ARC Review + Bookmark: How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes7:30 AM
Title: How It Feels to Fly
Author: Kathryn Holmes
Series: N/A, Standalone
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Contemporary
Publication Date: June 14th, 2016
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
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?
How It Feels to Fly is one of those books where you don't realize how good it is until you're finished reading the whole thing. I remember when I was reading, I kept waiting for that one amazing moment to make me love the book, but that didn't happen. What happened was a flash of realization when I closed the book - about how much I can relate to everything and everyone, how much I learned, and how true to life this book is.
Honestly, this wasn't what I was expecting because I thought there'd be more romance, but after closing the book, I realized that the lack of romance contributed to why I like the book so much. The main character, Samantha, took a journey of self-discovery and recovery from anxiety with the help of everyone in the camp, but it wasn’t because of romance that she healed. And I really liked that because these days, romance is usually what makes people magically better in YA.
I love how the friendships blossomed in this novel because of how they were at first. In the beginning, they were all judging each other, just as we all judge people at first glance. However, as the days progressed, these characters showed that people have so much in common but are just afraid to admit to some it, which is why we never discover how similar our struggles are to each other. I love how they supported each other, even though each one has a different personality.
After reading this book, I felt a sense of fulfillment because I felt like I took the journey with the main character. I know what it’s like to be so anxious all the time, and I felt like the book really helped me too. I also like how this book showed that the journey to recovery is very messy, because that’s how life is. And in the end, I like that she wasn’t just magically completely okay, but she’s on the way there.
How It Feels to Fly is an amazing book. It’s very meaningful and eye-opening. I definitely recommend everyone to read this!