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Lessons in Falling

Lessons in Falling

4.0 3
by Diana Gallagher

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When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee - and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship - she decides she's done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She's content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.

That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.

Savannah wants to understand what


When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee - and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship - she decides she's done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She's content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.

That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.

Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie's life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.

But Cassie doesn't approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold on to Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own - and that maybe her best friend's been holding her back all along.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
High school senior Savannah Gregory is done with gymnastics. Despite her parents’ wishes and the allure of a college scholarship, Savannah’s most recent knee injury has shaken her self-confidence. Savannah and her best friend Cassie, a rebel who can make anything into an adventure, plan to move to New York City together, but then Cassie attempts suicide, seemingly out of the blue, and is found on the beach by Savannah’s new love interest: kind, ambitious Marcos. Savannah questions her friendship with Cassie, especially when tension arises between Cassie and Marcos, and after Savannah runs into an old teammate, she reconsiders a future in gymnastics, bolstered by Marcos’s encouragement. But giving up her past with Cassie for an uncertain future proves difficult. Debut author Gallagher’s background as a gymnastics instructor comes through in a story that captures the guilt and insecurity that can plague unhealthy relationships, set against a backdrop of racism and anti-immigrant sentiments in Savannah’s community. Although Cassie’s suicide attempt is swept by with surprising speed, it’s satisfying to follow Savannah as she finds her way. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Savannah decides to quit gymnastics after one too many injuries. After focusing so intensively on the sport that she hoped would land her a college scholarship, she is struggling to discover who she is. Her dad wants her to resume training, and her longtime best friend, Cassie, wants her to ditch gymnastics and move to the city with her. Then Cassie attempts to take her own life, and in addition to feeling guilty for not recognizing any signs of Cassie's unhappiness, Savannah no longer has her friend's support. Fellow student Marcos, who helped to rescue Cassie, brings a new perspective, and as Savannah starts tutoring him, she falls for him, too. Gradually, she begins to feel that he is the only person who supports her and believes that she can achieve her dreams. In her debut novel, Gallagher draws on her deep knowledge of gymnastics to add authentic sports details to familiar YA novel territory of the friends-vs.-relationship drama. Her narrative also reaches into contemporary headlines with Marcos's story: he's an immigrant who faces racism and bullying from other students at school. VERDICT Fans of realistic fiction and coming-of-age books will enjoy this touching tale about dealing with difficult friendships, growing up, and finding oneself. A strong choice for most YA collections.—Morgan O'Reilly, Riverdale Country School, NY

Product Details

Spencer Hill Press
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
13 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge, former collegiate gymnast, and writing professor. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, International Gymnast, and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. To learn more, visit her website at dianagallagher.blogspot.com.

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Lessons in Falling 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Sarah_UK1 17 days ago
(I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to Spencer Hill Press and NetGalley.) This was a contemporary story about a gymnast and her strained relationship with her best friend. I felt quite sorry for Savannah in this because of the way her best friend Cassie treated her. Savannah looked to Cassie as her best friend, whilst Cassie seemed to always be putting her down and focusing her attention on her other friend instead. The storyline in this was about Savannah going back to gymnastics after a knee injury, wondering about which college she would go to and whether she could get a scholarship, and worrying about Cassie, especially after Cassie’s attempted suicide. I did find the story quite dull though, even with the attempted suicide, and I didn’t like the relationship between Savannah and Cassie all that much, as Cassie came across as quite self-centred and unsupportive of Savannah. The ending to this was okay, and I was pleased that Savannah had got her future at college worked out. 6 out of 10
TheThoughtSpot 18 days ago
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Spencer Hill Press for the opportunity to read and review Lessons in Falling by Diana Gallagher! A wonderful story of finding what you are capable of and figuring out what you truly want in life AND giving everything you have to accomplish both. Savannah is recovering from a gymnastic injury and trying to figure out how to deal with life without gymnastics. Her life gets fuller and she has to decide on her priorities compared to the people around her. The surrounding characters grew on me and the author's writing made them feel realistic and the struggles of these characters were dimensional, just like real life. I love this book; 5 stars for a must read realistic fiction!
Boundlessbookreviews 19 days ago
Lessons in Falling is a coming of age tale of that kind of gets you right in the heart.  Savannah is a gymnast but after an injury, she’s really questioning if she wants to continue on. She’s been doing it her whole life so in all honesty its a part of her. I loved that she was a gymnast. You don’t see very many stories with that background. Throughout this book, there are a ton of ups and downs. From her friend Cassie to the new boy in her life Marcos.  This is Diana Gallagher’s debut into the book world. I think she did a fantastic job with the story. I enjoyed it and I think this is a YA that anyone could really fall into. The only thing for me is that I didn’t get that emotional connection with the characters. And that is a huge thing for me.  Overall, I give this Four Boundless Stars