It's All in How You Fall

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It's All in How You Fall
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
May 31, 2022
ISBN
978-0759556676
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A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering after life falls apart.

Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down.

Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex.

Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns....

Editor review

1 review
cute summer YA contemporary romance
Overall rating
 
4.0
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is a cute YA contemporary romance. Caroline is an elite gymnast, and she has the persistence and skills to go the distance. However, her back may have other plans. Although she is only 15, a severe back injury reveals that she cannot do the gymnastic moves she needs to succeed, and the doctors, including her father, are telling her she needs to retire - at only 15. Caroline is bereft, and after one particularly discouraging evening with her brother, her brother's friend, Alex, offers to help her try out other sports, with one a week for the summer, so she can find something else to love and excel at - that won't further damage her back.

Caroline reluctantly accepts this kindness, and she wants to do something in return, like setting him up with her friend, Sunny, on whom he had a crush a couple years before. As they spend time together, Caroline begins to realize something about herself that she didn't know before - she really likes Alex. However, she wants him to have his heart's desire, even if it's Sunny. Fate may have other plans.

What I loved: This was such a cute and sweet read about kindness, generosity, finding your place, bouncing back, and healing. Caroline and Alex were ridiculously adorable together, and it was impossible not to cheer for them from the start. The book is told from Caroline's perspective, and she is a compelling character. Her life is changing forever, and she has a lot of healing to do (mentally and physically) as well as to find something new to put her passion into. At only 15, she doesn't quite yet know what she wants or a lot about herself, but this ends up being a summer of self-discovery, including realizing how she feels about Alex, and her family.

Alex was really incredible, and I loved learning more about his character as Caroline does. He is really so fantastic, and it was easy to cheer for him and his all-sports star status. Other secondary characters were really great too, including Nat, who mostly seems like an obnoxious brother until we get to see more sides to him. He really became someone that was easy for the reader to love. Similarly, Caroline's dad and friends were full of fun and brought plenty of sweet moments.

What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the beginning took a while to get going, and the pace felt a bit slow in places. I still was fully onboard by the end, but it took a bit more time than usual to read because of the early pace.

Final verdict: A sweet summery read, IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is a cute and charming YA contemporary romance.
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Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0(1)
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5.0(1)
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It's All in how You Fall
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
I thought this was a very well-written story of two people bonding over the love of sports and competition. The characters were very relatable and well-rounded, even the secondary characters. I loved the way the romance played out. They were friends first, then feeling the crush, and finally admitting their feelings. Very well done!
Good Points
The characters were very relatable. I loved the fact that the main character was a gymnast but had to quit due to injury--very true to life. I loved the slow burn romance.
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