C.G. Drews's Reviews > Break the Fall

Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli
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really liked it
bookshelves: 4-star, contemporary, read-2020, young-adult

Oh this was an incredible read! I feel like my emotions just went through three flips on the bars here (because I MUST make some sort of terrible gymnastic pun) and there was one bit where I honestly teared up. I never never tear up in books. But it was a moment I'd seen coming, raw pain revealed for both the reader and the protagonist to feel gut-punched by, and both Audrey and I nearly broke down. I have such deepest respect for authors that make you feel.

[tackling dark topics]
I wanted to put this first in my review because I know reading books with sexual assault themes often worry readers. I get that. It's galling and terrible to read, even if it is a reality. So I just wanted to say (a) this is about survivors, no graphic scenes, (b) it's about rebuilding in the "afterwards" so the assault has happened to secondary characters already. This book is about believing survivors. It's that moment when someone you know says the impossible and accuses a person you trusted of being a rapist ... and you are there on the spot, wondering if you'll say, "I believe you."

That's what makes you break down. That moment, when women say "me too" or "I believe you". I've read books about rape and rape survivors, but not one that came from this angle: Belief. Support. Fierce fierce love.

[the story...we're going to the Olympics!]
I've not read an Olympic book and I LOVED THIS. It's very detailed about gymnastics routines and the challenges. And oh, can we talk about the actual hell these women put their bodies through?!? Audrey is recovering from a back injury and has shots of cortisol into her spine just to keep going. For her, the Olympics is the end. She's 17 and basically forced to retire after this due to chronic pain. So the whole book is this phenomenal moment of "will I medal will I medal" AND this aching goodbye of her knowing this is the end of her journey.

I just loved being at the Olympics!! Going through all the emotions with the girls! Feeling this tight connection for not only Audrey, but Emma, Dani and Chelsea too.

I also feel like a total potato now. What dID U DO AT 17. THE OLYMPICS??? NO? POTATO.

[cute little squish of romance]
Okay we love Leo Adams and he is adorable and so soft. The romance is this nice little sidedish of dessert at the edge of the story, and I loved how gentle and supportive it was! It didn't overshadow the main themes (olympics, women empowerment, #metoo belief) but it was just SO CUTE.

[the writing]
Storyline? Excellent. I flew through this book, and at one stage I lost time too. I didn't always keep up with what the routines they were doing looked like because I have the imagination of a dried prune. BUT I appreciated the balance between gymnastic moments and friendship moments, and agonising emotional moments. And the ending was just !!!!! I will say no more!!

[overall]
It's such a good story, so full of love and pain, and it just leaves you in awe of athletes and fiercely proud of girls who stand together no matter what. There is brokenness in this novel, with Audrey's injury and the abuse survivors, but there's love and rebuilding and this indescribable strength of people who will not let each other fall alone.
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Reading Progress

January 4, 2020 – Shelved
January 4, 2020 – Shelved as: to-read
January 31, 2020 – Started Reading
February 1, 2020 –
page 150
37.5% "Me: reads about 17yos going to the Olympics
Me: needs a nap"
February 2, 2020 – Finished Reading
February 3, 2020 – Shelved as: 4-star
February 3, 2020 – Shelved as: contemporary
February 3, 2020 – Shelved as: read-2020
February 3, 2020 – Shelved as: young-adult

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