Today, I’m honoured to be kicking off the blog tour for Break The Fall! Thank you so much to Becci Mansell and Hachette Children’s Group for including me and sending me a copy of this incredibly powerful book in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger warning: sexual assault (off-page), grooming, victim-blaming
Audrey Lee is going to the Olympics.
A year ago, she could barely do a push up as she recovered from a spine surgery, one that could have paralyzed her. And now? She’s made the United States’ gymnastics team with her best friend, Emma, just like they both dreamed about since they were kids. She’s on top of the world.
The pressure for perfection is higher than ever when horrifying news rips the team apart. Audrey is desperate to advocate for her teammate who has been hurt by the one person they trusted most–but not all the gymnasts are as supportive.
With the team on the verge of collapse, the one bright spot in training is Leo, her new coach’s ridiculously cute son. And while Audrey probably (okay, definitely) shouldn’t date him until after the games, would it really be the end of the world?
Balancing the tenuous relationship between her teammates with unparalleled expectations, Audrey doesn’t need any more distractions. No matter what it takes, she’s not going to let anyone bring them down. But with painful revelations, incredible odds, and the very real possibility of falling at every turn, will Audrey’s determination be enough?
This book captivated me completely. I buddy read it with Sasha, otherwise I would’ve sped through it in one sitting.
I have always been fascinated with gymnastics and these superhumans that compete within it. The sheer limits they push their body to, with artistry and flair to boot, is stunning to watch. Here, we’re given a look behind the scenes, looking at the immense physical work and politics that go into this incredible sport. What I really enjoyed about the competitions was the sense of female solidarity, despite the nature of the events, there’s a really strong undercurrent of support.
Iacopelli discusses trauma and the complex, differing reactions to it so well. The characters have time to process their own experiences and reframe them to see the sinister undertones that truly existed in some heartbreaking but extremely powerful scenes. In no way is this an easy read, but it’s one that brings up a timely and necessary conversation.
Audrey is such a refreshing voice. She’s not perfect, but she’s supportive, incredibly easy to relate and ambitious. At times this ambition blinds her to events going on around her, but I got swept up with her and signs of manipulation and abuse can be so subtle that it’s easy to miss the. I really wanted to hear more from her and hope that Iacopelli could possibly return to her story one day, to see what she does next.
I particularly loved how the narrative was almost completely focused on the victims and their journey. It reverses the story we’ve seen over and over again, almost silencing the abuser. This is not his story and it should never be, instead this is the story of those that are often manipulated into silence. The reclamation of their own narratives and voices is such a strong core message of this powerful book.
Thank you again to Becci Mansell and Hachette Children’s Group for including me and sending me an ARC of this amazing book in exchange for an honest review and please check out the other amazing posts on this blog tour!
Also, if you’re intrigued by Break The Fall, here’s the Amazon link for this incredible book.