Yes, the Shawn Johnson, Olympic Gold Medalist, wrote a book. Naturally, it centers on a young girl staring her dream of being an Olympic gymnast.
When this book fell into my lap (OK the return box at the library…) at the tail end of the Olympics I couldn’t resist what seemed like fate. Sure, it was timely and someone else had thought so before me, but I’m sticking with fate.
The book follows young girl leading a double life– the fame and glory of an elite gymnast and Olympic hopeful preparing to place on the Olympic team in the summer versus a normal high school student with a normal social life. But secrets like these are hard to keep.
The story line feels quite familiar to those who remember Hannah Montana but provides a nice basis to show just how difficult it can be to keep big secrets from those that you care about. It leaves a lot of room for readers to place their own secrets into the plot and infer their own problems from those.
While the book isn’t the next classic in Young Adult literature, it depicts high school and the challenges of following one’s dreams when things get tough, all while feeling honest and natural as only someone who has been there before.
Johnson, S. (2016). The flip side. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.