Review: Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

SYNOPSIS (via Goodreads):

“The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.”


Head Over Heels has been sitting on my TBR for awhile and I just had to grab it on my last library trip. I was so excited to check this book out, because I have to admit I always get sucked into Women’s Gymnastics during the Summer Olympics. What they do is just so incredible. So I loved the concept of this book.

Avery spent her whole life training to be an Olympian, she gave up a normal childhood for the chance at glory. It all came crashing down at her Olympic trials. She suffers a devastating injury that ends her Olympic dreams. Avery never really had plans for what happened after the Olympics. It has been years since the day her world imploded, but she still really hasn’t processed her trauma. After a breakup and a move back to her hometown, she realizes that she needs to come to terms with her destroyed dreams.

I loved the honest conversations had about mental health and the pressures that these athletes have put on them. I loved the journey that Avery goes on in this book. She remembers what she loves about gymnastics, she discovers new things she loves, she makes new friends, and rekindles old friendships. I loved that this book while a contemporary romance doesn’t solely focus on romantic relationships. Avery focuses on loving herself again, and the importance of her friends in her lives while also discovering a new romance.

Avery and Ryan have chemistry right from the start and I loved their history. I enjoyed their whole dynamic and the respect that Ryan has for her. Obviously, I was very frustrated with some of his choices, but I did love that when he realized how wrong he was he admitted to it.

This book has a great and honest message about mental health. It is Avery coming to terms with her trauma and the realization that this sport she loves has caused her a lot of pain. She realizes that she doesn’t want anyone to go through that pain as she did. It is a beautiful message and told very well. I couldn’t put this book down once I picked it up. I definitely recommend!


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