Disclaimer: I receive a free arc from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This book start with a 12 year old girl Maxine "Max" Turner. She is a tomboy and plays with her two guy best friends Peter and Kyle. As they were playing dodge ball, she met some girls in the local trampoline park due to her being intrigue with the gymnastics stunts they were doing. The girls even taught her some moves and she was actually good at it. They invited her to go to the gym to try out cheerleading and with the encouragement from her dad she gives it a try. But the change was very challenging her that she even considered quitting and going back to what it was used to be.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a fast and easy read and it got me out of my reading slump. I love that it talks about the challenges a person goes through growing up, especially how a person deals with change. In this book, we see Max as this girl who was afraid of trying out something new and stepping out of her comfort zone but in the end we see her blossom into a different and more confident girl. I guess what the author is trying to say through her book is that change can be both intimidating and fun because we are always afraid of the uncertainty but we get to try a different thing that we might actually like. Another thing that I like is the fact that even though Max changed she was still very grounded in a way that even if she met new friends she is still friends with Peter and Max.
Furthermore, even though I was not a gymnast or a cheerleader I was able to relate to Max. When I was in 5th grade a music teacher saw a "potential" in me and decided to teach me the violin and let me joined the school orchestra. During that time I was nervous because I though I was not going to fit in or I will not be good enough but in the end I have come to enjoy being part of that group. I have met some amazing people and experience incredible things that I am thankful for. Also like Max my parents, especially my dad really encouraged me to do my best, to try and try again, and never quit just because I was afraid of doing it. In addition, this book made me appreciate cheerleading more. Here in the Philippines cheerleading is a big thing and my younger sister was a cheerleader in high school but I never understood the beauty of it or how hard those athletes practice and prepare for competitions. This book showed me that in order to be a cheerleader you have to talent, skills, dedication, and passion. The only problem that I had with this book is that it is very flat. I was hoping for a more complex and dense story. But in the end, I still think the story was good and I can't wait to read more of Dana Burkey's other books.
This is a great coming of age novel and I really recommend this to middle schoolers or teenagers but I know that this is the type of book that will be appealing and relatable to everyone. I definitely think my younger cousins and nieces would enjoy this and personally I like this book. It reminded me of me during grade school when I was afraid and hesitant of the changes that were happening around me. On top of that, if you like The Boyfriend Game by Stephie Davis, Love at First Click by Elizabeth Chandler, The Lonely Heart Club by Elizabeth Eulberg, and Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally you would certainly enjoy this.
Reminder this book comes out on July 1, 2016.
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