A Novel

Book - 2016
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After sacrificing their childhoods, Grace, Leigh, Camille, Wilhelmina, and Monica are competing in the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, after which their lives will change forever.
They sacrificed their childhoods to compete in the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials. Grace lives and breathes gymnastics-- but can never be perfect enough. Leigh has a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life... and a secret that could ruin everything. Camille wants to please her mom and her boyfriend... but most of all she wants to walk away. Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won't let anything stop her this time... anything. Monica is terrified: nobody believes in her-- and why should they? Some will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever....
Publisher: New York, New York : Viking, 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780451473004
Branch Call Number: YA CARTER
Characteristics: 424 pages ; 22 cm


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Tumbling by Caela Carter is relatable novel for all competitive athletes. The novel is written in five different perspectives so it may be confusing for some younger readers. But overall most readers will understand the storyline.
Tumbling is a novel about five gymnasts who dream about going to the olympics and will do anything to get there. The novel is written in the perspective of Grace, Leigh, Camille, Wilhemina and Monica during the Olympic Trials. Throughout the novel, the girls compete against each other and the rest of the gymnasts for a chance to make US national team and compete at the Olympics. Friendships are set aside and almost lost as every competitor fights for their dream and ultimate goal.
I enjoyed the way the author wrote the novel in a way that made you feel like you were there. The imagery and descriptions really allowed readers to get connect to the nervousness, success and disappointments; “Her arms were suddenly spaghetti. Her stomach was slush. Her eyes saw black.” Although I enjoyed the novel, reading something with five different perspectives got confusing especially during the beginning. Having the novel in third person and in different perspectives made it even harder to follow.
It pretty ironic how Wilhemina won because she didn’t have the expected gymnast body, she didn’t train as hard as the other girls so she wouldn’t break her body, she didn’t come into the trials expecting to win and Katja did not like her. When you first read the novel, you would think that Grace, Leigh or Monica would win but Wilhemina came out and stole it from them. Wilhemina showed that everyone has their own way of training and overtraining is worse than training less.
I think that this book is mainly directed to gymnasts because the author uses a lot of gymnastic terms but people who want a light read would enjoy it too. On scale from 1-5 I would rate it 3 because it had a slow start and I’m not a gymnasts so some things were confusing at first.
(Reviewed by Dora for the Cloverdale Teen Book Review Project)

Nov 22, 2016

Well done, but a little long. Takes a while to complete, and I just wanted to read about gymnastics, not that much about each character and their personal life. Otherwise, good storyline and plot.

Jul 26, 2016

An interesting look at what could be happening behind the scenes at the Olympic trials.


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Mar 07, 2018

blue_tiger_5925 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 10 and 10

violet_butterfly_7250 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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