Review: Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

At first glance this book wasn’t eye catching to me. I wasn’t really feeling the basic cover and there was nothing that stood out to me as a reader.

As I said the cover was just ok for me and the title wasn’t really unique but as I have said a million times before, I always read every pitch that comes across my desk because you just can’t judge a book by it’s cover, even though I think most of us are guilty of doing just that.

If I had gone just on first impression alone, I would have missed a really great rom-com! I loved the premise of this book and was thrilled with it cover to cover!

Summary

From the author of the Love at First Like and Playing with Matches, an electrifying rom-com set in the high stakes world of competitive gymnastics, full of Hannah Orenstein’s signature “charm, whimsy, and giddy romantic tension” (BuzzFeed).

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

Perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jasmine Guillory, Head Over Heels proves that no one “writes about modern relationships with more humor or insight than Hannah Orenstein” (Dana Schwartz, author of Choose Your Own Disaster). (summary from Goodreads)

Review

The first thing that stuck out in the summary was the women’s sports component. I love watching ladies gymnastics and I thought the premise of this book sounded so promising and would really highlight women’s sports. Growing up as a kid, I loved gymnastic—-I mean I wasn’t any good but I loved watching the women in the Olympics doing something really cool and different from the traditional ‘women’s sports’ like cheerleading or dance. So right away I was intrigued by this being so predominantly featured in this book!

This was my first book by this author so I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I know that some people who liked her other books didn’t care for this one, but as this is my first experience with her books, I had no big expectations to cloud my judgement. I personally thought this was an excellent book with a strong voice with confidence in the writing.

I absolutely loved the characters and thought they had a lot of chemistry and I felt invested in their romance. But this isn’t just your run of the mill rom-com. This book had a serious component to it and I loved how the author shined a spotlight on some of the darker sides of elite competitions. I think it’s safe to say that elite Olympic level athletes have a lot of very real pressures that the public doesn’t always see. This book really highlighted sexual assaults, eating disorders, and the pressure to perform at that level. It was eye opening as well as captivating to read about. I had a hard time putting this one down for that reason alone.

While I loved the romance parts of this book, I was so captivated by the sports pieces that I was compelled to read well after my bed time. I think it’s important to note though that while some of the content is heavy, this book still feels uplifting and positive so if you are worried that it might be a little too heavy, I found it to be very balanced and a delight to read!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published June 23rd 2020 by Atria Books
ASIN B07Z43PM42
Free review copy provided by publisher, Atria Books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and no in way influenced.
Rating: 4 stars
Genre: contempo romance

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