Review: How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

How It Feels to FlyHow It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes

Rating: 4 Stars

I don’t normally read contemporaries. I think it’s because 1) usually nothing of significance seems to actually happen 2) they’re all the same 3) I just don’t like them. I like FANTASY. With MAGIC and EVILRY CUNNING. Also, I didn’t like Holme’s debut, so I don’t even know why I picked this up. But it happened to be at the library and I was bored…and, well, I’m SO GLAD I read it.

I think the reason I connected so well with Sam and this book is because I’ve struggled with some of the same things she did, and her evil, hateful inner voice felt so relatable, as did the way she responded to it and felt about it. Sam felt real. Her character developement was so strong, too. The way she thinks (especially about herself) and acts changed so much over the course of the book, and it was inspiring. And even if readers don’t share the exact same thoughts or experiences Sam has, I think she’s written well enough that most will be able to connect to her at least to some degree. She’s flawed, she has hopes and fears and insecurities. She makes mistakes. She rises above her challenges.

The other characters were really well written too. They all changed so much over the course of the book and that is something I love so much about How It Feels to Fly. They also felt real, like people you’d know in real life, and the relationships between all the teens at the camp felt real and evolved throughout the book as well.

The plot is … not that exciting. But really, How It Feels to Fly is not about the plot or things that happen. It’s about the characters and how they change and fight their battles. And it is wonderful to see.

I am excited to read more by this author.

Synopsis – How It Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes 

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?

There was no swearing/sexual content.

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