Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Review: Tumbling by Caela Carter

Tumbling Work harder than anyone.
Be the most talented.
Sacrifice everything.
And if you’re lucky, maybe you will go to the Olympics.

Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.

Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life... and a secret that could ruin everything.

Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.

Wilhemina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.

Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?

By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.

My Review: 5 Stars

This book is a realistic look at the cutthroat nature of competitive gymnastics.  As someone who has always loved watching the Olympic gymnasts, I really enjoyed this look at the Trials.  This had a variety of characters, focusing on the perspectives of 5 of them.  They come from several diverse backgrounds, and I liked getting to know all the different characters.  I'm going to write a paragraph about each character below.

Leigh is my personal favorite of the characters, because she seemed to be the one who was most genuine in wanting to be friendly to people, instead of just being competitive with them.  She is a very skilled gymnast who is one of the top in the US.  She is hiding the fact that she's a lesbian, because she wants to be known for her gymnastics, instead of just being known as the "lesbian gymnast."  The only people who know her secret are her parents and her best friend, Grace.  Her parents want her to live a more normal life, so they made her go to high school even though she wanted to homeschool instead.  I really liked her story.  I didn't like something that happened to her at the end though, because I really liked her and it wasn't good for her.

Grace is Leigh's best friend, and typically second place in the country for gymnastics, after Leigh.  She is under a lot of pressure since her dad is her coach and expects only the best from her.  She wants to come in first place in the Olympic Trials.  She is hiding an eating disorder, which really does not help her performance at all since it makes her weak.  She also puts gymnastics over her friendships, and it's nice to see her work on fixing this throughout the book.

Camille was supposed to be in the Olympics four years ago, but she was disqualified when she was injured in a car accident.  She comes back again this year, and is known as "Comeback Cammie" to her fans.  She is struggling with whether or not the Olympics is actually her dream anymore or if she's just living out her mom's dream for her.  She has a boyfriend who wants her to give up the Olympics because he thinks gymnastics is hurting her.  Camille has a decision to make about the Olympics, but which decision will she make?

Wilhelmina just missed the age cutoff for the Olympics four years before.  Now this is her first chance to be in the Olympics.  She has worked on staying strong for four years, and her coach has helped her.  She hasn't played by the rules of the Olympic team coach, though, so that could potentially hurt her.  That coach hasn't seen her perform so she's worried that putting her on the team could be a risk.

Monica is a nice young girl who is in the Trials.  She is relatively unknown and is an underdog type character.  No one really notices her until she starts doing well in the Trials.  Suddenly she is someone to pay attention to and watch out for.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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