Thursday, February 6, 2014

Balancing Act by Heather Smith (Review)

 Broken.  Broken dreams.  Broken bones.  Broken relationships.  That was all Callie had dealt with for the past year since she had her accident.  Gymnastics had been her life until one fateful night.  Then everything was ruined.  While attempting to try a new move on the vault, without correct supervision, she severely broke her ankle.  She would never compete again.  And that was why everything was broken, including her.  The ankle had healed, but it had a metal plate in it and it caused her a lot of pain when it rained.  After that night, it seemed like her dreams were gone.  Gymnastics and sports were her passion.  And then there was Ty.  Their relationship was over too after everything that occurred.  At the present she was dating Scott, normal and non-athletic Scott.  He was safe and although she loves him in a way, she keeps running into Ty, and it complicates things.  It brings up old feelings that she would rather keep hidden.  Ty challenges her in a way that Scott never will.  Scott doesn't understand her passion for sports like Ty.
   Callie ends up getting a job at the gym doing janitorial work, but it doesn't take long for her to see that the coach cares nothing about the girls and doesn't know her job that well.  This infuriates Callie, but what can she do besides giving the girls some tips to help them when the coach isn't paying attention or there?  These tips get her into an assistant coach position that she reluctantly agrees to.  Its then that it all comes back to her, how much she wanted to be out on that floor.  Now she wants to help these girls become as good as they can be.  But with this new job brings new problems between she and Scott, along with her feelings for Ty resurfacing.  It really is a balancing act that Callie is performing.

   I can really relate to this book because I was in gymnastics for a short time, but it always stuck with me.  I loved it and would have loved to continue, but my parents didn't enroll me anymore.  The sport, when you know just how much it takes to get where these girls are, is amazing!  It takes tons of time to practice and become strong enough to handle the moves that they do.  It is physically grueling and can take a real toll if you don't take care of yourself.  But the book itself was a great read!  Seeing Callie try so hard to keep her feelings at bay was hard because we all know she still wants Ty.  But even Ty has his secrets that he hasn't shared with Callie.  And these secrets can cause a lot of damage.  Then there's Scott, who really cares for Callie, but doesn't understand her as much as he thinks.  He starts realizing that when she begins to work at the gym and hang out with Ty again.  To him this is a new side of her.  In reality it's just who she really is coming to the surface.  It is time for Callie to stop being the victim and become strong again.

*image via Heather Smith

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