I'm not an athletic person. Like, at all. Because of that, I much prefer to watch my sports. I've always been a bit in awe by gymnastics, so a rom-com set in that world? I'm sold! Big thanks to Netgalley and Atria books for the copy of Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein.
|Pub Date: 6-23-20|
Adult - Contemporary
Avery Abrams was once an elite gymnast who's Olympic dreams were shattered after an injury at a qualifying meet forced her into early retirement. In the almost decade since the incident, Avery has had to watch her ex-best friend Jasmine reach all the goals she trained her whole life for. Now, with no motivation or prospects on the horizon and a recent break-up, Avery has no choice left but to move back in with her parents in her Massachusetts hometown. When she gets a call from Ryan, another athlete she used to compete with, with a position helping coach a young gymnast with Olympic aspirations, she hesitantly agrees.
Despite her worries and bad memories of her own abusive coach, Avery finds a renewed energy the moment she walks back into Summit gym. She's also surprised to find that the more she helps Ryan train Hallie, the more her confidence seems to flourish and her self-esteem grows. The old emotional wounds she had from the sport she once loved begin to heal, and being around Ryan isn't so bad either. But when a shocking scandal wracks the gymnastics world, the ripples not only affect the sport itself, but Avery and her old friend Jasmine as well.
I enjoyed this, but I didn't fully love it. All I really knew of the gymnastics world, I learned from watching the movie Stick It, so reading all about the tricks and intense training/conditioning that these athletes go through was really fascinating. It was interesting seeing this world through Avery's perspective, and seeing the differences in her training versus how Ryan was brought up in the sport. The story itself I thought was okay. I did expect the actual scandal to be a bigger part than it turned out to be, but overall I appreciated how it wrapped up. As for the relationship between Avery and Ryan, I found it a bit meh. I did also find this slightly clunky and the pacing to be off a bit in places. With that in mind, I'd still recommend if you're a fan of sports centered rom-coms.