Thursday, April 30, 2020

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Title:  Head Over Heels
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: June 23, 2020

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

I was excited to read about this gymnastics' romance. I've always liked watching gymnastics during the Olympics. 

I remember when I was a kid, listening to the name Nadia Comăneci so many times. She was a true treasure. I remember watching her routines and to me, they felt flawless. I did gymnastics as a kid but don't remember much now about it. If I tried it now, I probably break something. 

The Olympics has always been something I enjoy and look forward to. I also enjoy movies about it, Hockey anyone? And I love The Cutting Edge (toe pick, haha). Anyway, I was ready to start Head Over Heels. 

Avery Abrams is ready for a new beginning. Her career as an aspiring gymnast in the Olympic team came crashing after she suffered an accident during the Trials. For Avery, this event is devastating. As a kid, teenager, and adult, she never had a desire to do anything else but this sport. So when this avenue closes, she feels uncertain, demoralized, and depressed. To makes matters worse, she never finished college and never trained to do anything else in life. 

When her current boyfriend's career as a football player catapults him to stardom, she is left behind. With her heartbroken and nowhere else to turn to, she travels back home, to live with her parents and dwell on her sorrow.

Then, Ryan, an ex-Olympic athlete approaches her. He's currently training Hallie, a teenager with an amazing future in the field if only with the right guidance. Ryan knows he needs help coaching Hallie on the floor routine and he knows Avery is the person to do it.

I enjoyed most of the story. It was nice to learn more about the terms in gymnastics and how incredibly demanding this sport is. What didn't click for me was the actual romance. I never felt like Ryan was invested. The exchanges were cold and short. To me, Avery's relationship with Hallie, Jasmine and Sara was better developed than hers with Ryan. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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