Review: How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

Title: How It Feel to Fly
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Genre: Contemporary
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rating: 4/5 stars
Source: Edelweiss
Kindle Edition, 368 pages

The movement is all that matters.
For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.
The change was gradual. Stealthy.
Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope.
What I really need is a whole new body.
Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book ( Coming from someone who takes ballet and has anxiey).

Sam truely suffers with the way she feels about her body. Being in the ballet world, everyone around her is muscular and skinny. She feels everyone is constantly looking at her body in disgust. Sam can barely even eat in public for fearing she'll eat too much or people will stare at her. This is giving her panic attacks while she's dancing.

To help cope with this, Sam is sent to a camp for teen artists and athletes. All of them struggling with some type of anxiety preventing them from excelling in their areas of talent. Sam is sent to Perform at Your Peak to hopefully overcome her anxiety and attend a ballet intensive. But after falling for her camp consuler, Andrew, things seem to be looking up and becoming easier for her as she confides in Andrew and her fellow campers. That is until she makes one wrong move and recives a phone call that can change her future.

Warning, spoilers ahead

There were many things I liked and some things that i didn't like about this book. I felt like I was able to understand it better because i dance ballet and because I have anxiety (but not the same type as Sam). I really didn't like how Andrew had basically lead her on. I do understand that he was trying to help her cope with her anxiey, but I feel it could have been delt with differently. That then leads Sam to think he cares for her as more than a friend. After Sam kisses Andrew, it caused all sorts of problems. First, I dont like that Andrew was fired for it. And right after all this happens, Sam recieves a phone call saying her palce in her upcoming ballet intensive was filled and she can no longer attend.

I loved that Sam goes out of her comfort zone and actually goes to the intensive to ask for her spot back. Even though that ment leaving in the middle of the night and steling a van to get there. She's able to make it through a class without a panic attack. And after speaking with the director, sam realizes that even thought she couldnt attend the intensive, she still has a chace. Especially after being asked to attend a differnet intensive for a different type of dance.

This book really helped me look at things diffrently. Even if your heart is set on something, even if it causes you stress and anxiety, keep trying and a new door just might open up.

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