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.Title: Finding Her Edge
Author: Jennifer Iacopelli
Also by this author: Break the Fall
Genres: Contemporary, Retelling, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
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.
Review: Finding Her Edge by Jennifer Iacopelli
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.