GENRE: YA Contemporary
An elite gymnast turns her back on the sport after a trusted coach crosses the line. But when Hollie has the opportunity to join the decidedly un-elite team at her new high school, she might just fall in love with gymnastics all over again – and with a boy who has overcome struggles of his own.
What I’m feeling is perfectly normal.
Anxiety, excitement, apprehension, curiosity. According to Incoming: A Heads-Up Guide to Your First Day of High School, these are all natural emotions for a high school noob to experience. But it didn’t specify I would experience them all at once – which I am, though anxiety is the clear ringleader. I drag my palms across my stomach to dry them, not for the first time that morning.
Apart from that, things start to veer off-script. Like the fact that my introduction to public high school is about to kick off in the middle of my junior year.
I glance over at my mother, white-knuckling the steering wheel as she pulls into the drop-off line at North Puget High. It’s the only detail that gives her away. Her face is a brick wall – an expression she’s carried since I made the decision to quit my gymnastics career.
Career. A bizarre word, really, to use for an activity that most girls drop out of before they hit college. We’ve got eighteen years, maybe a few more, for those that are lucky enough to stave off career-ending injuries. Not to mention the cellulite and saddlebags, which spell impending doom in equal measure. Until that happens, every hour, every minute of training is precious. A gift. And a decision to leave the sport is not something that’s taken lightly.
So while my mom’s face might not show it, I know that her overriding emotion is disappointment.