Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 320 pages
Author: Sarah Henning
Release Date: May 31st, 2022
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads
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.
THIS WAS AMAZING.
This was a read for any young athlete who’s had to give up a sport sooner than they were prepared for (hi, it’s me). I felt those opening scenes with every fiber of m athletic soul and the rest of the book carried a beautiful story I couldn’t get enough of.
The romance was absolutely the SWEETEST YA friends to lovers. Oh my goodness it was too much to handle. I loved Caroline and Alex. When Alex offered to hep Caroline find a new sport/activity she could possibly enjoy and sincerely took the time to show her the ropes? SMITTEN doesn’t even begin to cover it. This is exactly the kind of love story I want to see in young adult lit.
What was my favorite aspect was the COMMUNICATION. Multiple times things came up in the plot where it could have gone two ways. One being a major miscommunication that would lead to hurt feelings and drama, and the other a conversation to alleviate all of those issues. Time and again Caroline truly thought through how she felt, how she thought others would feel and chose to have a conversation rather than let things fizzle in a bad way. I LOVED IT SO MUCH.
I could spend a long time gushing about this read. It’s appropriate for younger audiences and older alike. I think there’s so much here and it really sang to my heart and I hope you give it a chance too.
Overall audience notes:
- YA Contemporary Romance
- Language: a little strong
- Romance: kisses
- Trigger/Content Warnings: career ending injury, depression