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 also 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…
Title: It’s All in How You Fall
Author: Sarah Henning
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Genre: Young Adult, Sports Romance, Contemporary
This book was a sweet sports romance that featured the brother’s best friend trope and a healthy dose of 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.
I’m not usually 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 as if nothing happened, but that wasn’t the case with Caroline’s brother. 10 points for Nat!
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 system. 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.
Overall, this was a sweet book. It featured excellent life lessons, a lovely romance, and all the sports references you could ever ask for!
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids, and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, hometown of Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, and a really good basketball team.
Sarah is the author of SEA WITCH, which was a 2018 Indies Introduce and Indie’s Next selection. Its follow up, SEA WITCH RISING, came out in 2019. THROW LIKE A GIRL, about a down-spiraling softball player who is recruited to play quarterback on her ex-boyfriend’s football team, was her first YA contemporary novel and came out in January 2020. THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU, the first book in her fantasy trilogy—a feminist tale inspired by The Princess Bride—came out in July 2020. Its sequel, THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU, came out on July 6, 2021.
Other upcoming projects include THE KING WILL KILL YOU, available August 2, 2022 and will be the conclusion to her Kingdoms of Sand & Sky Trilogy inspired by The Princess Bride. Also scheduled for summer 2022 is IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL, available May 31, 2022, which takes place in the same fictional universe as THROW LIKE A GIRL. Slated for summer 2023 is OUT OF OUR LEAGUE, a YA anthology of contemporary short stories about girls in sports.