Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher
Lessons in Falling is about friendships, how they evolve and the dangers of losing yourself to a stronger character. It has a vital message regarding finding yourself and the negative effects of xenophobia, more relevant today than ever before.
I love books based almost entirely on characterisations and was really looking forward to this promising story. While I did enjoy it, I didn’t get the feel of the characters and as a result, the story fell flat. The friendship between Savannah and Cassie was complicated, but despite the strength of her character, I didn’t get a sense of her and this meant her character’s impact was diluted.
The storyline was predictable and without strong characterisation Lessons in Falling didn’t get quite off the ground. Rather hovering around the ‘it’s okay’ line. The exception (yes there is one character her who really stood out) was Marcos. While I loved the slow, slow burning romance, it was his easy friendships, protectiveness and his reactions to the racial encounters that kept me turning the pages. His spark grew during the story and I would love to hear his POV.
It was no surprise, reading further about the author, that she is a gymnast herself. This came through in her explanations and references on the sport, particularly the self-doubt and fear which can affect the performance.
Recommended age: 12+
Title: Lessons in Falling
Author: Diana Gallagher
Publication Date: 7 February 2017
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Source: Review copy
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When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee –and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship – she decides she’s done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She’s content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.
That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.
Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie’s life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.
But Cassie doesn’t approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold onto Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own—and that maybe her best friend’s been holding her back all along. — Abstract from Goodreads.com