getting from her parents.

    The relationship between Michael and Willow was quite sweet, but I would have liked to have had more
    direct ‘contact’ with Michael. He was a little bit absent for big chunks of the story, which for me, made
    the relationship aspect with Willow a little bit vague. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy and I would
    have liked to have learned a lot more about him.

    I liked the ending and felt that Willow had actually grown a little bit, particularly in the relationship with
    her mother. It will be interesting to see what direction the next book in the series takes as there are
    plenty of opportunities for a great story from where it finished. Overall, In the Middle of Nowhere is an
    easy, sweet read.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2012

    This was a well-written story about a girl who stumbles into tro

    This was a well-written story about a girl who stumbles into trouble
    simply because she is still too disillusioned with life after the death
    of her father and the upheaval her family faced after his death. The
    situations and events in the story are realistc situations a girl in
    high school might face - from ending up at a party and ending up so
    drunk she doesn't remember the events that are chronicled in the
    resulting photos to getting caught sneaking out to meet friends when she
    was supposed to be babysitting her brother. The love story is sweet and
    touching, but begs more development. This book seems to need some
    fleshing out in the middle and the burgeoning relationship could only
    benefit from including another 50 to 100 pages. I like the author's
    voice; it is clear and honest and represents the groups present in high
    schools pretty accurately. The only thing I thought was out of place
    was the swiftness with which a relatively good girl took steps that
    would have previously been out of character if not for the influence of
    the lonely rich girl she befriends.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2014

    No question

    Dont ask any questions of what its about jst read it. Its sweet and yet sad. You will so fall in love with Micheal Cooper. READ IT!!!!!!! ~Sk8rGrrl

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Simple but moving! A story of family and love… The Revie

    Simple but moving! A story of family and love…

    The Review:
    I liked this book and though it got some low ratings I went in with an open but cautious mind. The story was touchingly sweet yet very sad in some places and bright in others. The emotional facet of the book was strong however it was seemed slow to start and somewhat stalled in the middle.

    It follows a year in the life of Willow Flynn as she tries to start over in a new life with her mother and brother after the tragic death of her father and the loss of her mother’s employment. Her family life is strained as she feels alone, seeking out new friends, not all of which are healthy or wise choices and coping with her distracted mother and game obsessed younger brother. Everyone is trying to deal with the loss and new situation in their own way and not all those ways are constructive.

    Where the story seems to stall is where Willow is going through her weekly routine of school, homework, checking her online page or sleeping. She does have the occasional adventurous night out which always lands her trouble of some sort and her budding relationship with Michael is captivating but I wished there had been more.

    Michael is established in the very beginning of the book and makes a very charming introduction, making the reader notice him immediately. I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more about him but we don’t see much of him until the last few chapters because he is out of Willow’s social circle due to his illness. I wished the author had of spent more time constructing his and Willows relationship. I would have loved to see them do more together.

    The theme of the story was very well done! By the end of the book I was an emotional wreck and was skittish to read the last few pages because I was scared of what the ending would hold. The tension between Willows family was well played out and her character growth from beginning to end was noticeable.

    The Wrap Up:
    All in all, there were amazing parts and there were slow parts. This story was a tale of love, life, death and teen angst.. hard lessons, ugly truths and the beauty when you let yourself compromise and open yourself to love. I really wish there had been more events to carry this story forward and more development of the love interest, Michael because that’s what I felt was at the heart of this story. It just wasn’t explored thoroughly, but I do get where the author was trying to take the story and I liked it nonetheless. I’d definitely suggest this book to anyone wanting an emotionally well written but quick read. And I’d be most interested to see a second book with these characters because in no way has their story ended.

    NOTE:: I read this as a R2R with We ♥ YA Books! from Goodreads. As always, a special thank you to the mods and author for allowing me to participate.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2014

    Loved

    I loved this book. I reccomend this for anyone who likes a good romance mixed in with a ton of mistakes and new families. I could not stop reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    In the Middle of Nowhere is a story about learning to overcome l

    In the Middle of Nowhere is a story about learning to overcome lose,
    it’s a story about learning to open up and letting go. Willow. Willow
    Flynn is the new girl in town, or maybe the new girl in the… island.
    Whatever. After losing her father in a tragic accident at a very young
    age, and in a way losing her mother at that moment too, Willow is
    somewhat disenchanted with life. She’s closed off to the best things
    life has to offer. She’s the new girl; she has no friends, a little
    brother that only cares about video games and a completely absent
    mother. On one of her first days at her new school she notices a boy
    staring at her. She tries to ignore him, she looks away, embarrassed.
    But before the period is over that same boy sends her a cryptic message.
    And then he’s gone. He doesn’t show for school for weeks, and against
    her better judgment, Willow starts wondering about Michael, the
    mysterious boy that disappeared. She asks a few people about him but no
    one seems to care about him, or the fact that he might be seriously ill.
    What’s left to do? Investigate online. She finds him through one of her
    social networks, and having previously refused his friendship invitation
    she feels bad. But her curiosity (and maybe a little bit of worry) gets
    the better of her and she sends him a request back. They chat online a
    few times, and then through the phone. But after one evening –when
    Michael shows up at her house uninvited (that doesn’t end particularly
    well) –he disappears again. And she seems to forget all about him.
    Willow makes a lot of mistakes through the book, and while that might be
    okay, considering she’s a teenager and all, I still did not appreciate
    her giving in to her “friends” pressure. Doing drugs and drinking just
    because she didn’t want to seem naïve and inexperienced, just didn’t sit
    well with me. If anything, she passed as even more naïve by doing so.
    Maybe you can say that I didn’t like Willow very much. I didn’t like
    that she kept giving in, I didn’t like that she forgot about Michael so
    easily, I didn’t like that she seemed pretty shallow sometimes. Of
    course she was strong, and maybe by doing reckless things she was just
    trying to be a teenager again, considering that her mother had her as a
    personal babysitter all the time. Yet, I couldn’t really connect with
    her character. I rarely felt anything for her. Michael is another
    story. Michael Cooper is the reason I kept reading this book. He’s
    mysterious, maybe a little creepy sometimes, but he’s sweet and pretty
    straight forward. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and let Willow know
    how he feels, and I loved that about him. Well, most of the time it’s
    the poet in him speaking and it can get a bit cheesy, just a warning to
    those that can’t stand cheesy I guess (he is worth it, though). But
    sadly we learn little to nothing about Michael in this book, nothing
    much other than that he’s sick and a little bit about his family. I wish
    the author had given us more insight into his life. I wish the author
    had given us more Michael overall. In the Middle of Nowhere is probably
    a book for younger readers, readers that can overlook things I couldn’t
    (like Willow’s mother) and truly enjoy the story, for it really is sweet
    and sometimes endearing. I hear that there might be a sequel to come,
    so I’m looking forward to reading it. It is definitely worth a try,
    since I’m excited to see how the relationship between Willow and Michael
    will turn out.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 20, 2012

    This was an enjoyable book about a couple of teenagers. Willow i

    This was an enjoyable book about a couple of teenagers. Willow is the voice of this book, and it is her story of what she goes through the first year of moving to a new place after her dad's death. She meets a boy on her first day of school that throws a paper airplane poem at her head. First she is annoyed and then she starts to get to know this strange boy that is never at school. His name is Micheal, and I really liked him, even though he wasn't in the book as much as I had hoped.

    Willow makes a lot of teenager mistakes, and was quick to give into peer pressure with her new friends. This kind of bothered me, as she kept doing stupid things. This is why I mostly recommend this book to teenagers. It was an enjoyable book with a few lessons learned. And thank goodness it did not end how I was afraid it was going to end, and I liked the epilogue surprise.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2014

    Loved!!

    I could relate to the main character and enjoyed reading this rather short story. I would definitely recomend reading this :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    :)

    Anyone want to lend this to me , and I'll lend you one of mine? Seems....cheaper that way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    Can someone please lend me this?

    Please can someone lend me this?

    sengel@isd507.k12.mn.us thanks!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2014

    Great read!

    Great read! Short & fast.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2014

    Loved this book

    This was a great book i enjoyed reading it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2014

    Help!

    Tell me what middle school is like here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2014

    Pretty good

    I was able to get it for free, although I would probably buy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2014

    Amazing

    This book was amazing i loved it i wanted to read the secound book admideantly but i couldnt ao i got the sample hoping some day i get the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    A fascinating read about love, loss, and a boy who writes poetry

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Amazing

    This book is well written and all around a great story

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  • Posted February 10, 2014

    This book started very slow. This is the story a Willow, an aver

    This book started very slow.
    This is the story a Willow, an average girl who just moved to Pike's Island after her father died.
    At some points, the book seemed slow and uninteresting; it seemed to lack a good storyline.
    Another thing that bother me is how selfish her and her mom seem to be at times, and neither of them realize it. 
    Michael, her love interest is a big mystery for most of the book. At some times I even forgot that he existed.

    But by the end of the book, it seems to pick up a bit, making things a bit clearer, and leaving opening for a sequel.

    One thing that really bothered me is how chapters ended so suddenly and then the next one would start so abruptly.

    Overall, it's a pretty ok book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    The middle of nowhere is just a truly amazing book!

    This book was just spectacular and I just loved it!

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews

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