When Hachette Children’s Books sent me a review copy of Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli (several months ago) I had never heard of it. I knew immediately that I wanted to read it though. A young adult book about gymnastics? Yes please!
So much so that I abandoned all my reading plans for that evening and started it straight away. I love watching gymnastics and have always wished that I was flexible enough to actually do it. This was my chance to pretend to be a part of that world
The only thing seventeen-year-old Audrey Lee dreams about is swinging her way to Olympic glory. Nothing is going to stop her, not even the agony in her back. Every spasm and ache will be worth it once she has that gold medal around her neck.
But none of her training prepares her for her coach being led away in handcuffs, accused by a fellow gymnast of the unthinkable. No one knows what, or who to believe and Audrey’s teammates go into meltdown.
As the Olympic torch closes in, Audrey has no idea who to trust, let alone what life holds after her final dismount. The only thing she can do is hope that in the end, belief in herself and what’s left of her team, will be enough for gold.
I was immediately sucked in to the tension of competition and after that I just didn’t want to stop reading. I stayed up way past my bedtime because I really wantd to know what happened to these girls.
Of course, for me this book was all about the gymnastics and I lived every moment of the competiions and training. However, I did also like the way the accusation of the unthinkable was handled. I am always wary of too much teenage angst in books (just because as an adult it can infuriate me) but that wasn’t an issue for me here. I thought the girls handled the situation very well, whilst still being believable teenagers.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It made me think of a more modern, more adult Noel Streatfeild book – a book about a specific interest but with a great plot as well. Streatfeild always makes me want to rush out and conquer whichever sport or interest I happen to be reading about and this gave me that same feeling. I will certainly be trying Iacopelli’s previous books about tennis.
Thank you very much to Hachette for the review copy.
Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli
Published 20th February 2020 by Hachette Children’s Group