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BREAK THE FALL by Jennifer Iacopelli


by Jennifer Iacopelli

Pub Date: Feb. 18th, 2020
ISBN: 978-0-593-11417-9
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin

A gymnast’s road to the Olympics is complicated when her demanding coach becomes embroiled in a ripped-from-the-headlines scandal.

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Lee is thrilled to make the U.S. gymnastics team alongside her best friend, Emma. Pain from a back injury is a constant threat, but Audrey isn’t about to let it derail her shot at Olympic gold in Tokyo. When her coach is arrested and accused of sexually assaulting Audrey’s teammate Dani, Audrey is surprised and dismayed that not everyone on the team believes Dani’s story. With Tokyo on the horizon, the fractured team must come together if they want to deliver a big win. Audrey has also caught the eye of handsome snowboard champion Leo Adams, but there’s no time (well, maybe a little time) for romance. Readers looking for in depth #MeToo commentary won’t find it: While still compelling, the storyline provides more of a background for the nuts and bolts of competitive gymnastics, expertly capturing the excitement and pressure of being part of a high-level sports team as well as the mental and physical sacrifices. The dynamics between the teammates, while angst-y, feel mostly realistic, and the importance of women and girls supporting one another is emphasized. Audrey is biracial (her father is white, and her mother was adopted from Korea), Leo is biracial (black/white), Dani is Mexican American, and there is additional diversity in the supporting cast.

An uplifting quest for Olympic victory.

(Fiction. 12-18)