on Aug. 7, 2013 :
From the synopsis, this book sounded like a fantastic read. Having spent most of my time as a kid either reading or on my bike, skate-board, or roller blades, a book about a BMX girl definitely sounded interesting.
The plot in this book is fantastic, and exactly what I was hoping for. Thankfully lacking the teen angst and emotional yo-yos that often accompany YA books, this story has realism and depth, while being a wonderful inspiration. We get to follow Josie on her summer adventure and watch her grow, facing decisions and challenges that ultimately help shape her as a person. The moral of this story, and the lessons presented, are all timeless and wonderful, and are mixed perfectly with the life of a teenage BMX athlete.
The characters are all fantastic, and all easy to relate to. Complete with quirky parents, an irritating brother, old friends that seem to slip away, new friends who become family, and acquaintances you still can't figure out. The side characters are all interesting- they all contribute to creating a full little community, and add a great sense of realism and depth to the story. The BMX stunts are all simply awesome, and fill the book with amazing, adrenaline-filled action scenes.
The synopsis (or blurb) really does a great job at describing this book- it's right on the nose, and the book is as good as it sounds. I love the ending, and the life lessons in this story are all very touching. The writing is simply marvelous- with wonderfully researched descriptions of stunts and events, the author pulls you in and effectively shows you the world of BMX.
The themes of feminism and sexism are most definitely apparent, and while I'm not exactly a feminist myself, those ideas are a very important part of this story, and I'm sure make the main female characters very relatable. I gave it 4 stars simply because that fits the best- while it wasn't in the "loved it" category, it's a really good story, and a book I would definitely recommend.
*I was given an ebook copy of this book, from the author, to read in exchange for an honest review.
(reviewed 4 months after purchase)
on May 21, 2013 :
Josie Peters thinks she has everything she needs, a decent boyfriend, good friends, and the drive to make sure her BMX skills are always improving. Then her boyfriend dumps her just before prom and she learns her friends are all going away for the summer and she is forced to find other means of distraction which leads her to connect with a few other BMX girls and sets her on the journey to compete in more than one tournament this summer.
This is EXACTLY what I was looking for. Josie is a strong heroine who keeps pushing for what she wants despite the opposition and her own fears. She isn’t perfect, she makes mistakes, but she continues to pick herself up and try again. I think YA especially needs more heroines just like Josie. No Bella Swan syndrome here, Josie is beyond basing who she is off the guy she’s with and doesn’t sit around whining when things don’t go her way. When she wipes out completely, ended up with a badly bruised face and a sprained wrist, she lets her friend post the video online and instead of bitching about needed a new frame for her bike, she goes out and makes a plan to try to get a local bike shop to sponsor her or at least give her a discount and succeeds.
The writing was done so well with the perfect balance of realism and humor. I just can’t stress enough what a great character Josie is, breathing life into this story in a way that was completely relatable. I’m happy to say that though this could have easily fallen into love triangle land with the multitude of hot males, it doesn’t. This book is more about Josie’s path to BMX tournaments than her endless need to find her next boyfriend, though there is definitely a bit of romance mixed in. It’s a stand-alone, so no worrying about the dreaded cliffhangers and it has my favorite kind of ending, a happy but realistic one. Josie definitely doesn’t get everything she wants, but what she does get is enough and it was perfect. Her triumphs outweighing her failures and all that jazz.
I think this is a book for everyone, especially teen girls showing that with enough determination, you really can achieve your goals. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do what you want, period. I think that’s the biggest lesson this is trying to teach and it succeeds.
****A big to Karen Avivi for providing me with a digital copy in exchange for an honest review****
(reviewed 25 days after purchase)