It’s All In How You Fall
– Sarah Henning –
Published 31 May 2022
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love sports novels and I am happy to say It’s All In How You Fall is a sports novel. Yep, I’m calling it. There is enough sports, injury, dramatic game play, dramatic moments, practice time, romance, and friendship to make this an utterly delicious sports novel.
I loved Sarah Henning’s Throw Like A Girl and in It’s All In How You Fall, she returns readers to the same world. Liv even makes an appearance. This time, we land in the world of gymnastics. Caroline is a competitive gymnastic about to make elite. She has an awesome new trick and she’s ready for Nationals. But, her doctors warn her that her chronic back pain is a sign she needs to stop and when she takes a massive fall during training, the decision is taken out of her hands. Forces to retire from everything she loves and worked for at fifteen, she is t sure what to do with herself until her brother’s best friend offers to help her date other sports. One sport a week until she finds something she loves. Determined to repay his kindness, she offers to set his up with his crush and her best friend, one meetup/date for every sport session. But, things get complicated when she starts to fall for Alex.
I don’t usually love matchmaking stories – Emma was my least favourite Jane Austen novel no it’s referenced quite a few times in this book, clearly inspiration – but It’s All In How You Fall is done so well I loved every single word. Yes, there are complications when Caroline starts to fall for the guy she’s set her friend up with, but they are all surprisingly mature about it. I think everyone could learn how to be a better friend from these characters.
Let’s talk about Alex. What a sweetheart. He’s a top athlete in his own right and gives of his time to help Caroline. It’s clear he enjoys spending time with her, but Caroline is slow to understand why he is helping her.
Watching Alex and Caroline try different sports was lots of fun and allows them plenty of time to develop a wonderful relationship. There might have even been a golf swing moment, you know the one, when he helps her with her swing. Caroline is an athlete so she picks up the sports pretty quickly. I was surprised her back pain wasn’t mentioned more often. I think someone with chronic pain would have less ability to transition so easily to other sports, but I say that knowing nothing about the type of injury Caroline has and her ability to continue through the pain. Just, living with someone who experiences a lot of pain, I was expecting more flare-ups and moments when she struggled to get out of bed, etc, but aside from being the catalyst for ending gymnastic it isn’t mentioned that often.
It’s All In How You Fall was the uplifting and emotionally satisfying book I really, really needed and I can’t wait to add this is my top sport novels list.
The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.
Category: Young adult fiction.
Genre: Sport, realistic
Themes: Sports, sports injury, tennis, gymnastics, athletes, friendship, matchmaking, dating, romance, best friends, chronic pain, back injuries.
Reading age guide: Ages 12 and up.
Representation: White main characters. Heterosexual main relationships. Main character with chronic back pain and back injury.
Advisory: Sports injury. Coarse language, F*** (2), sh** (33), as***** (1), pi** (9).
Published: 31 May 2022 by Poppy
Format: Paperback, ebook, audiobook. 320 pages.