Monday, June 6, 2016

Review: The Flip Side by Shawn Johnson

The Flip Side
By: Shawn Johnson
Release Date: June 7, 2016

From gold medalist and reality TV star Shawn Johnson comes a debut YA novel inspired by her own experiences as an elite teenage gymnast—just in time for the Summer 2016 Olympic games.

Charlie Ryland has a secret.

She may seem like your average high school sophomore—but she’s just really good at pretending.

Because outside of school Charlie spends all her waking hours training to become one of the best gymnasts in the world. And it’s not easy flying under the radar when you’re aiming for Olympic gold…especially when an irresistible guy comes along and threatens to throw your whole world off balance.

Inspired by her own experiences as a fifteen-year-old Olympic gymnast, gold medalist Shawn Johnson writes a delightfully entertaining novel about chasing big dreams and falling in love, all while trying to keep it real.

With the Olympics just around the corner, and my love for watching the Gymnastics portion of the Olympics I couldn’t help but want to read this book by retired gymnast Shawn Johnson.  I couldn’t wait to see what her book was about and I was pleasantly surprised that I enjoyed it from beginning to end.  I felt everything her main character felt and I got excited for her all the way through.  Shawn Johnson did a wonderful job writing this story about trying to balance two aspects of her life while trying to succeed in all her goals. 

We meet Charlie/Charlotte the Olympic hopeful for Team USA in gymnastics who is trying to lead a normal life by going to high school and hiding what she really does from everyone there.  Its tough being in high school to begin with throw in some Olympic trials and stuff just got even harder, but Charlie really wants that normalcy in her life.  What is normal though?  I think if she was honest in the beginning then she wouldn’t have had such a hard time from it but then again she would have many not real friends, those are not people you need in your lives.  I enjoyed meeting her friends and living her high school life with her.  I thought it was adorable the way her friend set her up without even knowing it.  Those chance encounters they are the ones that will get you every time.  Is it distracting?  Maybe, but if anyone could handle it, Charlie could.

Meeting Bobby was a game changer in her personal life but not her Olympic goal version of herself.  I thought their encounters were cute and adorable and I liked their relationship and impending doom when the truth of Charlie’s life really comes out.  There were a lot of elements in this book that I could understand the main character going through.  Again, life is tough, it’s how you deal with it that makes you the person you are and Charlie is a champion in this book.  I enjoyed reading all the gymnastics terminology, I even went and googled some of them just to see what they could be. 

Overall this was a great book, I actually liked the writing and the story.  I would definitely pick up another book by Shawn Johnson.  This is the perfect book to come out so close to the Olympics and it’s really an overall great quick and easy summer read that will make you want to google more about gymnastics if you didn’t know a little something about it to begin with.  It put a smile on my face.  It had fun elements, serious elements and showed how much if you really want something all you have to do is go for it.

I love the cover. It was absolutely adorable and eye catching and would definitely make me want to pick it up to read what it was about. Overall very fun.


I received this book from NetGalley and Simon and Schuster, so that I may give my honest opinion and a review. Whether it is good or not please do not let it discourage you from purchasing/reading the book yourself and forming your own opinion. What might be good for me may not be good for you and vice versa. With that said, Happy Reading Everyone!!!

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