Discussion: Head Over Heels

Head Over Heels

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I am just so excited that I finally get to chat with y’all about this book! I so enjoyed Head Over Heels and now have a girl crush on Hannah, the author. Did you catch our Instagram Live together?! If you didn’t you’ve got to put it on your to-do list… did you know she’s a former gymnast?! I mean, it honestly just makes this book that much better.

xo- Ashley Brooke

OK y’all, let’s talk books! Head down to the comments to answer our discussion questions and tell us what you thought of this month’s selection. Remember, this book club is here to be fun and thoughtful so be sure your comments are kind and respectful of others.

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Discussion Questions!

1. What was your favorite story line? Honestly, this book has so many good ones.

2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?

3. Bar, Beam, Vault, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!


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11 Comments

  1. August 29, 2020 / 8:39 am

    1. What was your favorite story line? Honestly, this book has so many good ones.

    I loved Avery and Hallie’s relationship. There is nothing more important in a young girl’s life than someone she can look up to and Avery was such a great mentor and role model. I loved their friendship.

    2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?

    YES. These men and women that train around the clock their entire lives just to make it to the Olympic Trials.And that one day decides your entire future. Absolutely blows my mind. The amount of time, money, energy, and commitment that not only the athlete puts in but the entire family sacrifices is absolutely incredible. I walked away from his book with a deeper respect for elite athletes for sure.

    3. Bar, Beam, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!

    Okay, I love a floor routine, but I think the bars are absolutely mesmerizing. Like, HOW do they do it?!

  2. Melissa Terry
    August 29, 2020 / 8:48 am

    1. What was your favorite story line? Honestly, this book has so many good ones.

    I think the overarching theme of Avery finding a new dream after her first one ended was my favorite plot of the story. I think that happens to all of us in one way or another and I was proud of her for forging a new path and finding joy there.
    2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?
    I had a friend in high school who was training to be an Olympic gymnast (until she broke her back) so I had a vague idea of the time commitment, but reading about it in detail made it more clear. It’s definitely a huge commitment not only for the athlete, but for her whole family.

    3. Bar, Beam, Vault, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!
    Bar makes me so nervous to watch-I can’t imagine doing it in real life, but I love watching the floor routines. The gymnasts get to show their personalities more and they seem more relaxed than in other events.

    • August 31, 2020 / 5:05 pm

      WHOA! Broke her back!! That’s just crazy! These athletes put themselves through so much!

  3. Mackenzie
    August 29, 2020 / 10:43 am

    1. What was your favorite story line?
    Avery finding a new passion and purpose in life after not making the Olympic team. I think this relates to regular life and not just athletes, but we are all constantly trying to find a purpose and meaning and find something that brings us joy.

    2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?
    Yes, I actually did gymnastics growing up and had many conversations about training for the “next level”, i.e. becoming elite. My parents were going through a divorce at the same time and I ultimately chose not to. Gymnastics had been my entire life, but I felt like I had lost my identity during their divorce and wanted to make something different of myself. I related to this book so much!

    3. Bar, Beam, Vault, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!
    Beam was my favorite and will always be my favorite to watch!

    • August 31, 2020 / 5:03 pm

      Mackenzie! I love that you were a gymnast too… I’m sure this book brought out so many memories. What a tough decision to make!

  4. Cathleen
    August 29, 2020 / 12:58 pm

    1. My fave storyline: it’s a trend so far, and I agree that Avery’s journey to find a new path was interesting. I’m still trying to figure out what I want to do when I grow up, and I’m 39!

    2. Re: the inner workings of an elite athlete: I followed elite gymnastics closely during my middle grade years, so I wasn’t surprised, but I loved the depiction of it here. The “in-depth” stories on TV coverage must be pretty accurate, showing the gymnasts up early before school and B-roll of training (the repetitive workouts, not just tumbling practice).

    3. Fave apparatus: beam, when it’s done well. Shannon Miller and Laurie Hernandez make it look easy. Check out their Olympic medal-winning performances. And bars can be mesmerizing. Of course, floor is great (ahem, Aly Raisman.) I guess you can’t make me choose one, lol. Sorry vault-lovers, I’m not a huge fan of such a fast-paced feat.

    • August 31, 2020 / 5:03 pm

      Cathleen, I think we are ALL still trying to figure out what to do with our lives! ha!

  5. Ashley Pugh
    August 30, 2020 / 1:19 pm

    1. What was your favorite story line? Honestly, this book has so many good ones.

    There really were so many good options to choose from with this book! But, I think my favorite story line was the relationship between Avery and Hallie. There was something so special about the support they gave to one another along with the mentor role that Avery played in Hallie’s life.

    2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?

    Absolutely! I knew the level of commitment was obviously incredibly high for elite athletes, but this story took that understanding to a new level for me. I have so much respect for athletes and the drive with which they pursue their passions. They endure so much on so many levels, but ultimately, it all usually appears so effortless. It blows my mind how they carry on with such grace and poise, especially in gymnastics.

    3. Bar, Beam, Vault, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!

    Floor has always been my favorite, even when I took gymnastics as a kid. The artistry and personality that shines through during those routines allows you to connect to a gymnast more so than the other events, I think. But let’s face it, they’re all impressive!

    • August 31, 2020 / 5:02 pm

      Ashley, you are so right, they are ALL impressive!!

  6. September 1, 2020 / 11:08 am

    1. What was your favorite story line? Honestly, this book has so many good ones.

    So hard to choose! I loved the relationship between Avery and Hallie, and also Avery and Jasmine. I think both of these relationships really helped her come to terms with her past, and become happy with the person she is today, as Hallie’s coach using her strengths when she was a gymnast, and coming to terms with her unhealthy adolescence with Jasmine. I think the story lines are really interconnected, because her experiences helped Avery decide who she wanted to be as a coach to Hallie, like it was what she was meant to do and gave her difficult experience a purpose. Then her romance with Ryan is looking toward her future and who she is now. One couldn’t happen without the other, and I love that.

    2. Did this book open your eyes to the inner workings of an elite athlete?

    I knew that it would be an consuming commitment, but I loved seeing the behind the scenes of it I guess, my favorite scenes were the every day descriptions of the day to day in the gym training. I think what the public sees of course is the competitions and Olympics, but those are mere moments out of all the put in.

    3. Bar, Beam, Vault, or Floor?! … If you had to pick!

    Me personally…none haha. I took like a week of gymnastics as a kid and was terrified, particularly of the bar and faked a headache so I didn’t have to try it haha. I love watching all of them, but I love floor the most because it is set to music and just so much fun to watch. I watched a bunch of Olympic floor routines, and Simone Biles’s from Rio was just so much fun, and she had a huge smile on her face the whole time, it was simply a joy to watch. I can’t wait to watch next summer! I loved the unique subject of this book, it was so much fun to join that world for a little while.

    • September 1, 2020 / 11:57 am

      I’m with you Lindsay! I loved the uniqueness of this book!

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