Tumbling – Caela Carter


Five gymnasts. One goal.

Grace lives and breathes gymnastics—but no matter how hard she pushes herself, she can never be perfect enough.

Leigh, Grace’s best friend, has it all: a gymnastics career, a normal high-school life…and a secret that could ruin everything.

Camille wants to please her mom, wants to please her boyfriend, and most of all, wants to walk away.

Wilhelmina was denied her Olympic dream four years ago, and she won’t let anything stop her again. No matter what.

Monica is terrified. Nobody believes in her—and why should they?

By the end of the two days of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials, some of these girls will be stars. Some will be going home with nothing. And all will have their lives changed forever.


I read this right as the Olympics started, so NATURALLY, it pumped me up!! Not all these characters were likeable, and I had my reservations about reading so many points of view. But somehow, Caela Carter made it all work. I could hardly stop reading!

I didn’t really agree with Leigh and Grace’s new plans. Things change so, so fast in the Olympics. Not everyone has a comeback story, and Wilhelmina KNOWS how hard it is to stay relevant in a sport that rewards people who are younger, faster, and smaller. My really felt for Leigh. I hope that one day, she feels comfortable being herself. Heck, I felt for Grace too. I don’t know how realistic it was for her to gain so much self-awareness at the end, but I guess I want to believe that she’ll take care of herself.

I loved Monica and Wilhelmina. An unlikely friendship between competitors. They appreciated all their opportunities and worked their butts off. I respect that.

Camille was such an interesting case. I just wanted her to be happy. It sucks that her support system kept trying to push her in different directions. At the end of the day, I think she figured out what was really important to her. I’m glad she took matters into her own hands before it was too late.

This book had interesting, nuanced characters. With multiple POVs, I often find myself favouring one over the others. In this case, I was happy to switch between the viewpoints as the meet wore on. The perfect read at the perfect time!

Related Reading

  • Exit, Pursued by a Bear – E.K. Johnston
  • The Flip Side – Shawn Johnson
  • Finding Our Balance – Lauren Hopkins
  • The Hit List – Nikki Urang

Rating: 5/5


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