Fierce – Aly Raisman

35523654Fierce: How Competing for Myself Changed Everything by Aly Raisman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
First Published: November 14th, 2017
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Nonfiction, Memoir, Gymnastics, Coming of Age


BLURB:

Aly Raisman first stepped onto a gymnastics mat as a toddler in a “mommy & me” gymnastics class. No one could have predicted then that sixteen years later, she’d be standing on an Olympic podium, having achieved her dreams. Aly’s road to success was full of hard work, perseverance, and victories, but not without its hardships. Aly faced many obstacles, from naysayers who said she’d never make it in gymnastics to classmates who shamed her for her athletic body to a devastating betrayal of trust. Through it all, Aly surrounded herself with supportive family, friends, and teammates and found the inner strength to remain positive and believe in herself. Now, in her own words, Aly shows what it takes to be a champion on and off the floor, and takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey before, during, and after her remarkable achievements in two Olympic Games–through her highest highs, lowest lows, and all the moments in between. Continue reading

Pelé: The King of Soccer

soccerPelé: The King of Soccer by Eddy Simon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
First Published: October 24th, 2017
Publisher: First Second Books
Recommended Age: 10+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: Graphic Biography, Sports, Soccer, Coming of Age


BLURB:

Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pele, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as -O Rei- (The King), Pele is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pele is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed -the beautiful game—a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality. Continue reading

All Star – Jesse Lonergan

all starAll Star by Jesse Lonergan

My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Received: Distributor
First Published: April 1st, 2015
Publisher: NBM Publishing
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel (no colour), Sports, High School Life, Baseball


BLURB:

Carl Carter is leading the Elizabeth Monarchs of rural Vermont to the state championship his senior year. The world is Carl’s oyster: a full scholarship to the University of Maine awaits, going pro after college isn’t out of the question, and he’s so good he can do whatever he wants—until, that is, he makes one very arrogant mistake. Acclaimed graphic novelist Jesse Lonergan offers readers a thought-provoking exploration of the fleeting highs of success in this engrossing book. Continue reading

SLAM! Volume 1

32332997SLAM! Vol. 1 by Pamela Ribon

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Diamond Comics Distributors
First Published: August 15th, 2017
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Recommended Age: 12+
Pacing: So Fast
Genres & Themes: Comics, Sports, Realistic Fiction, Friendship, Roller Derby


BLURB:

From the first day of Fresh Meat Orientation for the Eastside Roller Girls, Jennifer and Maisie knew they’d be fast friends. But when they’re drafted to different teams, the pull of competition — and their increasingly messy personal lives — threaten to drive them apart. In roller derby you take your hits, get back up, and learn how to be a better jammer, a better blocker, a better lover, and a better friend. Derby can heal your heart . . . but it might break a bone or two in the process. Continue reading

Spinning – Tillie Walden

30238178Spinning by Tillie Walden

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: September 12th, 2017
Publisher: First Second Books
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: slow/fast
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, LGBT, Graphic Novel, Memoir, Sports


BLURB:

For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden’s life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But over time, as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the figure skating team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. It all led to one question: What was the point? The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she’d outgrown her passion–and she finally needed to find her own voice. Continue reading

The Running Dream – Wendelin Van Draanen

8354134The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: January 11th, 2011
Publisher: Knopf BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Pacing: Fast
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Disability, Sports, Realistic Fiction

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say, act like she’s not there. Which she could handle better if she weren’t now keenly aware that she’d done the same thing herself to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her. Continue reading

Kulti – Mariana Zapata

24044596Kulti by Mariana Zapata

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publication Date: March 20th, 2015
Publisher: Indie
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 16+
Pacing: Slow
Genres & Themes: New Adult, Contemporary, Sports Romance

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

When the man you worshipped as a kid becomes your coach, it’s supposed to be the greatest thing in the world. Keywords: supposed to.

It didn’t take a week for twenty-seven-year-old Sal Casillas to wonder what she’d seen in the international soccer icon—why she’d ever had his posters on her wall, or ever envisioned marrying him and having super-playing soccer babies.

Sal had long ago gotten over the worst non-break-up in the history of imaginary relationships with a man that hadn’t known she’d existed. So she isn’t prepared for this version of Reiner Kulti who shows up to her team’s season: a quiet, reclusive, shadow of the explosive, passionate man he’d once been.

Nothing could have prepared her for the man she got to know.

Or the murderous urges he brought out in her. Continue reading

The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

27835606The Heartbeats of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Publisher
Publication Date: March 14th, 2017
Publisher: Dutton BFYR
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 13+
Pacing: Normal
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Family

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide


BLURB:

Wing Jones, like everyone else in her town, has worshipped her older brother, Marcus, for as long as she can remember. Good-looking, popular, and the star of the football team, Marcus is everything his sister is not.

Until the night everything changes when Marcus, drunk at the wheel after a party, kills two people and barely survives himself. With Marcus now in a coma, Wing is crushed, confused, and angry. She is tormented at school for Marcus’s mistake, haunted at home by her mother and grandmothers’ grief. In addition to all this, Wing is scared that the bank is going to repossess her home because her family can’t afford Marcus’s mounting medical bills.

Every night, unable to sleep, Wing finds herself sneaking out to go to the school’s empty track. When Aaron, Marcus’s best friend, sees her running one night, he recognizes that her speed, skill, and agility could get her spot on the track team. And better still, an opportunity at a coveted sponsorship from a major athletic gear company. Wing can’t pass up the opportunity to train with her longtime crush and to help her struggling family, but can she handle being thrust out of Marcus’s shadow and into the spotlight? Continue reading

Review: Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

22297294Girl Against the Universe by Paula Stokes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Received: Edelweiss
Publicatio Date: May 17th, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Mental Illness, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Sports, Family

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

BLURB:

Maguire is bad luck.

No matter how many charms she buys off the internet or good luck rituals she performs each morning, horrible things happen when Maguire is around. Like that time the rollercoaster jumped off its tracks. Or the time the house next door caught on fire. Or that time her brother, father, and uncle were all killed in a car crash—and Maguire walked away with barely a scratch.

It’s safest for Maguire to hide out in her room, where she can cause less damage and avoid meeting new people who she could hurt. But then she meets Jordy, an aspiring tennis star. Jordy is confident, talented, and lucky, and he’s convinced he can help Maguire break her unlucky streak. Maguire knows that the best thing she can do for Jordy is to stay away. But it turns out staying away is harder than she thought.

From author Paula Stokes comes a funny and poignant novel about accepting the past, embracing the future, and learning to make your own luck. Continue reading

Review: Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

15821260Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Received: Bought
Publicatio Date: March 26th 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Point of View: 1st Person & Feminine
Recommended Age: 11+
Genres &  Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, High School, Sports, Friendship

Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

BLURB:

Gigi, Bea, and Neerja are best friends and total overachievers. Even if they aren’t the most popular girls in school, they aren’t too worried. After all, real life will begin once they get to their Ivy League colleges. But when an unexpected event proves they’re missing out on the full high-school experience, it’s time to come out of the honors lounge and into the spotlight. The trio makes a pact: They will each take on their greatest challenge and totally rock it.

Gigi decides to run for student rep, but she’ll have to get over her fear of public speaking—and go head-to-head with gorgeous California Will. Bea used to be one of the best skiers around, until she was derailed; it could be time for her to take the plunge again. And Neerja loves the drama club but has always stayed behind the scenes—until now.

These friends are determined to show the world that smart girls really can get what they want—but that might mean getting way more attention than they ever bargained for. . . . Continue reading