First time that I’ve read sports fiction ever and can I say, after reading this, I’m excited for this year’s Olympics—especially the gymnastics!
Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics. A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She's made the United States' gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She's on top of the world. The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most--but not all the gymnasts are as supportive. With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach's ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn't date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world? Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn't need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she's not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey's determination be enough?
Thank you to Hodder Children’s Books who provided me a copy to review and to AusYaBloggers who gave me the opportunity to be part of this tour! I adore the color scheme of this book with the gymnast silhouette. I love reading books like this because it shows the realism in our world. I’ve read no book on the Olympics or having sports as a focus, but I really enjoyed reading about gymnastics. After a few google searches on the jargon, I flowed right through. Admittedly, I was waiting quite a while for that rising tension; I feel like the first few chapters could be shorter for the moment to reveal itself about Gibson. Also, the time frame from there to the official Olympics took a while. I understand there was a lot to cover. Yet it could’ve been in shorter chapters. Our main character, Audrey Lee, is suffering from a back injury so this is her last shot at the Olympics, then she must retire. At seventeen, I find this amazing because she explains previous competitions and I’m like… How old were you then? It feels like these girls have lived their lives already! Apart from that, with it being her last chance, Audrey is giving it her all. I loved the story being told through her eyes. The way she explained their routines, emotions when faced with the FBI, then her maturity in team situations. Only thing that irked me was the pit of jealousy she felt toward her best friend, Emma, and when she explained her routines were perfect while others lacked. There was never a moment she screwed up, and I found that off-putting. Other than that, she was a brave and independent character who went through so much with her team in such a short period. Most of the time I liked Emma, Chelsea and Dani more than Audrey. They were supportive and three-dimensional compared to our perfect protagonist. Audrey also had a boyfriend or someone she was seeing? Leo was his name. I found this subplot to be unnecessary. It was on and off and sneaking around because Leo’s mother was Audrey’s new coach. It just didn’t seem to fit. There was hardly development or connection. It would be nice to see this relationship focus more on Emma, her best friend who she suddenly created waves with. Now, onto the themes. Reason I signed up for this tour because I suspected the sexual assault just by the blurb. I don’t know if it’s a good or bad thing, but I’m glad more books on this topic are being written. Reading about it was emotional, not only for the characters but for me. The twists often surprised me and turns it took. Yet reading about how these girls picked themselves up and pulled through to the Olympics, left me up at the early hours of the morning. Audrey wasn’t one to speak about it herself to the readers but seeing how the other characters dealt with it and still fought every day to show the world that nothing stops them was beautiful to read. This also connected with another theme, which was friendship. They were there for each other through the book. When it got to the Olympics, other teams showed their support. It’s amazing how girls unite and come together when we can all relate in someway. I loved how this showed because it’s true in real life!
This is a book I highly recommend and wish it got more hype for its sensitive topics that must be spoken about and its unique topic for a Young Adult plot! Rating: 4 stars.
Australian Bloggers - https://ausyabloggers.blogspot.com/2020/01/break-fall-tour-schedule.html
About the Author:
Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave, ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett, both of whom wrote about kick-butt girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-butt. As a high school librarian, she frolics all day with her students, books and computers and writes at night while cheering on her beloved Yankees.
Website - https://www.jenniferciacopelli.com/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/jennifercarolyn
Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/jennifercarolyn/