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The Flip Side Hardcover – June 7, 2016
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From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Olympic medalist Johnson makes her YA debut with a romance novel about a young gymnast trying to balance her dream of obtaining an Olympic gold medal with her burning desire to be a "normal" teenager. Charlie Ryland lives a double life—as Charlie, she's a serious contender, just one trial away from making the Olympic team. As Charlotte, she attends classes at a high school where no one knows who she is. She's been doing this for four years, but things come to a head right before her final Olympic qualifier, when she winds up serving as temporary secretary in the student government alongside champion wrestler and all-around good guy Bobby Singh. Johnson gives readers a sweet, conventional romance—one predictably heavy on high school drama and surprisingly light on the gymnastics. Details about training, moves, and the basic routines of an elite gymnast are frequently skimmed over, robbing the story of what could have been something special. Charlotte is a likable narrator, though, and her strong desire for privacy and normalcy in a far from normal existence makes her sympathetic. This work, despite its occasional lapses into some noticeably wooden prose and dialogue, moves well, and romance fans seeking a quick fix will speed right through. VERDICT A good addition to any library looking to expand its romance section.—Bobbi Parry, East Baton Rouge Parish School System, LA
"Johnson adeptly captures Charlie's life as an elite athlete and effectively addresses the more familiar teen issues of first dates and first romantic relationships. She skillfully builds the emotional intensity of the tale, culminating in a suspenseful finale at the Olympic trials.Johnson's first novel for teens is an absorbing portrait of a young athlete's quest to achieve her Olympic dreams." (Kirkus Reviews)
"[R]omance fans seeking a quick fix will speed right through." (School Library Journal)
"Readers interested in gymnastics and what it takes to succeed should find this illuminating, while gymnast Johnson’s experiences as an Olympic gold medalist add additional insight." (Booklist)
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Top customer reviews
It was a good book. A super easy read for me since it was a YA book. Even thought it was a YA book I was constantly wanting to turn the page to keep reading. I thought it was well written and a great summer read!
I got it the day it was released, and I was super excited to read it because I'm a gymnast training level 10, and I I've pretty much read every gymnastics related book out there.
I have to admit I was a little surprised at how well this book was written. Shawn is an amazing writer! I love the flow of the book and the fact that the plot is very realistic. I love the detail of the situations and the addition of more challenging words, not just flat description words or verbs.
Overall this book is great, and I'm very happy that I read it.
I would love more gymnastics books just like this one!! Keep up the great work, Shawn!