Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lessons in Falling - Diana Gallagher

Lessons in Falling 
Diana Gallagher
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Coming of Age
Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Savannah used to know where she was going. She was going to keep her GPA high and earn a gymnastics scholarship to Ocean State. But that was until she blew out her knee. Months after she had been given her doctor's blessing to resume athletics, she was still adrift and found herself at a crossroads. Filled with so much doubt about herself, she began seeing the cracks in her friendship with her best friend, Cassie.

Just the same phrase again and again: 'Failed to use proper judgment.'
The Savannah at the beginning of this book is not the same Savannah at the end of the book. Savannah's world had been tilted off its axis at the onset of this story, and as she righted it, she grew and changed.

I liked so many things about this book. I remember those friends, who I thought would be around forever, and as we grew up, we grew apart. Therefore, I could totally relate to Savannah's situation regarding her relationship with Cassie. Cassie was always the same Cassie, but as Savannah expanded her social circle, her eyes opened a little bit wider and she began to see the things that were always right in front of her. I found this part of the story sort of sad but real. Friendships change and sometimes crumble, and I thought Gallagher did a great job illustrating this reality.
Gymnastics is the boyfriend you need to get over
My first thoughts about Cassie were that she was a controlling codependent. However, as the story played out, I became a little more sympathetic towards her. I still didn't forgive all her transgressions, however I was able to better understand why. Still, there were many times where Cassie's behavior shocked me.
I had to figure out what was right for me, not what Cassie thought was best. All these years, I chose her. But she didn't choose me
I just could not believe how a friend could be so discouraging. She was there for 10 years while Savannah worked towards her goal, and then she actively discouraged Sav's return to the sport. It was very difficult for me to reconcile this behavior with that of a best friend.
It's like you wilt when she's in the room.
I was so happy Savannah had a few people on her side. Marcos and Emery were great proponents. They cheered for Savannah and encouraged her to be her best and do her best. I found the relationship between Marcos and Savannah to be so healthy. They were both each other's biggest supporters, and I was elated that Gallagher made this a central component of their relationship and set this side by side with Savannah and Cassie.
That's what you're supposed to do as a friend. You support the dreams, the good ones, and you shake your friends out of the bad ones
The juxtaposition Gallagher offered of Cassie and Savannah's friendship and Marcos and Andreas was quite telling as well. Marcos would risk everything to have Andreas' back and protect him from harm. And then there was Cassie, who fled at the first sign of danger and threw fits when Savannah did not make the decisions Cassie wanted her to make.

This book is billed as a gymnastics book, and gym references abound. The connection and relationship Savannah had with the sport was very authentic. You can definitely tell that Gallagher came from a gymnastics background, and it added an extra dimension to Savannah.

Overall: A poignant coming of age story featuring a physical and mental comeback.

**I would like to thank NetGalley and Spencer Hill Contemporary for the advanced copy of this book

Do you like books about sports or participate in a sport?
Let us know in the comments!

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