It’s All in How You Fall by Sarah Henning
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publishing Date: May 31, 2022
A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering afterlife falls apart.
Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down.
Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns….
15 Reactions While Reading It’s All in How You Fall
1. We love gymnastics!
We admit it, we’re obsessed with gymnastics. We we’re huge Make It or Break It fans back in the day and always look for shows and book about this amazing sport. Caroline Kepler spends almost every day in the gym, hoping to go elite and eventually earn a college scholarship. It was refreshing to see a gymnastics book that wasn’t all about the Olympics.
2. It’s funny that Henning mentioned Liv Rodinsky and Grey Worthington.
If you read Henning’s other YA sports book, Throw Like a Girl, you’ll remember Liv and Grey. We got life updates from these two characters. And, Caroline’s brother Nat has a crush on Liv. We found that so funny. But Nat, Liv is taken.
3. Alex Zavala is a total sweetheart.
Alex Zavala is Nat’s best friend. After Caroline finds out about her back condition and learns she can’t do gymnastics ever again, Alex offers to teach Caroline how to play different sports so she can find another passion. Alex is a great guy and came up with a list of sports offered in high school, including tennis, volleyball, cross country and basketball.
4. Setting up Sunny and Alex can only end badly.
One of Caroline’s gymnastics friends is Sunny Chavez. Once Caroline learned that Alex had a crush on Sunny years ago, she goes into match maker mode. Caroline, Alex has a crush on you. Please stop trying to get him to date one of your closest friends. We know this won’t go well.
5. Obviously, Caroline has a crush on Alex and it’s reciprocated.
Okay, so the more time Caroline and Alex spend together, it’s more and more obvious that she has a major crush on Alex. Too bad she won’t admit it to herself.
6. We wouldn’t mind hanging out at Sunny’s lake house.
A lake house hangout with a BBQ sounds so much fun right now. We could go for a swim and eat some yummy food. Too bad this is when Caroline assures Sunny that she doesn’t have a crush on Alex…
7. Caroline, why would you tell Sunny that Alex has a crush on her when he obviously likes you?
Why, Caroline, why? Caroline actually spilled the beans on Alex’s crush on Sunny. But the crush was from years ago before Sunny decided to do gymnastics fulltime. He does not have a crush on Sunny anymore. If he did, he would make an effort to spend time with her.
8. We feel bad for Alex.
Alex is trying to spend time with Caroline. They decided tennis is the way to go and he’s using his time to help Caroline get good enough to tryout for the high school team. He even invites her to dinner and drives her home. Caroline, please wake up and see the truth.
9. Finally, Caroline admits her crush.
Caroline comes to terms with the fact that she likes Alex. He gives her butterflies. She loves spending time with him, which makes it easier to get over gymnastics. She wants nothing more for him to feel the same way.
10. Nat is a stereotypical overprotective brother.
When Nat finds out that Caroline is spending time with Alex and not her friend Peregrine, he gets angry. Nat wants to know why she lied. Dude, she lied because you’re crazy overprotective and told all your guy friends to stay away from here. So far, it’s completely innocent. They spend most of their time at a country club.
11. Ugh, Sunny and Alex are going on a date!
Be careful what you wish for, Caroline. She found out that Alex asked Sunny to dinner. She’s completely freaking out because she caused this, but now she wants to be the one on the date.
12. We love the part where Caroline teaches Alex about gymnastics.
Caroline goes over to Alex’s house to teach him about gymnastics. It’s super cute and they have their first moment, before it’s ruined by Nat and Alex’s sister. We also learn that Alex likes musicals and Caroline is shocked. Yes, guys can like musicals!
13. Sunny is a really great friend.
After Sunny goes on a date with Alex, she tells Caroline it won’t work. Alex is a great guy, but he’s actually the guy for Caroline. We appreciated the focus on female friendship and the lack of drama. It’s refreshing.
14. Challenge Alex to a handstand contest?
So, Caroline needs to find a way to tell Alex how she really feels. She challenges him to a handstand contest, which sounds weird but ended up being super cute. Finally, the two share their first kiss and admit their feelings.
15. It’s great that Caroline found something new to love.
While Caroline isn’t a tennis superstar, she finds something to be passionate about. She’s going to work hard and get better. The most important aspect is that she’s having fun and it’s a way to spend time with her great new boyfriend.
About the Author
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids, and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, hometown of Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, and a really good basketball team
Sarah is the author of SEA WITCH, which was a 2018 Indies Introduce and Indie’s Next selection. Its follow up, SEA WITCH RISING, came out in 2019. THROW LIKE A GIRL, about a down-spiraling softball player who is recruited to play quarterback on her ex-boyfriend’s football team, was her first YA contemporary novel and came out in January 2020. THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU, the first book in her fantasy trilogy—a feminist tale inspired by The Princess Bride—came out in July 2020. Its sequel, THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU, came out on July 6, 2021.
Other upcoming projects include THE KING WILL KILL YOU, available August 2, 2022 and will be the conclusion to her Kingdoms of Sand & Sky Trilogy inspired by The Princess Bride. Also scheduled for summer 2022 is IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL, available May 31, 2022, which takes place in the same fictional universe as THROW LIKE A GIRL. Slated for summer 2023 is OUT OF OUR LEAGUE, a YA anthology of contemporary short stories about girls in sports