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Tumbling by Caela Carter is a story about gymnastics and the struggles of competing at such a high level, both physically and mentally. As a big fan of books about sports, I knew I would love this one, and I felt like I was able to connect with each of the five narrators. I also enjoyed the writing style and the suspense that accompanies the journey to select the five gymnasts who will compete in the Olympics. This is a book that is empowering and emotional, and I would recommend it to those looking for a more serious read.Title: Tumbling
Author: Caela Carter
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: June 7, 2016
Five gymnasts. One goal.
Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.
Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life…and a secret that could ruin everything.
Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.
Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.
Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?
By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.
Review: Tumbling by Caela Carter
This book follows five different gymnasts over the course of the U.S. Olympic gymnastics trials, during which five girls and three alternates will be selected for the national team. I love books about sports, especially women in sports, so this one really appealed to me. The descriptions of the actual skills the girls execute are fantastic, and I appreciated how there is not an overwhelming amount of gymnastics description. I don’t know much about the technical aspects of the sport, but this was not an issue since the author does a good job explaining each skill and also provides a glossary at the back of the book.
❀ Well-Developed Characters
While there are five main characters and five narrations, it can seem a bit daunting going into this book. However, I found each of the girls to have their own unique personality, and I had no trouble keeping track of them once I got to know them. Each girl is well-developed and has her own struggles, drama, and reasons for competing. I loved how we get a look into their personal lives to see the struggles and sacrifices each girl made to get to the trials. I especially enjoyed the multiple perspectives because we get to see what the characters think of each other, which creates some interesting tension.
❀ Suspenseful and Intense
I also loved the writing style, and I think it really complements the plot. Because the book is set over the course of two days, the story is quite intense. The author does a fantastic job capturing the emotions of each character during this intense event, and she is skilled in crafting a suspenseful atmosphere. There are so many details that make up the plot, and I appreciated the complexity. There are also many twists in the plot that surprised me, and I enjoyed getting to see the standings after each rotation.
❀ Fast-Paced Story
Tumbling is a fast-paced story about gymnastics and the struggles of competing in high-level sports. I enjoyed the multiple perspectives and the way each character shines, and the writing style is suspenseful. If you enjoy sports fiction as much as I do, I would definitely recommend this one.