Reviews

Head Over Heels, by Hannah Orenstein

tehpengpls's review against another edition

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3.0

This book discussed really important issues, but felt like a scratch on the surface.
I really liked the concept, but not so the execution :(
I didn't feel the chemistry between the two main characters, and the conflict that came towards the end felt very sudden and was also resolved too quickly.
I think it might have been better if there wasn't any romance in this book, and instead focused on Avery's personal growth as well as the issues concerning the mental health and state of gymnasts.

raychanator's review against another edition

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inspiring lighthearted fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes

3.5

mugglethatreads's review against another edition

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3.0

I really like how this book shone the light on the toxic side of gymnastics that I think is really important to discuss, and also managed to capture the exhilaration that comes with the sport. I appreciated the author's evident love of the sport. However, as a whole, this book was just quite underwhelming.

coacklebee's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Oh wow, I did not expect this book to make me so emotional. I'm giving it a five star rating because of how much Avery resonated with me and the emotional impact it had on me. As a casual gymnastics fan who tends to only tune in for the Olympics, but as someone who has spent years training as an opera singer--another profession that has suffered huge casualties due to COVID-19--so much of the message about dreams and failure and goals and self-care resonated so much with me. I really appreciate that books are around nowadays that tackle issues about mental health, and this particular one felt real to me.

Were there problems with the story? Of course, no book is perfect. There were moments where issues dragged on too long, or were resolved far more neatly and easily than I could imagine they would in real life, but there were also moments when I was genuinely touched and got a little teary-eyed. And what I was left with in the end was a genuinely hopeful and happy feeling, and that, ultimately, outweighs my other criticisms of writing and plot.

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diana_reads_and_reads's review against another edition

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2.0

Meh. 2.5 stars. The characters had no spark and it was really more about gymnastics than the romance. This was maybe a tale of self discovery, but I don’t think it especially succeeded at that either. The last 100 or so pages, I kept checking how much was left. Given how I’ve felt about the last several romances I’ve read, I wonder if my days of finding a HEA with the genre are behind me.

loreofthebooks's review against another edition

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4.0

4 stars
Well, folks, this book was not on my priority list, but I needed a book to read because I left mine at home. Anyways, I was a little leery because I wasn’t sure if this book was going to be to my tastes, but surprisingly, I did really enjoy it! I think there were a lot of cute moments in this book, and it also tackled some very important topics, ones that were most definitely recent, and I think it was done well. While I do think that this book was romance, I felt that it was so much more than just the romance it was advertised as.

This book tackles the topic of sexual abuse of gymnasts as well as many of the other terrible physical abuses that gymnasts faced. But it also tackled the mental issues that they face as well, presented through the eyes of a former gymnast who returns home to help coach an Olympic hopeful. I LOVED Avery. She felt like such a nuanced character. She was a strong gymnast and then she had to learn to survive when her dreams of being an Olympian crashed and burned. As we follow Avery on this journey we get to see her grapple with how her views about the past have changed, and seeing the harm that was done to her, and then the harm being visited upon young athletes, you really feel emotionally connected to Avery.

This was billed as a romance, but it read as something much more than that. It was a powerful commentary on a person trying to lift themselves up, and it felt very moving. And I loved the dichotomy of Hallie and Avery, and I love how the two connected.

I loved the friendships in this book. I liked the romance, but honestly, everything else stood out so much more to me. This book is cute, but it isn’t really romantic, it is a more serious book, and one that just touched me. I’m not sure why, but I think this book was exactly what I needed.

Overall, this was a great book. It had good writing, amazing characters, a great plot and amazing pacing. I absolutely flew through and devoured this book in one sitting.

CW: sexual, emotional, verbal abuse, eating disorders, physical abuse, depression,

kelreads's review against another edition

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inspiring lighthearted medium-paced

4.0

pioalvez's review against another edition

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4.0

despite not knowing anything about gymnastics, this book was easy to follow. i wasn't intimidated by the gymnastics terms, at all.

love love love this book! i love avery so much and i love reading her development in the entirety of this book. romance was cute until that part and then it felt like it was rushed to be resolved. imo avery forgave ryan too quickly, especially considering the gravity of what he did and what it meant to avery.
Spoilerit doesn't make sense to me how he couldn't trust what avery said about her former coach when she has been open about what he did and how it affected her, even years after she quit gymnastics.
and seeing how he was a coach to hallie??? we want more groveling ryan!!!!

my tip would be to please read this book as a women's fiction rather than a romance book.

imbook_ed's review against another edition

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hopeful inspiring lighthearted reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

This book was very heavy on the gymnastics. I know some might love that but when it’s labeled as a romance that’s what I expect. I think if it was labeled as women’s fiction I would’ve liked it more. However I did really enjoy the romance aspect. It was cute but slow. I also enjoyed learning more about gymnastics although a lot of the information was over my head/ confusing and got lost on me. Super cute heartwarming read.