Hello and happy Wednesday. I feel that lately I’ve been reading and reviewing my fair share of Olympic-related books, which is funny because actually the closing ceremony at my school is about the Olympics. Today I’ll share my thoughts on The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson and A.L Sonnichsen. Before I begin, I’d like to thank NetGalley and the authors of this novel for providing me with an ARC for reviewing purposes.
I went into this book blindly, like an often do, and it was a pleasant surprise to discover that this too was a sports-related book. I love the fact that Charlie, the main character leads a double life because I immediately knew that was going to add to the plot, and it was going to make it more interesting. Charlie herself is very relatable in the way that she’s sort of desperate to get a boyfriend and she often discusses this issue with Gwen, her best friend from gymnastics. I think this book showed different aspects of being an aspiring Olympian, you know? Like, Charlie had to fight for her chance to live a normal life and to balance it with her training and competitions.
Something that bothered me a tiny bit, and that caused me not to give this book a five-star rating, is the fact that the beginning was super slow. I understand that we’re being given the whole description of Charlie’s two lives and how she manages do deal with both of them, but honestly I just wanted interesting things to start happening, and so when Bobby was introduced I was super happy because I knew he would help change the story and spice it up.
Now Bobby is a sweetie and a total catch, but Charlie was overanalyzing her situation with him a bit too much. I mean, after the first time they hung out together, which was sort of a double date, she started thinking about how a boyfriend could affect her career. Relax, girl, you just met the guy, and I know he’s perfect and you’re desperate, but come on, let things naturally unfold and don’t start stressing too early on in the game.
The fact that Charlie systematically rejected Bobby because she had to focus on training and trials and stuff was unnerving. There was a point where I got sort of desperate and just wanted her to stop lying to Bobby and tell him who she really was because he just kept trying to do things with her and she always said she had something else to do.
Maybe it’s because Charlie is super young, but I felt that this book wasn’t really intended for young adults, but rather plain teenagers. I’m sure my thirteen-year-old self would’ve enjoyed this book way more than I did, even though I really liked it.
Another reason why I related to Charlie is the fact that she cherishes her time with friends and family. Charlie enjoys spending time with her parents and her friends, and I like reading a story that shows that. I’m genuinely a family person, so novels that are always showing a bad relationship with parents are not my cup of tea. I also love the relationship Charlie has with her brother, Josh, because it’s not forced, like you can tell they love and respect each other, and Josh takes care of her younger sister. Again, it’s nice to see that kind of dynamic between siblings in a book intended for teenagers and young adults.
Have you read any book about athletes? Let me know, I’m kind of into them now!
Love, Miss Camila
PS: Click here to enter my giveaway and win a signed (used) copy of The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.