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Finding Her Edge

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For fans of Emma Lord and Abbi Glines, Jennifer Iacopelli’s swoony, romantic new novel follows elite ice dancer Adriana Russo as she finds herself drawn to both her old dance partner and her new one.

Adriana Russo is figure skating royalty.

With gold-medalist parents, and her older sister headed to the Olympics, all she wants is to live up to the family name and stand atop the ice dance podium at the Junior World Championships. But fame doesn’t always mean fortune, and their legendary skating rink is struggling under the weight of her dad’s lavish lifestyle. The only thing keeping it afloat is a deal to host the rest of the Junior Worlds team before they leave for France.

That means training on the same ice as her first crush, Freddie, the partner she left when her growth spurt outpaced his. For the past two years, he’s barely acknowledged her existence, and she can’t even blame him for it.

When the family’s finances take another unexpected hit, losing the rink seems inevitable until her partner, Brayden, suggests they let the world believe what many have suspected: that their intense chemistry isn’t contained to the ice. Fans and sponsors alike take the bait, but keeping up the charade is harder than she ever imagined. And training alongside Freddie makes it worse, especially when pretending with Brayden starts to feel very real.

As the biggest competition of her life draws closer and her family’s legacy hangs in the balance, Adriana is caught between her past and present, between the golden future she’s worked so hard for, and the one she gave up long ago.

304 pages, Hardcover

First published February 8, 2022

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About the author

Jennifer Iacopelli

5 books514 followers
Jennifer Iacopelli was born in New York and has no plans to leave, ever. Growing up, she read everything she could get her hands on, but her favorite authors were L.M. Montgomery and Frances Hodgson Burnett, both of whom wrote about kick-butt girls before it was cool for girls to be kick-butt. As a high school librarian, she frolics all day with her students, books and computers and writes at night while cheering on her beloved Yankees. Follow her on twitter and instagram, @jennifercarolyn.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 167 reviews
Profile Image for Jennifer Iacopelli.
Author 5 books514 followers
December 12, 2021
UPDATE:

Finding Her Edge's pre-order/library req. giveaway is here! (US/CAN only)

If you buy or library request a copy before March 8, 2022 you'll receive this gorgeous character group shot drawn by the incomparable lovelyrugbee_art.

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I'm so excited to bring you a retelling of my favorite Austen novel, Persuasion. I can't wait for you to meet Adriana Russo and all the kids skating at Kellynch Rink of Greater Boston!

Profile Image for Hannah B..
686 reviews858 followers
March 25, 2022
✨HAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHAAHFUCKTHISBOOKAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHHA✨

This was ABSOLUTELY, HORRENDOUSLY, ATROCIOUSLY, DISGUSTINGLY, INEXCUSABLY, VOCIFEROUSLY WORST. CASE. SCENARIO. This book is expired sushi left in a hot car. This book is your least favorite book’s best friend. This book is walking on legos. This book is having something in your cart and then as soon as you go to checkout “out of stock please remove from cart” pops up. This book is a beautiful cover on a dumpster fire of a manuscript. This book is the cheese touch. This book is pain. Physical pain.


✨✨MAJOR SPOILERS BEYOND THIS POINT✨✨

I

Am

Unwell

To do fake dating SO DIRTY like that is actually causing me bodily discomfort. I want to exorcise the memory of this book from my being. I cannot believe she made the love interest a cardboard cutout of THE ACTUAL, SHOULD’VE BEEN love interest. We didn’t fucking meet this raspy ass, dry ass mouth breather motherfucker until halfway through the book??? She had like three conversations with the crouton. How dare she do Brayden like this. The ending???? Brayden’s been pining for YEARS and he just shakes it off? Even Taylor Swift would be cursing this book out. I literally cannot believe Freddie Krueger is the one we were supposed to love. How DARE this book describe Brayden with such detail and devotion.

This had to have been an editor’s choice. I simply refused to believe the book was originally meant to be this wishy washy and laughable. Nothing was solid. No emotions or endings or conclusions were earned or achieved. You cannot give us pages of Brayden and expect us to just be okay with French Fry???? His love letter gave pennies of what it would’ve taken for me to be okay with this arc. This cemented my glorious exorcism of love triangles from my life.

I was able to push aside her horrible family and the fact that this book made zero sense, for the romance. I’m corrupt like that but NEVER have I been so horrified at the clear impending doom of a book. I know nothing about Frozen Peas besides the fact that he’s a hhhhhhwhisp of a crusty ass character.

Subverting tropes is fun but for that to happen YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND WHY THE TROPES ARE POPULAR IN THE FIRST PLACE. The connection! The forced proximity! The rightness of something that seemed wrong! This book fumbled the pass so hard the other team scored while blindfolded and dizzy from spinning around a baseball bat 10 times.

I’m so sweaty.

⭐️/5
Profile Image for Karissa.
212 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2021
having a fake dating trope where they don't fall for each other and the girl ends up with the guy she had 2 interactions with really sucks
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Erin Craig.
Author 7 books3,569 followers
October 9, 2021
So sweet and swoony… this was the perfect read for all those who were captivated by Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir!
Profile Image for Rachel007.
405 reviews47 followers
June 26, 2020
I absolutely shipped the WRONG team, but nonetheless I could not put this book down! Jen is one of the best YA sports writers for girls. Her books are feminist and fun and they never pit the girls against each other, which I love! This one is a delightful retelling of my favorite Austen book PERSUASION, set against a backdrop of Boston & figure skaters headed to the Olympics. Complete with an adorkable letter. (But yeah I still rooted for the wrong ship bahaha!). Cannot wait to see what the final book is like!!!
Profile Image for Katie.
2,628 reviews144 followers
March 8, 2022
LOL. Well, NOW I see this book is a Persuasion retelling. That might've helped! I didn't think the love story was very well done, but now at least I better understand what the book was going for.

I am probably going to like Olympic books and oh, I really enjoyed the passion and dedication these characters had for this sport. The main character was probably TOO good to be true (not in the skating sense--in the being the ultra responsible one in her family sense).

Profile Image for Grace.
1,163 reviews33 followers
March 28, 2022
This was... fine? I think contemporary Persuasion retellings are hard, and translating that to YA is even harder. This kind of worked, but also kind of didn't. And really the romance of it all felt like a B or C plot in the grand scheme of things. The way all of it wrapped up kind of felt flat, and the big emotional moment of The Letter didn't pack the punch it should have. I don't know what I wanted from an epilogue, either, but... not that??

I also found the blending of this fake figure skating world and the actual sport to be a bit strange and didn't hit the right balance for me. There were also a few mistakes that I think should have been caught in editing by someone who has basic knowledge of the sport (or the ability to Google, for example, the differences between ice dance and pairs), and I admit those stood out for me.

One thing that was great for me here was the references to how Adriana cared for/dealt with her curly hair. Genuinely appreciated the handful of those references we got!
Profile Image for Beth.
1,132 reviews109 followers
April 8, 2022
I don’t know much about the details of skating, so I didn’t catch the skating mistakes Grace did. I almost think the book would’ve been more interesting if I had.

This was… fine, I suppose. It was about competition and dedication to a sport and social media toxicity and difficult family dynamics, except it only touched on those topics glancingly (skated over the really rough patches, if you will) and so it ended up not saying much at all.

Eh.
Profile Image for The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori).
1,150 reviews1,290 followers
September 13, 2022
Full Review on The Candid Cover

3.5 Stars

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli is a Persuasion retelling set in the world of figure skating. As a fan of pretty much any sports book, I enjoyed the strong main character and the accessible way the author works in details about skating. While I struggled with some of the character dynamics, I still found this to be a cute sports romance that demonstrates Jennifer Iacopelli’s strength in writing the sports genre.

For Adriana, the daughter of figure skating legends, winning gold is in her blood. However, despite her family’s fame, her father spends more than they can afford, leaving her family no choice but to host the Junior Worlds time at their own rink to make ends meet and forcing Adriana to train alongside her ex-partner who she still has feelings for. Just as Adriana’s family is about to lose their rink, Adriana is offered a sponsorship opportunity if she pretends to date her new partner–an opportunity to bring in some much-needed profit. Torn between a fake relationship and a real one as the Junior World Championships draw near, Adriana must decide what she wants and which future is right for her.

❀ STRONG MAIN CHARACTER

Adriana is an independent main character, and I admired her strength. She feels a lot of pressure from her legendary parents and her Olympics-bound sister, and she has a lot on her plate with her family drama, the fake dating scheme, and the upcoming competition. Despite this, Adriana handles every challenge realistically, and she remains focused on working toward her goals. In terms of character dynamics, I have to admit that some of the side characters could have been better developed, and I know some readers may not be satisfied with the way the love triangle turns out. However, even with this in mind, I admired Adriana’s maturity and her own personal growth.

❀ READABLE COMPETITION STORY

What I love about Jennifer Iacopelli’s books is the way she writes sports and competition. Similar to the gymnastics in Break the Fall, the figure skating aspects in this book feel well-researched but not overwhelming–we get descriptions of the characters’ skating but with minimum skating jargon, which keeps the story readable. I especially appreciate the way Iacopelli writes dynamics between competitors. Too often in books about women in sports, women are pitted against each other. In this one, and in the author’s other work, the characters are supportive of each other, and I loved reading about their genuine care for one other despite the competition.

❀ A PERSUASION RETELLING

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli is a Persuasion retelling about being torn between the past and the future. I enjoyed the main character’s perseverance, and the dynamics between competitors are especially well-written. Fans of books about figure skating will not want to miss this adorable romance.
Profile Image for Brandy Painter.
1,566 reviews214 followers
October 15, 2022
Two Things About Me:
1. I LOVE Jane Austen. Teaching my unit on Austen to my students is one of my most favorite things to do as a teacher. Persuasion is in my top three of her novels, where it falls specifically depends on my mood.

2. I am a FAN™️ of Ice Dance-not just figure skating in general but specifically Ice Dance. The other three disciplines I watch casually during Nats, Worlds, and the Olympics (sometimes also Europeans and 4CC if time permits). Ice Dance I schedule into my weekend during every Grand Prix of the season and as much as I possibly can during Challenger and Junior comps.

This book was always going to be a love it or hate it for me. I did firmly tell myself that I would let inconsistencies about the skating that wouldn't be noticeable to casual fans slide as long as they weren't too egregious. While I have a major quibble with the skating, my bigger problem with this book is all the reasons it is a subpar Persuasion retelling.

Every novel Austen wrote has a dichotomy between a Bad Man and a Good Man. (Those two descriptors are bland and reductive, but I'm not currently writing that essay.) Every single one of her villains falls on the spectrum of sexual predator (some to more extremes than others). The villain in Persuasion is the mildest form this takes, but he is still very much not a good person who sees women as disposable in his quest for what he wants. Iacopelli made the mistake of turning the foil for her Wentworth character into an actual decent person she spent more time developing than she did Wentworth's counterpart in this book. I was not at all surprised to skim the reviews on this and discover that so many people were outraged about how the romance pans out. Freddie is mayonnaise on white bread with the crusts cut off. (Frederick Wentworth deserves so much better. UGH.) I think in many ways the author was leaning into this being a reworking of Persuasion to do the work for her in selling the Adriana/Freddie ship, but the problem there is her target audience is teenagers, and none of my students have ever walked into my English class having read Persuasion. If they have experience with Austen, it's Pride and Prejudice or Emma. And of course they would be outraged. Brayden is the one with the personality, charm, and evident care for Adriana. He is the other half of the fake dating scheme, and the first half of the book focuses on his relationship with Adriana. Zero surprise people are mad.

The family dynamic part of this succeeds in being both an excellent reflection of the dynamics in the source work AND an interesting look at the pressures and nepotism prevalent in skating overall. Too bad this book wasn't just about that. It could have been great.

Regarding the figures skating. Here's the thing that bothered me the most. Iacopelli grounded her FS world in real world skating by placing the 2022 Olympics in Beijing, the 2026 Olympics in Milan, AND name dropping Gabriella Papadakis and Guillaume Cizeron. I could have moved past the first two. Throwing real live people in the mix means we're now truly grounded in real life skating. If P/C exist in this world, then don't all the US Senior Ice Dance Teams, who Iacopelli had the audacity to say tanked in Beijing? (I know she was writing this before the Olympics actually arrived, but what does she have against H/D, C/B, and H/B that she would send those kind of vibes their way?) The US Olympic Team comes in 5th in the Beijing team event somehow in this book, and (here's where it got really annoying) the USFSA* is toying with the notion of sending Adriana/Braden to Senior Worlds because of how bad the Senior teams competed at the Olympics, which is RIDICULOUS. First, it's ridiculous because there is nothing FS audiences love more than a redemption narrative arc, so Olympic failure doesn't mean diddly squat when it comes to attending Worlds. Second, Worlds assignments are determined at Nationals. At the end of Nats weekend, USFSA chooses the teams that will compete at Worlds AND THEIR ALTERNATES. The US Senior Ice Dance bench is DEEP. For a team that had only ever competed as Juniors to be sent to Senior Worlds, all the Senior teams would have to be tragically blown up on a boat during a party a la Will Ferrell's Eurovision movie. Even then why would they bother when the required technical elements are not the same? They would need TWO new (or at the very least greatly reworked) programs. The most annoying part is this didn't need including to raise the stakes, and it just kept getting brought up for the last 1/4 of the novel, so I couldn't ignore it either.

Either your skating world needs to be made up out of whole cloth or grounded in reality. Don't straddle.

*Called something else in this book probably for trademark reasons. (Me giving the benefit of the doubt about author's research skills.)
Profile Image for Booksneverdie.
66 reviews175 followers
February 15, 2022
Just finished reading Finding Her Edge! ✨

I absolutely flew through this book, stayed up until after midnight (something I haven’t done for quite some time) and the romance brought me back to my Wattpad days where I would devour romance after romance 🤌🏻💓 It had the fake dating trope, extremely cute love interest BUT also a love triangle which sadly didn’t end the way I wanted it to which extremely disappointed me. Why set readers up with such an amazing love interest (I was 100% invested y’all) when she’s just going to leave him hanging? And let me tell you, that guy was absolutely head over heels! I did not vibe with the other love interest at all and did not see this coming for a second. I even got to, like, despise the main character for her actions and stringing others along towards the end of the book.

Brayden is the absolute sweetest and deserved so so so much better!

But, because the first 70% of the book was really good, was extremely promising in the romance department and for the fact that the main character was actually likeable (which sadly couldn’t be said for the last 30%) I’ll still give this book 🌟🌟🌟 (3) stars.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for I'm All Booked Up  YA.
259 reviews93 followers
September 9, 2022
Rating: 4.5/5

Adriana Russo’s family is royalty in the figure skating world. Both her parents were Olympic Gold Medalists and now her family owns the prestigious Kellynch rink outside of Boston, Massachusetts. But life has been tough lately. Adriana’s dad is spending way more than he brings in, Junior World Championships is almost here and the fabulous Elisa Russo, Adriana’s older sister, is heading to Beijing for the 2022 Olympics.

To make things more stressful, the entire Team USA will be training at Kellynch before they leave for Paris for the championship. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem. But Adriana doesn’t want to spend so much time with Freddie O’Connell, her ex-best friend and ex-skating partner. For two weeks, Adriana has to perfect her routines with her skating partner Brayden Elliot, avoid Freddie and somehow fix the financial chaos caused by her family.

All Adriana wants to do is focus on her skating, but everyone in her life is making that difficult. Luckily winning gold in Paris is worth the stress.

We wanted to read Finding Her Edge as soon as we finished Break the Fall. All we knew was that Iacopelli had a figure skating book releasing in 2022 and we knew we had to read it. We’re happy to say that it was so good that we wish we read it earlier. There’s something funny about reading an ice skating book while lounging by the pool.

We sympathized with Adriana right away. As the middle child, she tended to get overlooked, especially because of her super star sister with a huge ego. Adriana is also an ice dancer, which is different from regular pairs in figure skating. Her dad doesn’t think it’s “real figure skating,” which means she’s judged the harshest.

Adriana experienced significant character growth as she learned to take care of herself and separate herself from her family issues. I mean when your card gets declined because your sister used all the money you earned in the joint account to buy designer boots, it’s time to get a separate account. Adriana became confident enough to stand up for herself and her skating.

Now, for the romance, we were actually surprised with the direction it took. To get over Freddie, Adriana and Brayden start fake dating. Except, Brayden doesn’t know about Adriana’s feelings for Freddie. Sounds messy, right? It is. Surprisingly, we liked how it turned out, even if we didn’t expect who Adriana ended up with at first. Let’s just say a super romantic date in Paris is unbeatable.

Additionally, we liked the side characters a lot. They added the right amount of heart and humor to the story, especially Adriana’s friend Riley and the youngest Russo, Maria. There’s also a large cast of figure skaters. It could be a bit difficult to keep track of them all though.

Lastly, we thought the story ended on a good note. We do wish it felt more resolved though between Adriana and her family. They owed her many apologies. The epilogue skips forward over three years and while it was interesting to get a glimpse of the future, we wish Iacopelli focused on what happened after Paris.

Overall, Finding Her Edge is perfect for figure skating and winter romance fans. If you enjoyed the Cutting Edge movies, you’re bound to like this 2022 YA release.

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Profile Image for kate.
1,076 reviews913 followers
March 13, 2022
With high stakes, family drama, fierce women in sport, completion and an adorable romance, this had everything I love in a sporty romance. It’s fast paced, easy to read and totally addictive and has truly solidified Jennifer Iacopelli as an auto buy, go-to author for me. Loved it.
Profile Image for gabb.
104 reviews2 followers
Read
February 28, 2022
i think the silliest thing about this book is that you can tell an american wrote it

ALSO i think the most annoying thing is that we're just going to pretend, this ice dance team who has only ever competed in juniors, will be going to senior worlds with a month notice (they were told they were being considered for a worlds spot because the beijing ice dance teams flopped... as if worlds assignments weren't chosen after nats)??????? as if we don't need this junior team to get a new program and learn a whole new pattern?????
Profile Image for elaine.
140 reviews77 followers
May 8, 2022
unbelievably bad. i dislike nepotism athletes on principle, so i found the main character and her ~family legacy~ dilemma unbearably cringe. also, my face when the author started name-dropping actual figure skaters who are currently competing… girl what do papadakis and cizeron have anything to do with this
Profile Image for Leah.
117 reviews13 followers
February 14, 2022
“The only thing I plan to focus on is winning gold. Everything else is just noise.”

Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli is a fun, young adult romance! Adriana’s sister is headed to the Winter Olympics in Beijing for the Ice Skating competition. Unfortunately, it will be four years before Adriana can compete in Ice dancing. In the meantime, she is competing in the Junior World Ice Skating Championship. Four years earlier, Adriana fell for her former ice dancing partner Freddie, but she grew taller than him. With the threat of potentially sitting out a season of Juniors, she made the decision to swap partners even though she carried a torch for her partner.

This is my first book by Jennifer, and I enjoyed her writing so much! Her writing flows so well and so easy. Not once did I need to look up the lingo or terminology in relation to ice skating or ice dancing. I sincerely appreciate that about this book, because I know nothing about skating. I have never visited a skating rink in my life. So, if you are not familiar with ice skating/dancing, do not be dismayed. The book is very well written!

Jennifer also does such a great job with the relationships in this book. While reading I felt transported to my young teenage days with cute crushes. Thank you for the warm, fuzzy memories, Jennifer! I will definitely read another book by this author.

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House, Razorbill, Jennifer Iacopelli, and Netgalley for a copy of this wonderful book in exchange for my honest opinion!
Profile Image for Aly.
2,463 reviews
December 3, 2022
I realize now that this is meant as a retelling of Persuasion, but I've never read it and so I was surprised at how the love triangle turned out. The story was pretty cute and I liked the ice dancing parts a lot. Usually books are about skating and tricks, but it was fun seeing the techniques used for dancing. I liked that it was pairs also, so the guys were included and not hockey players or something else.

I wanted Adrianna to choose the other guy and was disappointed with how it turned out. I understand the reasoning, but I just wanted it to go differently and it kind of made my enjoyment go down.
Profile Image for Jennifer Comeaux.
Author 9 books591 followers
February 18, 2022
I'm always so excited to see new figure skating-themed books, especially in the YA romance genre. As a diehard fan of the sport, I tend to read these books with a more critical eye than others because I want the sport to be represented accurately. The author did a good job for the most part, but there were some things that just wouldn't be possible like Adriana and Brayden competing at both the junior and senior levels at the same nationals. There were also some things that would never happen like the national skating federation dumping all their senior dance teams and sending junior teams to the World Championships instead. One other thing that bothered me throughout the book was the use of "routine" and "hitting the routine" to describe the skaters' programs. Those terms are used more in gymnastics and not much in skating.

I had the same feelings about the love triangle that many other readers did. I thought Adriana's relationship with Brayden was much better developed and he should have been endgame. There was hardly any interaction with Freddie aside from some looks across the room for most of the book.

It was a fun read overall. I found a few similarities to my own skating books (cover pose, love interest named Brayden, heroine with Italian heritage, setting in Boston, romantic outing in Paris).
Profile Image for Samantha.
2 reviews
March 8, 2022
I have a lot to say about this book. First you set up the perfect love interest Brayden and Adriana doesn’t even end up with him? They do the whole fake dating thing and nothing comes of it. I’m so confused why she chose for Adriana to end up with Freddie instead. It literally comes out of nowhere like 80% into the book. I get she used to have a crush on the guy. But they had like no chemistry. A majority of the book seemed to be setting up Adriana and Brayden ending up together but then a curve ball is thrown at you and they don’t. If Freddie had more time in the book and more interactions with Adriana then it would have made a little more sense for her to choose him. It’s like the writer had a whole book written in her head about Adriana and Freddie relationship but decided not to show more of it. I really hate leaving such a bad review but I had such high hopes for this book. I love the fake dating troupe so much and I was just let down because usually the two people who fake date end up together.
Profile Image for Kelly 💜☕️.
784 reviews15 followers
May 13, 2022
3.5 stars, rounded down

I enjoyed this cute YA romance centered around an ultra-competitive ice skating family. It was interesting to hear Adriana's life in pairs ice dancing. Those pairings can get complicated for teenagers and one person being attracted while the other might not be. FINDING HER EDGE was a quick listen. I'm a skating fan, so that definitely helped to enjoy this YA book more.

Thanks to San Diego County Library for the digital audio version via Libby app.

[Audio: 9 hours, 17 minutes]

Time spent reading: 6 hours, 39 minutes
Profile Image for Isabella (The Feminist Bookworm).
417 reviews54 followers
February 13, 2022
Actual rating: 3.5 stars

I really like Jennifer Iacopelli, and I'm so glad there is a new figure skating novel out there - there are far too few of them :(. And I really appreciated that Jen got the technical elements of the sport that were inserted in here correct - it would have really bothered me if it wasn't!
Profile Image for Kourtnie.
179 reviews
April 2, 2022
After Lukov With Love, it was inevitable that I picked up another ice skating book. However what did not prepare me, was the idea that I would hate this book. There was so much going on, I don’t even know where to start. There’s the Russo family: the dad (and absolute asshole who is an extremely famous pair skater with their mom who has died), older sister Elisa (single skater who went to Beijing 2022 and completely choked), our main character Adriana, and little sister Maria (pairs skating with her partner Charlie). The family dynamic was already fucked because the dad looked at Adriana and her ice dancing as being lesser than every other form of skating the family did. This is hilarious to me because the Internet is basically obsessed with ice dancing. Thank you Scott and Tessa. Well to be as brief as possible, Elisa did a reality TV show thing in preparation for Beijing 2022. It showed her life getting ready for the Olympics, and since she practiced at the same rink as all the rest of her sisters, the sisters were a part of the reality show too. This meant that Adriana and her partner Brayden were front and center, and the Internet became obsessed with them. Because the Internet is obsessed with ice dancing. Brayden suggests that they fake date for social media, so that they can continue having brand deals, and people could continue to be obsessed with them. Adriana agrees - she doesn’t see why this could be a bad idea - except for the fact that Brayden is actually in love with her, and Adriana’s ex-partner and ex-best friend comes to train at their rink before they all go off to Junior Worlds in a month's time. I don’t think that Adriana and Freddie had any kind of chemistry, which is why Adriana choosing him time and time again made me very angry. Brayden was right there. Brayden was in love with her. Brayden was her fucking partner and she still chose Freddie over him. I hate being on the wrong side of the love triangle, especially when I’m reading a figure skating book because I’m here for the Tessa/Scott romance we never actually got. But instead this book said, I’ll give you the reality of the Tessa/Scott situation where Adriana and Brayden have insane chemistry on the ice but they never actually are together. Infuriation. That, and the fact that the dad and Elisa were pissed at Adriana for wanting to have her own bank account for the money that she’s earned, through her partnership, through her hard work, and it never got any kind of resolution makes this book an absolute flop for me. The best part, and the part that I liked more than even Lukov With Love, was the fact that there was a lot of training, and I knew their ice dance programs very well. I knew the storylines behind “Vienna” and the “Game of Thrones” routines. I knew the costumes and the emotions and even some of the skills that they did. It made me feel like the author actually knew a thing or two about the sport. And even though I didn’t love these characters, in fact I pretty much hated Adriana, I still felt the stakes for their performances. I wanted them to do well, and I’m really glad that they did. So yeah, pretty underwhelming, with some parts that I liked. I’m still gonna give this author another go though, because she wrote a gymnastics book, and we all know that I’m gonna eat that shit up.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Caitlyn.
257 reviews3 followers
February 16, 2022
There’s nothing I love more than a sports romance and as a HUGE fan of the cutting edge movies, I had high expectations for this. Too high though as this just didn’t quite do it for me and I’m incredibly incredibly sad about it. Like my obsessed with the Cutting Edge movies is borderline disgusting so I think I put too much pressure on this book.

I still loved the writing and loved our group of athletes. But I fucking hated Adrianna’s dad and older sister. God they were the worst and I was annoyed how much she did as a 16yr old when she shouldn’t have. Families can be complicated but this one just made me too mad to let slide lol.

I thought the fake relationship vs childhood friends love triangle fun and interesting but I wasn’t a fan on how it ended. Like I wasn’t mad but I wanted the other chose more and I feel like it just didn’t follow my expectations. I don’t know, I just don’t think it was set up for my specific preferences. This is definitely on me and again I want to say how sad I am lol.

I hope more authors write figure skating romances and I can’t wait for more from this author even though this wasn’t for me. I love her focus on sports in her books!

Edit: after reading other reviews I feel less stupid about who I wanted Adrianna to end up with lol
Profile Image for s.
104 reviews63 followers
February 21, 2022
i will consume every piece of ice skating media i can find. they’re all laced with something. this was a cute book but her relationship with freddie was so underdeveloped while her and brayden gave so much more and served fake dating like i don’t know what to tell you.
Profile Image for G.
697 reviews12 followers
Want to read
May 10, 2021
5/10/21

One day, figure skating YA novels will have non-stock images and get the cover treatment it deserves. Today's not the day 😭.
Profile Image for Stephanie.
332 reviews45 followers
February 26, 2022
Finding Her Edge is, I think, a fairly decent book that's pitched pretty poorly.

Reading the cover copy—especially the blurb at the top about it being a "swoony, romantic novel" about an ice dancer drawn to both her old partner and her new one—makes Finding Her Edge sound like a romance, like it's first and foremost a book about a love triangle. But, at least for me, it felt like the skating and Adriana's family drama were the main thrust of the book, with the romance/love triangle a distant C-plot. The copy also totally skips over the fact that Finding Her Edge is a retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion, a choice that baffles me given how unsubtle the book is about its source material.

(I feel like mentioning that it's a Persuasion retelling also would've helped set expectations way better as far as the balance between romance and other elements.)

The fact that it's a Persuasion retelling also kinda ruined the love triangle aspect of Finding Her Edge for me because, well, Persuasion isn't a love triangle and it's clear by, I dunno, no more than 40/45 pages into the book that Brayden is the Mr. Elliot character. Once that became obvious, I was kinda just waiting for the moment when he'd turn out to be a terrible person—or at least a jerk. I was definitely not anywhere close to shipping him and Adriana.

()

My other big issue with Finding Her Edge is simply that I think it bit off more than it could chew. There's a lot going on for a book that barely breaks 300 pages: lots of tangled romantic plotlines (Adriana/Freddie, Adriana/Brayden, Brayden/Elisa, Freddie/Riley, not to mention Maria's whole thing), the problems with Adriana's family finances, the skating itself. All of it ends up feeling under-developed and a bit out of focus, like the book can't quite settle on the one or two things it's most interested in. It's especially sad/frustrating because there are lots of aspects (the weight of a family legacy, the financial struggles, the complication of falling in love with someone who's also your partner professionally) of Finding Her Edge that would've been really interesting to explore, and instead everything gets a very surface-level treatment.

Odds and Ends
- It seems like I might be in the minority on this, but—Adriana and Freddie had chemistry; Adriana and Brayden did not. (Freddie was so sweet and adorable and just give me all the longing glances and stolen moments please.)

- Like with a lot of YA romances, I found myself wishing the "romance" aspect was more about love and less about who was a good kisser/sexy/etc. I'm a thousand percent more invested in an emotional connection than a physical one, and it would've been nice to see that be a larger factor in Ariana's deliberations. (Especially since Finding Her Edge is a Persuasion retelling—there's literally no better reason to make it all about longing and feelings.)

- The characters all feel a bit underdeveloped (hearkening back to that whole "it bit off more than it could handle" thing) and the prose itself is just okay. It's a bit clunky in places.

- There's something that rings a little hollow about the world of Finding Her Edge. Some of it might be the dissonance of it taking place in an alternate universe where there is no pandemic going on, but I think some of it is the pop culture references too. They feel really scattered and not necessarily appropriate for a girl who is sixteen in 2022. (Like, Adriana skating to Game of Thrones music felt a little weird, since she would've been way too young to watch the show even at the tail end.)

Overall
Finding Her Edge is definitely not what I wanted it to be. If I'm being honest, I 110% added this to my TBR initially because the cover copy gives major Virtue/Moir vibes and I wanted something that turned that chemistry and connection on the ice into something off the ice as well. And that's not what Finding Her Edge delivers (apart from an absolutely adorable scene with Freddie). It's not particularly swoony, on the whole, and I'd be hard pressed to put it on my romance shelf even at the broadest definition.

It's also not a particularly satisfying Persuasion retelling. Truthfully, I'm not convinced anyone could pull off a really satisfying YA adaptation of Persuasion, because I think there are aspects of that book that only really work with older characters who've lived more life and learned some stuff along the way. But in the case of Finding Her Edge, I think being a Persuasion retelling hindered the book more than it added to it. It was just one more thing for it to juggle, and being super unsubtle about the fact that it's a Persuasion retelling made certain aspects of the book very predictable (or seem like they were very predictable until it was far too late to matter).

What Finding Her Edge is, is a decent sports/competition book (albeit a shallow one) with a side helping of romance. If you're coming to it mostly for the ice dancing, you'll probably find it to be a pretty good read. My expectations were set way off, so it ended up being pretty unsatisfying for me, but I think if I'd come into Finding Her Edge expecting it to be a skating book first and foremost, I would've enjoyed it quite a bit more.

(Now to go rewatch that Virtue/Moir skate from Pyeongchang for the hundredth time...)

Finding Her Edge: 3.25 stars
Profile Image for Archi✩.
88 reviews1 follower
April 27, 2022
I finished this book in less than a day cuz I was enjoying it sM
It was objectively a 4 star for me but I was actually sure I'd end up giving it a 5 just for how much FUN I had reading this
...Well at least until the 90% mark.

I just

This whole review is a me problem of not liking love triangles. Ok I knew what I was getting into when I decided to finally give love triangles another chance after this trainwreck of a book I'd read and hated a few years ago

Like a book where both the characters ice skate? As pARtNErsSs?? "Fake dating for publicity but I'm aCTuALLy into you" situation??? HELLO CAN I ASK FOR ANYTHING MORE????


Soo
funny now I'm in a reading slump who would've guessed :D
The whole book was pretty predictable for me except for the guy who she ends up with but it didn't take anything away from my enjoyment cuz I actually had such a great time reading it until the last part where she ends up with the guy

One thing I was surprised by was that for most of the book I didn't find the heroine annoying for being between these two guys and not being able to mAKe a cHOiCe the way it normally happens in reading love triangles cuz she acted pretty decently and rationally for most (KEYWORD: most) of the book

I think I would've LOVED the book if it only included one of the guys as a love interest instead of both (basically removing the love triangle party completely idc if that's the point of the book) cuz I couldn't stop comparing the two guys so that made it hard to like them equally (which means I kindaaa ended up rly disliking the one of the guys). Idk maybe the guy she chose at the end was the right choice but I had so much trouble buying into their chemistry. I get itt but like still kinda disappointing tho :(
Love triangles are just not for me then lmao
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