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Always Second Best

(Broken Dreams)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  37 reviews
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
Paperback, 304 pages
Published October 10th 2015 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  101 ratings  ·  37 reviews

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Start your review of Always Second Best (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick #2)
Sep 08, 2015 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: 2015-books
Companion novel of ONE, TWO, THREE...
*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 ‘pr
Riley Edgewood
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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...
Jul 11, 2016 rated it liked it
**Review for A Summer Like No Other & Always Second Best ***

3 “Best friend's sister romance” STARS

I’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
Jan 13, 2019 rated it liked it
A story with an ending.
Not like the prequel, not perfect, but definitely better.
I still hope to see more introspection on the characters but at least I found some closure.
Anyeays, YA love stories will always be one of my favourite genres, and this book was about one of them.
Oct 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
You can see the full review HERE

I 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
Esther Haddie's Haven
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 bul
Lisa Bentley
Dec 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Ooh I do love a good romance and in Elodie Nowodazkij’s novel Always Second Best we get a damn good romance. It is the will they/won’t they tale of Emelia and Nick and how they have decided to not be together but nothing seems to be able to keep them apart. Not their potential futures, not other partners and certainly not their families.

Always Second Best is only a short novel but it is packed full of drama. I couldn’t put it down as with the turning of each page I became more and more desperate
Dec 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: yabc-challenge
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.
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book is awesome, there are many twists and secrets but there is a lot of love and understanding.
Love this story of Em and Nick,love them
DD Hulbert
Jul 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love it love the storyline

A sad but happy story. Also some excitement.

I also love romances and things like that so I read the caption, and I was interested.
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sooooo good!

You know those books that make you ugly cry and people just don't understand how you can love something so much that evokes such an emotion from you? Well this is one of those books. I lol'd and I cried big, fat ugly tears. Such a good, heart warming story with a lot of layers. Simply put this book moved me and I loved every minute of it.
Katherine Paschal
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Kristyn - Reading to Unwind
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 h
Tine’s Reviews
( 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 be
Moa (The Reading Faery)
*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
Angelica Mae
Sep 20, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-so
(I received a copy from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Always second best
Typo 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 he
Cristina (My Tiny Obsessions)
Full review HERE

I 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
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kidbooks
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 fea
Amber Swinford
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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!), E
Oct 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
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 N
Tonja Drecker
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Tanya Grech Welden
Oct 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 goi
Megan Coppadge
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 repetiti
Ane Mylund Pedersen
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 ...more
Harriett Trombatore
Sep 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 fath ...more
Aug 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
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 ...more
Jul 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
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).

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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. Now she lives in Ma

Other books in the series

Broken Dreams (5 books)
  • One Dream Only (Broken Dreams: Natalya's Story #0)
  • One, Two, Three (Broken Dreams: Natalya's Story #1)
  • A Summer Like No Other (Broken Dreams: Em & Nick #1)
  • Love in B Minor (Broken Dreams: Jen & Lucas' Complete Story)

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