Title: Lessons in Falling
Author: Diana Gallagher
Genre & Age Group: Contemporary, young adult
When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee –and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.
That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.
Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.
But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold onto Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own—and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along.
Source: Thanks so much to Spencer Hill Press for providing me with an e-ARC of this book via Netgalley!
How I Found Out About It: Netgalley
More than any other sport, watching and learning about gymnastics has always fascinated me. When my five year old self tried gymnastics, I was not a fan, but it is always so cool to watch others flip and tumble like there’s no tomorrow. This is exactly what got me to request Lessons in Falling from Netgalley- I haven’t read too much about gymnasts, and I thought this book would be such a fun way to learn!
I did end up liking this book, but not enough to give it full stars or anything. There were many, many things I enjoyed about it, but I think it’s fair to say that it also had a few flaws.
To briefly synopsize, this story revolves around gymnast Savannah, who badly injures her knee and is forced to take a break from gymnastics. Instead of only taking a break, Savannah decides to quit, wanting to make more time for school and her best friend Cassie. But when Cassie attempts suicide and refuses to talk Savannah about it, she has to take matters into her own hands, and does this by talking to Marcos, who was there at the scene. She then makes up her mind and realizes that she wants to go back to gymnastics- but then there is Cassie, who disagrees. Will Savannah have what it takes to make her own decision?
The one major flaw that bothered me about this book was the characters. Typically, when I cannot relate to a protagonist or if I have problems with the characters overall, it turns the whole book off for me. In this case, protagonist Savannah was mostly the issue- I found that she was pretty whiny and self-centred, and she didn’t really take the initiative to make things 100% right again between her and Cassie. The rest of the characters were just dull and unmemorable, and I’m pretty sure I lost my memory of them the second I finished the book.
I did appreciate Savannah’s character development, though, but that does not make up for the person she was throughout the book. I mostly liked how she learned to take chances and try new things rather than just hanging back and avoiding all danger.
Despite the fact that I didn’t love the characters, I did find the concept of this book to be pretty appealing. As I said before, gymnastics really interests me, and I was so glad to *finally* be able to pick up a book about it! The writing style was engaging and upbeat, too, which was a definite plus.
Overall, Lessons in Falling was just a mediocre book. If it wasn’t for the unlikeable characters, it would be getting a much higher rating for sure, but unfortunately, that did not happen, so 3.5 stars it is. If you don’t mind a whiny protagonist and are interested in a story about gymnastics without much romance, then you should definitely check this one out!☺️
*I received a digital ARC of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*