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Winning Balance: What I've Learned So Far about Love, Faith, and Living Your Dreams Hardcover – June 5, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
I did find the 2nd half of the book (post Olympics) surprising and honest, a lot of highs and lows for a young woman. Although I think she is probably 15-20 years too young to write a memoir on life lessons this is a decent book for a 20 year old athlete and is a fairly entertaining read.
She also knows what it's like to lose the gold medal everyone expected her to win--and then to win again where she least expected it.
Winning Balance might best be categorized as an inspirational memoir. With co-author Nancy French, Shawn describes her struggles and successes in finding true balance in life. This is the story of Shawn's journey from her childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, to her introduction to gymnastics, her growing love for the sport--and its competitiveness--and finally to international fame and the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Along the way, though, Shawn tries to follow two competing desires--"I wanted to win, and I wanted to be just like everyone else."
My biggest quibble with the book? Since much of its promo material focuses on Shawn's 2008 skiing accident, I expected the book to address this and her recovery process more in depth. It does highlight how Shawn struggled to find purpose and direction after her win--and how the injury actually helped Shawn refocus on her priorities--but don't expect a lot of detail.
Still, I found Shawn's story to be encouraging and enjoyable. The book is an easy read, and each chapter ends with a short thought for reflection. Enthusiasm seems to win out over depth in places, but overall, I found Shawn to be an engaging role model. She talks openly about the pressures she faced and her family's attempts to keep her sane in the midst of an intense training schedule. I liked her sincerity and vision, and I would recommend this book to any teen girl to read.
[My thanks to Tyndale for sending me a review copy of Winning Balance, in exchange for my honest opinion of this book.]
I can't even tell you how much I loved this book. To be honest I had never heard of Shawn Johnson before I saw this book was coming out (I missed watching the olympics 2008)and I have always been fascinated with the sport. I just knew I had to read her story and I was not disappointed at all. I fell in love with Shawn and her story and find her raw talent and passion to be so encouraging. Shawn drew me into her story so much that I finished the book within 24 hours! Since reading the book I have enjoyed going on youtube.com and watching her many gymnastic performances and her dances from Dancing with the Stars. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves gymnastics, wanting to be encouraged by her strength and faith, and anyone who has already loved her and wants to know her story!
*I received this book through Radiant Lit and Tyndale for the purpose of this review!
Shawn Johnson describes her early childhood and experiences leading up to her winning Gold and Silver medals at the Beijing Olympic Games. A lot of the book was about her training as a gymnast which I didn't relate to but I'm sure would be of interest to other gymnasts. I liked her honesty and descriptions of her personal struggles although I felt in places that she revealed too much detail (e.g a romantic relationship with a man that broke up with his girlfriend for her) that she will wish she had kept to herself later in life. I felt sorry for her as she describes her terror on learning that she had a stalker who had been on his way to abduct her during her training for a dance competition. Also as she describes her struggles with a serious knee injury later in the book.
There are many of these "Christian" Auto-Biographies that read more like "self help" manuals for how to navigate life with the most positive attitude you can muster. God seems to then be tagged onto the end as an afterthought. There are Bible verses and secular "self-help" quotations intermingled throughout the book. After winning her Gold medal and a dance competition Shawn realises that there is more to life than winning competitions, she feels an emptiness in her life and almost turns to God to fill it, almost but not quite....it was frustrating reading at this point as I was expecting her salvation testimony especially when the chapter was entitled "How God became more real to me," but she always seems to weather the storm and then continue as before...Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Winning Balance by Shawn Johnson is an epic story. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would because Shawn wrote it personally and engagingly. I recommend this book.Published 27 days ago by Christianbookworm
Very cool memoir by Shawn that includes some very important lessonsPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I recommend listening to this book as Shawn herself reads it, poetry and all! I've read most all gymnast bios, and this is a good one. Read morePublished 1 month ago by C. Fields
My grand daughter is really enjoying reading this book. She is using this book for an assignment at school.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :D :D #amazing awesome good book :) smile wonderful fabulous love this book c: very gr8 nice book #5 star rating... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love this book, finished reading it within a day ! I can't believe how a 17 year old girl (then) could write such an honest and entertaining book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I love Shawn Johnson so much! She is such a good role model for girls and I am so excited to read this book. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Amazon Customer