I am super hyped to be on the tour for Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli today!
I simply devoured this book and it left me with so so many emotions. 😭 I’ve got a review below and if you head over to my instagram page, there’s an international giveaway happening! I also have a quote and a playlist. 😚
Thanks to MTMC Tours and Hodder Children’s for the review copy!
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?
Meet 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. Follow her on twitter and instagram, @jennifercarolyn.
Oh this was an incredible read!
I feel like my emotions just went through three flips on the bars here (because I MUST make some sort of terrible gymnastic pun) and there was one bit where I honestly teared up. I never never tear up in books. But it was a moment I’d seen coming, raw pain revealed for both the reader and characters to feel gut-punched by, and both Audrey and I nearly broke down. I have such deepest respect for authors that make you feel.
[tackling dark topics]
I wanted to put this first in my review because I know reading books with sexual assault themes make some readers hesitate. Firstly: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES. It’s galling and terrible to read about women who’ve suffered, even if it is a reality. So I just wanted to say (a) this is about survivors, no graphic scenes, and (b) it’s about rebuilding in the “afterwards” so the story isn’t about girls being hunted or groomed; it happened in the past. This book is about believing survivors. It’s that moment when someone accuses a person you trusted of being a rapist … and you are there on the spot, wondering if you’ll say, “I believe you.”
That’s what makes you break down. That moment, when women say “me too” or “I believe you”. I’ve read books about rape and rape survivors, but not one that came from this angle: Belief. Support. Fierce fierce love. Justice.
[we’re going to the Olympics!]
I’ve not read an Olympic book and I LOVED THIS. It’s very detailed about gymnastics routines and the challenges they face. And oh, can we talk about the actual hell these women put their bodies through?!? Audrey is recovering from a back injury and has shots of cortisol into her spine just to keep going. For her, the Olympics is the end. She’s 17 and basically forced to retire after this due to chronic pain. So the whole book is this phenomenal moment of “will I medal will I medal” PLUS this aching goodbye because she knows she can’t keep up this sport she loves.
I adored being at the Olympics!! Going through all the emotions with the girls! Feeling this tight connection for not only Audrey, but Emma, Dani and Chelsea too.
(I also feel like a total potato now. What dID U DO AT 17. THE OLYMPICS??? NO? POTATO.)
[cute little squish of romance]
Okay we love Leo Adams and he is adorable and so soft. The romance is this nice little sidedish of dessert at the edge of the story, and I loved how gentle and supportive it was! It didn’t overshadow the main themes (olympics, women empowerment, #metoo belief) but it was just SO CUTE.
Storyline? Excellent. I flew through this book (I was SO STRESSED and needed to see if they’d win!!). I loved the balance between gymnastic moments, friendship moments, and agonising emotional moments. And the ending was just !!!!! I will say no more!!
There’s also amazing diversity rep, with Audrey being Korean-American and Chelsea is black, plus PTSD discussions and Audrey’s chronic pain.
[honestly just read this book]
It’s such a good story, so full of love and pain, and it just leaves you in awe of athletes and fiercely proud of girls who stand together no matter what. There is brokenness in this novel, with Audrey’s injury and the abuse survivors, but there’s love and rebuilding and this indescribable strength of people who will not let each other fall alone.
is this one on your TBR pile? tell me if you’re a sporty person at all too! and let me know what you think of the book 🤗