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. Continue reading
Girl Against the Universe – Paula Stokes – HarperTeen – Published 17 May 2016
Maguire is bad luck.
No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.
It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.
From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck.
I thought this would be light and fluffy, about a girl whose bad luck involves paper cuts and missing the bus. But Maguire doesn’t dare go near any sort of public transport and tries to avoid people altogether after a series of severe accidents that have killed her family and injured her friends, leaving her without a scratch. This book is more about mental health than little incidents, yet still retains a sense of playfulness. It’s a romance, sports book and serious contemporary all rolled into one.
Maguire’s grief over the family she has lost and the rituals she uses to keep the people around her safe dominate her life. The book starts with Maguire in her first therapy session and a large portion of the book focuses on her setting tasks to overcome the belief that she is cursed and the reason so many bad things happen around her. It’s after each therapy session that she meets the guy waiting to go next. He forges a connection with her even when Maguire constantly rebuffs him. But she can’t deny being drawn to Jordy, who is balancing his own set of troubles but always has time for Maguire. Continue reading