Publishers Weekly Review
High school senior Savannah Gregory is done with gymnastics. Despite her parents' wishes and the allure of a college scholarship, Savannah's most recent knee injury has shaken her self-confidence. Savannah and her best friend Cassie, a rebel who can make anything into an adventure, plan to move to New York City together, but then Cassie attempts suicide, seemingly out of the blue, and is found on the beach by Savannah's new love interest: kind, ambitious Marcos. Savannah questions her friendship with Cassie, especially when tension arises between Cassie and Marcos, and after Savannah runs into an old teammate, she reconsiders a future in gymnastics, bolstered by Marcos's encouragement. But giving up her past with Cassie for an uncertain future proves difficult. Debut author Gallagher's background as a gymnastics instructor comes through in a story that captures the guilt and insecurity that can plague unhealthy relationships, set against a backdrop of racism and anti-immigrant sentiments in Savannah's community. Although Cassie's suicide attempt is swept by with surprising speed, it's satisfying to follow Savannah as she finds her way. Ages 12-up. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Library Journal Review
Gr 9 Up-Savannah decides to quit gymnastics after one too many injuries. After focusing so intensively on the sport that she hoped would land her a college scholarship, she is struggling to discover who she is. Her dad wants her to resume training, and her longtime best friend, Cassie, wants her to ditch gymnastics and move to the city with her. Then Cassie attempts to take her own life, and in addition to feeling guilty for not recognizing any signs of Cassie's unhappiness, Savannah no longer has her friend's support. Fellow student Marcos, who helped to rescue Cassie, brings a new perspective, and as Savannah starts tutoring him, she falls for him, too. Gradually, she begins to feel that he is the only person who supports her and believes that she can achieve her dreams. In her debut novel, Gallagher draws on her deep knowledge of gymnastics to add authentic sports details to familiar YA novel territory of the friends-vs.-relationship drama. Her narrative also reaches into contemporary headlines with Marcos's story: he's an immigrant who faces racism and bullying from other students at school. VERDICT Fans of realistic fiction and coming-of-age books will enjoy this touching tale about dealing with difficult friendships, growing up, and finding oneself. A strong choice for most YA collections.-Morgan O'Reilly, Riverdale Country School, NY © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Booklist Review
After an injury ends Savannah's hopes of a gymnastics scholarship, she believes it's better to not take any more risks in order to stay safe. She still has her best friend, Cassie, who can break the rules and be reckless for her. When Cassie attempts suicide, Savannah starts to wonder how well she really knew her best friend and what happens when the things you least expect start to change who you are. Although the crux of the story is about the girls' strained friendship, there are also story lines about race and prejudice, romance, mental illness, and Savannah's return to gymnastics. With so much happening, the narrative tends to feel bogged down, and none of the plotlines ever fully develop. Yet with the gymnastics details, this debut would be a nice additional purchase for collections where sports stories are popular. Try this with fans of Caela Carter's Tumbling (2016) or The Flip Side (2016), by Shawn Johnson and Amy Sonnichsen.--Thompson, Sarah Bean Copyright 2017 Booklist