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It's All in How You Fall

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Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down. Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns.... A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering after life falls apart.


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Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down. Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns.... A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering after life falls apart.

30 review for It's All in How You Fall

  1. 5 out of 5

    emi

    A teen romance in my favorite niche genre: YA books about gymnastics. Sign me the eff up.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Booktastically Amazing

    Let's clarify the fact that I'm total and absolute trash for sport romances- And then let's leave that marinating for a while as I slowly pick up the pieces of the love I feel for this book. Without sounding like I'm on dru- Let's clarify the fact that I'm total and absolute trash for sport romances- And then let's leave that marinating for a while as I slowly pick up the pieces of the love I feel for this book. Without sounding like I'm on dru-

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    Well that was cute *runs to jump off a cliff*

  4. 4 out of 5

    Dahlia

    I just love Sarah Henning's sports romances. I will read them always and forever. This was, once again, super cute and super passionate and knowledgable about sports, and that is all I want in this world. I just love Sarah Henning's sports romances. I will read them always and forever. This was, once again, super cute and super passionate and knowledgable about sports, and that is all I want in this world.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Leah Waters

    I love Sarah Henning books so much, and this cover is SO CUTE. So yeah, counting down the days until May 2022.

  6. 5 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Review to come!

  7. 4 out of 5

    ally

    gymnastics ahh i love this so much it was super fun to read on vacation :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alicia

    Thank you HBG Canada for gifting me a finished copy for an honest review. I loved this book. I loved the characters, the growth, the relationships, and the writing style. It was a super quick and easy read, and Caroline was such a relatable character. Her struggle to find herself after having to give up her competitive gymnastics career was emotional and raw, and I was rooting for her the whole story. I really liked that the author showed us how difficult it was for Caroline to move on from gymn Thank you HBG Canada for gifting me a finished copy for an honest review. I loved this book. I loved the characters, the growth, the relationships, and the writing style. It was a super quick and easy read, and Caroline was such a relatable character. Her struggle to find herself after having to give up her competitive gymnastics career was emotional and raw, and I was rooting for her the whole story. I really liked that the author showed us how difficult it was for Caroline to move on from gymnastics, and how even after she started to find other passions she still struggled to know who she would be with that part of her life over. I adored the relationship and romance in this book. Alex was so sweet and cute. His teaching Caroline about other sports was fun, and I really liked that their friendship was developed before the romantic feelings came in. About halfway through I found myself shaking the book at times wishing I could shake some sense into Caroline when she was ignoring her obvious crush on Alex. The romance completely delivered everything I wanted from a YA contemporary, and I got really into the story and the characters. This was a really fun, sweet, emotional story about a girl who was relearning who she could be, and happening to find romance along the way. A perfect quick summer read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    I'm All Booked Up YA

    We loved Throw Like A Girl. We can't wait for Henning's next book! We loved Throw Like A Girl. We can't wait for Henning's next book!

  10. 5 out of 5

    ♡ calliope ♡

    this was cute!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)

    Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion. I have been waiting for Sarah Henning to grace us with another YA sports romance since I read and loved Throw Like a Girl. Henning finally delivered with It’s All in How You Fall and it lived up to every one of my expectations. What did I love about it? It’s All in How You Fall took me on a journey I hadn’t been on in YA before. It was about a fifteen-year-old having to make peace with walking away from her sport at the top of her game. M Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion. I have been waiting for Sarah Henning to grace us with another YA sports romance since I read and loved Throw Like a Girl. Henning finally delivered with It’s All in How You Fall and it lived up to every one of my expectations. What did I love about it? It’s All in How You Fall took me on a journey I hadn’t been on in YA before. It was about a fifteen-year-old having to make peace with walking away from her sport at the top of her game. My heart broke for Caroline, but I loved how she picked up the pieces and figured out how live life a different way than she had planned. It was fun to learn about the new sports she tried out and how they reshaped her frame of mind. Helping Caroline along the way was her older brother’s best friend, Alex. Alex was also an athlete at the top of his game. We don’t get Alex’s POV in this book, which is the only thing that could have made this book any better, but I loved being a little in the dark on what he was thinking. He was such a good friend to Caroline, taking time out of his busy schedule to help her find a new athletic passion. I loved how his reactions were described and all of the fun Caroline and Alex had together. Their friendship led to a sweet ending. This book wouldn’t be what it was without the supporting characters. So many people supported Caroline through her injury and life in general. I loved how her dad responded to her injury and after. Same for her gymnastic coach Olga and teammates/BFFs Peregrine and Sunny. Her brother Nat was probably my favorite side character. He was a big presence. I would love for any of those last three characters I listed to get a book of their own. As you can tell, I loved everything about It’s All in How You Fall. The biggest thing I took away was the message. It’s a great one for teens and adults alike. Sarah Henning did a fantastic job with this book. I hope we get another YA sports romance from her again very soon. You can find this review and others like it at A Novel Glimpse .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ariel • The Book View

    Considering this is the only book by Henning that I haven't DNFed, you could say I liked this the most out of her books. It was a sweet sports romance that featured the brother's best friend trope and a healthy dose moving forward-ness. I liked that this book took place in the same world as Throw Like a Girl without focusing on that book. We saw some familiar characters from that book from afar and were able to meet many more new ones. Also, I'm not a big fan of the brother's best friend trope, bu Considering this is the only book by Henning that I haven't DNFed, you could say I liked this the most out of her books. It was a sweet sports romance that featured the brother's best friend trope and a healthy dose moving forward-ness. I liked that this book took place in the same world as Throw Like a Girl without focusing on that book. We saw some familiar characters from that book from afar and were able to meet many more new ones. Also, I'm not a big fan of the brother's best friend trope, but I oddly liked this one. It felt milder and not so intense and dramatic as most books usually represent them. Nat was cool and caring as a big brother, and the trope wasn't the focus of the book so I didn't mind. And thank goodness Nat wasn't a meatball jock, but was aware of his surroundings and the feelings of people around him. I loathe when the brothers are clueless and just carry on with their lives like nothing happened. 10 points for Nat! On a side note, did we ever get his full name? Is Nat his full name? Moving on...Alex, our leading man, was so stinking nice and cute. We need more nice boys in books! He was willing to do anything for Caroline but still kept a level head on himself. I loved that for him. And Caroline was pretty cool herself. She was going through a tough summer having to give up her future and dreams all at once, but she had a great support team. Watching her progress towards a new future was inspiring. She still had some things to figure out by the end of the book, but things ended hopeful and happy. I found myself rooting for her on multiple occasions. I did find this book was lacking a bit in the romance department. I had hoped for more tension or angsty conflict or something. It was just missing that bit of fire I've come to love so much. It wasn't bad, just not great and completely satisfying either. Overall, this was a sweet book. It wouldn't be the first book I'd think to recommend, but it was nice. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah (thebeautyandthebooks)

    Caroline has dedicated her entire life to gymnastics, so when chronic back pain ends her career, she feels like her life is over. Alex, her brother’s best friend, offers to help her find a new sport to love. Caroline reluctantly accepts, but only if he’ll allow her to set him up with one of her friends. As Caroline tries more sports and spends more time with Alex, she finds that she’s beginning to like Alex as more than a family friend. While this book was a little on the younger side of YA in co Caroline has dedicated her entire life to gymnastics, so when chronic back pain ends her career, she feels like her life is over. Alex, her brother’s best friend, offers to help her find a new sport to love. Caroline reluctantly accepts, but only if he’ll allow her to set him up with one of her friends. As Caroline tries more sports and spends more time with Alex, she finds that she’s beginning to like Alex as more than a family friend. While this book was a little on the younger side of YA in comparison to what I usually like to pick up, it was still a really cute read. I’ve really enjoyed friends to lovers in contemporary romances recently, and this one was really sweet and genuine. I thought that Caroline was going to try more sports than she did, and I found I was slightly disappointed to see her only try a few. It was so fun to see her try new things, and I would have loved more of that in the story. Overall, this was a really cute book and I definitely plan to try more books from Sarah Henning in the future! If you like sports romances with the friends to lovers trope, this is a really cute YA option! It releases May 31st. Thank you so much to The Novl and Little Brown Young Readers for sending me an ARC to read and review!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Rae (raenydayreads)

    I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ARC provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Caroline Kepler is a competitive gymnast with three state balance beam titles and dreams of going elite (with the help of an incredibly difficult skill, a standing Arabian). But, after a dangerous fall, her back pain goes from chronic to career ending at age 15, destroying every last dream. Gymnastics is all she's ever known. No longer being able to practice the one thin I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ARC provided by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Caroline Kepler is a competitive gymnast with three state balance beam titles and dreams of going elite (with the help of an incredibly difficult skill, a standing Arabian). But, after a dangerous fall, her back pain goes from chronic to career ending at age 15, destroying every last dream. Gymnastics is all she's ever known. No longer being able to practice the one thing she loves most, Alex Zavala, her brother's best friend, offers to teach Caroline all of the other sports she's never tried. As a retired gymnast, I looked forward to reading It's All In How You Fall. The story leans towards the younger end of the YA spectrum so if that's something you don't like, I would avoid this one. Caroline was extremely one dimensional, with her only personality trait being her connection to gymnastics. I rolled my eyes when every tank top she wore was described as having a famous gymnast on it. While athletics were obviously a huge part of her life, it's boring in a book and makes it hard to connect with the protagonist. It's All In How You Fall is a slow burn sports romance hitting the brother's best friend, friends to lovers and failed matchmaking tropes. While a lot of the story missed the mark for me, I support the overall message that you're more than what you do and it's okay to grieve the dreams you've lost.

  15. 4 out of 5

    B

    I love sports romances and I loved Throw Like a Girl, so when The Novl send me an ARC of this semi-companion, I was thrilled! So thank you to them for sending me a copy. Onto the review! This was the perfect spring/beginning of summer read. I loved Caroline’s determination and how strong she was. She never let anything get the best of her but also her development and growth in learning that maybe gymnastics doesn’t have to be everything she is was such a joy to watch. Her relationship with Alex w I love sports romances and I loved Throw Like a Girl, so when The Novl send me an ARC of this semi-companion, I was thrilled! So thank you to them for sending me a copy. Onto the review! This was the perfect spring/beginning of summer read. I loved Caroline’s determination and how strong she was. She never let anything get the best of her but also her development and growth in learning that maybe gymnastics doesn’t have to be everything she is was such a joy to watch. Her relationship with Alex was so pure and sweet and I rooted for them so hard! Also, in addition to loving sports books, I am a sucker for anything with a brother’s best friend. Coupled with the fact that Caroline was setting him up with someone else made for some great drama as well! And speaking of drama, the gymnastics scenes were the perfect mix of tense and excitement, and I always felt like I was right there in the sidelines watching her do her thing. I loved the other sports that she tried out as well, and thought it was such a fun plot. 10/10 recommend if you love heartfelt, uplifting books!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Emily Young

    I was SO excited to win an arc of this book from the author's Instagram! One of the many cool things about #bookstagram! This was a super cute YA romance perfect for the summer! It even had some easter eggs from Sarah Henning's previous contemporary romance, Throw Like a Girl which was so fun! While its not a groundbreaking book by any means, its perfect for fans of Jenny Han or Morgan Matson - two of my fave YA authors. I loved Alex - the all around Good Guy. Plus I'm always a fan of the brother I was SO excited to win an arc of this book from the author's Instagram! One of the many cool things about #bookstagram! This was a super cute YA romance perfect for the summer! It even had some easter eggs from Sarah Henning's previous contemporary romance, Throw Like a Girl which was so fun! While its not a groundbreaking book by any means, its perfect for fans of Jenny Han or Morgan Matson - two of my fave YA authors. I loved Alex - the all around Good Guy. Plus I'm always a fan of the brothers best friend aspect 👀 It was so fun to read about Alex teaching Caroline about other sports - I definitely could have used more though! It's good that Caroline found a sport she enjoyed but I think there was definitely room for more experiences. Overall a fast and cute read!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Terri

    As someone who loved Sarah Dessen books as a teenager, this felt like coming home. This was very much in the same vein, and I thought it was a charming book. The characters are charming and the plot is solid. I think it has the perfect level of depth for a YA book. This is one I would definitely pass on to the teenagers in my life.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Modern Miss Granger

    This is a fantastic YA romance. Here are a few things I loved about this book: • brothers best friend • sports romance • moving on after an injury • slow burn I loved this book. This book has such a great message of finding the good in situations that are hard. I loved seeing Caroline wrestle and grief. Alex was so swoony and I loved how he showed up for Caroline.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    Rating: 4.5 ⭐️ Caroline is on track to become an elite gymnastics and compete professionally 🤩 but when a back injury forces her to retire at fifteen, she’s left separated from her friends and the sport that defined her life 😢 Enter Alex, her older brother’s best friend and sports extraordinaire 🎾 ⚽️ 🏀 who offers to help her find a new passion 🥺 What follows is a summer full of love, friendship, and self-discovery ☀️ It’s All In How You Fall was even better than I’d hoped it would be!! The charac Rating: 4.5 ⭐️ Caroline is on track to become an elite gymnastics and compete professionally 🤩 but when a back injury forces her to retire at fifteen, she’s left separated from her friends and the sport that defined her life 😢 Enter Alex, her older brother’s best friend and sports extraordinaire 🎾 ⚽️ 🏀 who offers to help her find a new passion 🥺 What follows is a summer full of love, friendship, and self-discovery ☀️ It’s All In How You Fall was even better than I’d hoped it would be!! The characters were unique and exciting, and Caroline’s character growth was very evident throughout the story! Alex was sweet and supportive 😊 and he was her friend first and foremost, which I LOVED 🥰 I would recommend this sweet summery read to fans of contemporary romance! content warning: contained mild language ✨I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.✨

  20. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    "Hannah Milton at Little, Brown/Poppy has acquired It's All in How You Fall, the next YA contemporary romance by Sarah Henning (Throw Like a Girl). After an injury ends her career, a near-elite competitive gymnast develops a major (and majorly inconvenient) crush on her older brother's best friend after he promises to help her find a new signature sport—and, in return, she offers to set him up with her former teammate. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Whitney Ross at Irene Goodman Literar "Hannah Milton at Little, Brown/Poppy has acquired It's All in How You Fall, the next YA contemporary romance by Sarah Henning (Throw Like a Girl). After an injury ends her career, a near-elite competitive gymnast develops a major (and majorly inconvenient) crush on her older brother's best friend after he promises to help her find a new signature sport—and, in return, she offers to set him up with her former teammate. Publication is planned for winter 2022; Whitney Ross at Irene Goodman Literary negotiated the deal for world English" https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/b...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Daphne

    I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review. When news of this book first came out, I was so excited for it because I loved the author’s previous YA sports contemporary, Throw Like a Girl, which I read back in 2019. I was even more delighted to find out, after starting this novel, that there’s references to characters from Throw Like a Girl that were so fun to spot and see how they’ve been past the events of that book. Both main characters of Throw Like a Girl and It’s All in How You Fal I received an ARC from TheNovl for an honest review. When news of this book first came out, I was so excited for it because I loved the author’s previous YA sports contemporary, Throw Like a Girl, which I read back in 2019. I was even more delighted to find out, after starting this novel, that there’s references to characters from Throw Like a Girl that were so fun to spot and see how they’ve been past the events of that book. Both main characters of Throw Like a Girl and It’s All in How You Fall attend the same high school, but it’s not necessary to have read TLAG before this one; they’re like companion novels in a way/ just set in the same universe. The book has perfect timing for its release date, since it comes out at the end of May and the book’s events take place over the course of a hot Kansas summer, making it a perfect just-in-time-for-summer read. I got pretty immersed in the sizzling-heat-waves-off-the-pavement days of the book’s setting, feeling it along with the main character, 15 year old former gymnast, Caroline Kepler. Caroline receives devastating news to her ambitions and gymnastics career at the beginning of the novel, and has to deal with the aftermath of how she’s supposed to move on from a sport that she’s dedicated practically all of her focus in life to so far. She was so close to reaching elite status in gymnastics and now is unable to practice the sport she loves and feels understandably lost without it, the thing that she feels has defined her. Her feelings of that loss of a dream felt so real and I really empathized with her, but her journey into a new chapter of her life was also a joy to read and full of positive messages and (for the most part) wonderful people. Most of the significant characters Caroline interacts with are also athletes, and the story has a lot of sports and physical activities described. When I say sports contemporary, I really mean sports contemporary. The author incorporates so much detail about different sports throughout the book, not just gymnastics, but also about the sports that Caroline ends up trying, like volleyball, golf, cross country running, and tennis. Caroline has two great gymnast friends, Sunny Chavez (who is at elite status), and her best friend Peregrine Liu (who is also a level ten gymnast like Caroline was). Sunny is kind, mature, talented, and empathetic. She’s a little older than Caroline and Peregrine and has completely let go of all experiences of life to give her all to gymnastics. Peregrine is Caroline’s classmate at Northland High and is sassy and gave me the impression of being scrappy and canny. There’s also Alex Zavala (Caroline’s brother Nat’s best friend), who is sort of her friend too, but really becomes more so during the course of events in the book. Alex does basketball with Nat, also plays soccer, and is pretty good at tennis, potentially to the professional level in future years to come. They’re all high level athletes, and a significant aspect of the book was how much of these kids’ identities are so tied up in the sport they choose to dedicate their lives to. They constantly have to make tough choices and sacrifices that I really admired them for, but it also made me feel a little sad for them as well. There’s also the difference in decisions that they make, and the differing journeys life has them on, like for Caroline, who wants to but is unable to continue with her chosen dream, Sunny who has given everything to that dream and is on the path to it, and Alex, who has a shot at a professional career, but really wants to retain a normal life and is unsure about the pursuit of that career. I appreciated that representation of the different spectrums of decisions that these athletes face. Alex and Caroline become closer as he helps her try to figure out what to do with her time now that she doesn’t have gymnastics, and to find a new sport. He’s a great coach and an even better friend to Caroline. I loved their building relationship and he is charming, polite, kind, and just an all around lovely person who supports Caroline. Even though Caroline ends up spending most of the book trying to set him up with Sunny after finding out Alex had a crush on Sunny from two years ago, you can detect the growing feelings between Caroline and Alex despite Caroline’s best matchmaking efforts. Additional characters in Caroline’s life— Olga (her gymnastics coach), her father, and her brother Nat are all so supportive of Caroline. Even though Nat annoyed me in the beginning, he pulls through later on. It was heartwarming to read of Caroline’s wonderful support group of family and friends, and even though it was something devastating that happened to Caroline, the book has such good vibes and positivity, and everything is depicted so realistically. I would definitely recommend this as a great summer read, especially if you’re looking for a book with a sports plot line.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Madison

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love sports novels and I am happy to say It’s All In How You Fall is a sports novel. Yep, I’m calling it. There is enough sports, injury, dramatic game play, dramatic moments, practice time, romance, and friendship to make this an utterly delicious sports novel. I loved Sarah Henning’s Throw Like A Girl and in It’s All In How You Fall, she returns readers to the same world. Liv even makes an appearance. This time, we land in the world of gymnastics. C I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love sports novels and I am happy to say It’s All In How You Fall is a sports novel. Yep, I’m calling it. There is enough sports, injury, dramatic game play, dramatic moments, practice time, romance, and friendship to make this an utterly delicious sports novel. I loved Sarah Henning’s Throw Like A Girl and in It’s All In How You Fall, she returns readers to the same world. Liv even makes an appearance. This time, we land in the world of gymnastics. Caroline is a competitive gymnastic about to make elite. She has an awesome new trick and she’s ready for Nationals. But, her doctors warn her that her chronic back pain is a sign she needs to stop and when she takes a massive fall during training, the decision is taken out of her hands. Forces to retire from everything she loves and worked for at fifteen, she is t sure what to do with herself until her brother’s best friend offers to help her date other sports. One sport a week until she finds something she loves. Determined to repay his kindness, she offers to set his up with his crush and her best friend, one meetup/date for every sport session. But, things get complicated when she starts to fall for Alex. I don’t usually love matchmaking stories - Emma was my least favourite Jane Austen novel no it’s referenced quite a few times in this book, clearly inspiration - but It’s All In How You Fall is done so well I loved every single word. Yes, there are complications when Caroline starts to fall for the guy she’s set her friend up with, but they are all surprisingly mature about it. I think everyone could learn how to be a better friend from these characters. Let’s talk about Alex. What a sweetheart. He’s a top athlete in his own right and gives of his time to help Caroline. It’s clear he enjoys spending time with her, but Caroline is slow to understand why he is helping her. Watching Laex and Caroline try different sports was lots of fun and allows them plenty of time to develop a wonderful relationship. There might have even been a golf swing moment, you know the one, when he helps her with her swing. Caroline is an athlete so she picks up the sports pretty quickly. I was surprised her back pain wasn’t mentioned more often. I think someone with chronic pain would have less ability to transition so easily to other sports, but I say that knowing nothing about the type of injury Caroline has and her ability to continue through the pain. Just, living with someone who experiences a lot of pain, I was expecting more flare-ups and moments when she struggled to get out of bed, etc, but aside from being the catalyst for ending gymnastic it isn’t mentioned that often. It’s All In How You Fall was the uplifting and emotionally satisfying book I really, really needed and I can’t wait to add this is my top sport novels list. The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own. Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library

  23. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is a cute YA contemporary romance. Caroline is an elite gymnast, and she has the persistence and skills to go the distance. However, her back may have other plans. Although she is only 15, a severe back injury reveals that she cannot do the gymnastic moves she needs to succeed, and the doctors, including her father, are telling her she needs to retire - at only 15. Caroline is bereft, and after one particularly discouraging evening with her brother, her brother's friend, IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is a cute YA contemporary romance. Caroline is an elite gymnast, and she has the persistence and skills to go the distance. However, her back may have other plans. Although she is only 15, a severe back injury reveals that she cannot do the gymnastic moves she needs to succeed, and the doctors, including her father, are telling her she needs to retire - at only 15. Caroline is bereft, and after one particularly discouraging evening with her brother, her brother's friend, Alex, offers to help her try out other sports, with one a week for the summer, so she can find something else to love and excel at - that won't further damage her back. Caroline reluctantly accepts this kindness, and she wants to do something in return, like setting him up with her friend, Sunny, on whom he had a crush a couple years before. As they spend time together, Caroline begins to realize something about herself that she didn't know before - she really likes Alex. However, she wants him to have his heart's desire, even if it's Sunny. Fate may have other plans. What I loved: This was such a cute and sweet read about kindness, generosity, finding your place, bouncing back, and healing. Caroline and Alex were ridiculously adorable together, and it was impossible not to cheer for them from the start. The book is told from Caroline's perspective, and she is a compelling character. Her life is changing forever, and she has a lot of healing to do (mentally and physically) as well as to find something new to put her passion into. At only 15, she doesn't quite yet know what she wants or a lot about herself, but this ends up being a summer of self-discovery, including realizing how she feels about Alex, and her family. Alex was really incredible, and I loved learning more about his character as Caroline does. He is really so fantastic, and it was easy to cheer for him and his all-sports star status. Other secondary characters were really great too, including Nat, who mostly seems like an obnoxious brother until we get to see more sides to him. He really became someone that was easy for the reader to love. Similarly, Caroline's dad and friends were full of fun and brought plenty of sweet moments. What left me wanting more: As a small thing, the beginning took a while to get going, and the pace felt a bit slow in places. I still was fully onboard by the end, but it took a bit more time than usual to read because of the early pace. Final verdict: A sweet summery read, IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL is a cute and charming YA contemporary romance. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Robyn

    Thank you so much to the author, Little, Brown Young Readers, and NetGalley for the complimentary ARC! This review contains my honest and unbiased thoughts and opinions. 🌸 I love gymnastics, cheer and dance so I was excited when I came across this book! What if you could no longer continue the sport you love? Losing the sport she loves, growing and discovering what life has in store for her is what the MC Caroline in It's All in How You Fall must deal with. Caroline is a competitive gymnast and as s Thank you so much to the author, Little, Brown Young Readers, and NetGalley for the complimentary ARC! This review contains my honest and unbiased thoughts and opinions. 🌸 I love gymnastics, cheer and dance so I was excited when I came across this book! What if you could no longer continue the sport you love? Losing the sport she loves, growing and discovering what life has in store for her is what the MC Caroline in It's All in How You Fall must deal with. Caroline is a competitive gymnast and as she continues competing, she struggles to deal with severe back pain until she has to face every gymnast's worst nightmare, an injury that ends her gymnastics career. Caroline loves gymnastics, she pushes herself and strives to be the best. Back pain leads her to a sports doctor, a fall during practice has her headed to the ER and MRI results show more than "just back pain". A true spinal injury that puts an end to her gymnastics. We join Caroline as she struggles with losing gymnastics, deals with her injury, grows and discovers more about herself and who she really is. We join her in moving on, discovering what's next in life and trying out different sports with the help of Alex.. And of course, we get to experience her crush on Alex. Alex is a friend of Caroline's brother and he takes time to help Caroline. He introduces her to a variety of sports, encouraging her to try new things and see that there's more out there than just gymnastics. This was one of those times when I enjoyed all the side characters as much as I enjoyed the MC. From Alex to the coach and all of Caroline's friends, all of the characters help add to the story and make it even more enjoyable. I found Caroline completely relatable and a character my daughter would enjoy reading about. As someone who loves cheer, my daughter also has faced struggles and difficult times. Luckily, no injuries but she lost cheer, the sport she loved, thanks to COVID and has faced the struggles of figuring out "what now" and how to move on. And I must mention the quote at the very beginning... "To those who lost a dream - I hope you find yourself again." That quote... for me, for my daughter, it definitely has meaning. If you enjoy fun, cue, friends to lovers sports romances, definitely give this book a try!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Amy Tippins

    Caroline has spent her entire life (all 15 years of it) as a competitive gymnast. When she is forced to retire after a career-ending injury, she feels lost. Everything she has known and loved has been taken from her and she doesn't know how to move forward outside of the gym. Her brother's best friend, Alex, offers to help Caroline try out new sports each week in order to find a new passion. Caroline accepts the offer and for the first time begins spending time with Alex without her brother arou Caroline has spent her entire life (all 15 years of it) as a competitive gymnast. When she is forced to retire after a career-ending injury, she feels lost. Everything she has known and loved has been taken from her and she doesn't know how to move forward outside of the gym. Her brother's best friend, Alex, offers to help Caroline try out new sports each week in order to find a new passion. Caroline accepts the offer and for the first time begins spending time with Alex without her brother around. Caroline not only finds a love of a new sport, but possibly love in a new relationship as well... It's All in How You Fall is a very endearing YA novel. Caroline is 15 and she ACTS 15 - which is refreshing to see. There is a good bit of language in this book, but nothing too vulgar or out of the ordinary for typical 15/16/17 year olds. There is not any sexual activity or underage drinking or drug use - most of the characters are dedicated athletes and students, so they are committed to keeping their grades and health at top levels - which doesn't leave much time for nefarious activities. It's All in How You Fall is an age appropriate YA novel that depicts the heartbreak of losing something you love. Caroline is not lamenting the loss of a teenage relationship or fawning over potential dating prospects. She is legitimately trying to process the grief of losing the only life she's ever known. Sarah Henning portrays the feelings of loss and emptiness in a very real way and makes it easy for the reader to feel the pain Caroline is experiencing. I would be comfortable with my middle schooler reading this book and think that even older teens (and adults, like myself!) would enjoy it as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, Poppy for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kylie

    This book was super cute. While I wish it had more gymnastics in it, there were still nods to it throughout the story even though Caroline was injured and was not doing gymnastics herself. While I was never anywhere close to an elite gymnast, I 100% understood how heartbreaking it was for Caroline to get her diagnosis that she is not able to do gymnastics anymore. It's every gymnast's dream to get to the Olympics and only 4-5 girls in the whole country every 4 years achieve that. Working towards This book was super cute. While I wish it had more gymnastics in it, there were still nods to it throughout the story even though Caroline was injured and was not doing gymnastics herself. While I was never anywhere close to an elite gymnast, I 100% understood how heartbreaking it was for Caroline to get her diagnosis that she is not able to do gymnastics anymore. It's every gymnast's dream to get to the Olympics and only 4-5 girls in the whole country every 4 years achieve that. Working towards something like that, getting so close, even getting to level 10 which is insane, and then having that ripped out of your life is devastating. Caroline had 2 best friends in gymnastics. Being in the gym so many hours a week, these people become your family. This was also ripped away from Caroline. But Peregrine and Sunny made a great effort to keep in touch and still spend time with Caroline. They were amazing friends. Caroline also had a very believable relationship with her brother Nat. They bickered and fought but they had some really nice moments too. Of course her relationship with Alex was adorable. It was the cutest friends to lovers. He was so supportive of her at the lowest time in her life as a friend. He tried so hard to help her find something else her body was able to do and something she enjoyed. Their chemistry was great. Like I said, I was really hoping this book would have more to do with gymnastics than it did, but it was still fun. We still got to go through Caroline's summer watching her fail and succeed and put her old life and her new life together. This was definitely a fun quick read perfect for the start of summer! Thank you to Netgalley for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katie | niftyreads

    It was pretty much a given the moment I heard the dedication to Sarah Henning’s new book, IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL, that I would love it. To those who lost a dream - I hope you find yourself again. 🥹🥹🥹 Don’t worry, I cried enough for all of us in book. Caroline Kelper has to retire from gymnastics at 15 because of an injury. My whole life changed as a freshman in college at 18 because of spinal meningitis and encephalitis. Losing what you’ve always known because of chronic pain/illness is a feeling It was pretty much a given the moment I heard the dedication to Sarah Henning’s new book, IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL, that I would love it. To those who lost a dream - I hope you find yourself again. 🥹🥹🥹 Don’t worry, I cried enough for all of us in book. Caroline Kelper has to retire from gymnastics at 15 because of an injury. My whole life changed as a freshman in college at 18 because of spinal meningitis and encephalitis. Losing what you’ve always known because of chronic pain/illness is a feeling that you will never understand until it happens to you and Henning put all those feelings and emotions in the perfect words. I might not have been a gymnast aiming for world levels, but I had goals and dreams just like Caroline. I felt a kinship with her. I think anyone who reads this book that struggles or has struggled with a lost dream will feel that kinship. •If you are a gymnastics fan - it’s really all I watch during the Olympics - you’ll love this book. It’s so immersed in the world. •If you like Hamilton, get ready for so many references! •Speaking of musicals, I felt like I was reading a modern-day Hello Dolly! with all the matchmaking going on. It was so fun! •The narration is so good if you’re an audiobook person like me! This is just a feel-good book that made me happy. I couldn’t stop smiling. I hope you pick it up and smile, too! PS - as soon as I’m off bedrest, handstand contests all around! Thanks @thenovel and @hachetheaudio for the gifted books! • Content Warnings: chronic pain

  28. 5 out of 5

    Katie Schmidt

    I relate to Caroline so much. I feel like I went through so many of the same emotions with accepting my disability as she did with accepting her injury. The one glaring difference is that Caroline was 15 years old, and I was 20. That may only be a five-year age difference, but it makes a world of difference. I can't imagine going through what I went through in my teens. As devastating and life-changing as it was, it would have been so much more devastating if I had been younger. My heart broke a I relate to Caroline so much. I feel like I went through so many of the same emotions with accepting my disability as she did with accepting her injury. The one glaring difference is that Caroline was 15 years old, and I was 20. That may only be a five-year age difference, but it makes a world of difference. I can't imagine going through what I went through in my teens. As devastating and life-changing as it was, it would have been so much more devastating if I had been younger. My heart broke all over again reading Caroline's story. Not to mention that I welled up at the dedication at the beginning before the book even started: "To those who lost a dream-I hope you find yourself again." UGH. 😭😭 Thank you to the author, Sarah Henning, for this beautiful story and these beautiful characters. 💜 If you've found yourself in a similar position, I highly recommend picking this book up when it comes out on the 31st. Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for an e-ARC of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Liralen

    You know...if anything, this is not a gymnastics book but a (view spoiler)[tennis (hide spoiler)] book, but one of my favourite things about it is the way Caroline has good, healthy relationships with both her gymnastics coach and her fellow gymnasts. This sounds like a small thing, but in so many YA books teammates in individual sports like gymnastics are portrayed as little more than competition (and sometimes as evil villains who are evil), and I think we've all seen...a few...instances of co You know...if anything, this is not a gymnastics book but a (view spoiler)[tennis (hide spoiler)] book, but one of my favourite things about it is the way Caroline has good, healthy relationships with both her gymnastics coach and her fellow gymnasts. This sounds like a small thing, but in so many YA books teammates in individual sports like gymnastics are portrayed as little more than competition (and sometimes as evil villains who are evil), and I think we've all seen...a few...instances of coaches, fictional and real, who are far more focused on a gymnast's—or, more generally, an athlete's—ability to medal than they are on health and wellness. (Another favourite thing: that when Caroline realises she has a crush on the guy she's set her friend up with, (view spoiler)[there's no drama—there are some embarrassing conversations, yes, but it's not the sort of drama that subsumes the rest of the book (hide spoiler)] .) On more frivolous matters: I read an ebook copy, which means that I didn't spend much time staring at the cover. Now that I'm doing so on Goodreads, though...what exactly is holding their clothing upright on the cover? Superglue? Magic?

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jane

    It's All in How You Fall is a sweet friends-to-lovers, brother's best friend, sports romance YA novel that I ate up. Literally all the best things rolled up in one! Caroline's gymnastics dreams are dashed after a bad fall and Alex, her brother's best friend, offers to show her all the other sports that she's missed out on while focusing on gymnastics. Here comes the kicker: for every sport he teaches her, she'll be his matchmaker. But of course, Caroline eventually realizes that she has a crush o It's All in How You Fall is a sweet friends-to-lovers, brother's best friend, sports romance YA novel that I ate up. Literally all the best things rolled up in one! Caroline's gymnastics dreams are dashed after a bad fall and Alex, her brother's best friend, offers to show her all the other sports that she's missed out on while focusing on gymnastics. Here comes the kicker: for every sport he teaches her, she'll be his matchmaker. But of course, Caroline eventually realizes that she has a crush on Alex. I love a good failed match-maker romance! Caroline and Alex's story is a sweet and easy read, perfect for the summertime. The story focuses on more than just the romance between Caroline and Alex but also hones in on Caroline's journey on overcoming the demise of her gymnastics dream and opening up to the next chapter in her life. Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the advanced copy. All opinions are my own.

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