Published by Atria Books on June 23rd, 2020
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.
Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.
Named a best beach/summer read by O, The Oprah Magazine, Cosmopolitan, Parade, PopSugar, Marie Claire, Bustle, and more!
From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).
Hannah Orenstein’s latest Rom-Com is a delightful look at the world of gymnasts preparing for the Olympics. It’s a timely read in that the very Olympics the story is focused on is the one that has sadly been postponed. But at the core, it’s Avery Abrams story about recovery and forging a new chapter in her life. Mostly though she learns about forgiveness and taking back her love of the sport. She also gets the chance to spend some time with a man, once boy, that she crushed on.
After a career-ending injury, she begins teaching/coaching future Olympic hopefuls. But when Avery’s relationship with her live-in boyfriend ends, she is forced to flee home, to live with her parents while she regroups. When she interviews for a team position to coach one young girl, she finds herself partnering up with Ryan, said teenage crush. As good coaches are want to do, they begin dating and falling for each other. Will the sport get in their way? You betcha. But when her past and his future collide, there are some angsty “love will tear us apart” moments. Love equaling the sport itself.
Beyond Avery’s reconnection with Ryan and the romance side of the story, I found it to be a very informative read. My only experience in gymnastics are from a high school PE class and a failed attempt to springboard over a pommel horse, one that ended in a serious sprained wrist. It’s definitely a sport I love to watch though and I admire the dedication that the athletes have. So, it was fun to learn more about the different types of gymnastics and the scoring methods.
We’ve all heard the phrase “write what you know”, and it seems that Hannah Orenstein has experiences that are reflected in the story. Her love of the sport is evident and inspiring, as is the story of Avery and Ryan. I enjoyed seeing Avery grow-up and gain back some of the confidence that she lost. 4.5 stars and my recommendation!
~Review by Cyndi
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