Title: The Trick to Landing
Author: Jenny Kaczorowski
Synopsis: When you wipe out in life, who helps you get back up again?
After a gnarly fall in competition, a DUI, and moving in with her mom dashed her hopes for a spot in this year’s X Games, 16-year-old skateboarder Summer O’Neill is left with one last shot at redemption. But her fresh start is even harder than getting back on the half pipe: hours of community service, a party girl reputation she can’t shake, and life with a mother she hardly knows leave Summer scrambling to keep her world stable.
The very last thing Summer is looking for is a boyfriend, at least until she meets Sebastian Vega. Steady, unassuming, and self-assured, he’s everything she’s not. Before long, she’s sneaking out for midnight sandcastle building excursions and trading in her art class for private photography lessons with Bastian.
But Summer’s past won’t stay behind her and Bastian has problems of his own – including a bleeding disorder that seeps into every aspect his life. While he pushes against the limitations of his hemophilia, she is bound by the rules of her probation. When the ramifications of her past crimes collide with his frustration, it may be more than their budding relationship can bear.
With the next X Games qualifier rapidly approaching, Summer has to own up to her mistakes if she wants to soar again. If she can’t, she’ll lose more than her second chance. She’ll lose her future-in skating, and with Bastian.
I received this novel on netgalley in exchange for an honest review and this in no way affects my opinion of the book. I loved this novel and I was instantly in love with Summer as she reminded me a little of myself. I did a little skateboarding in high school, but I mostly stuck with snowboarding. Summer is the brave girl I always wish I was, in how fearlessly she approaches her skateboarding.
The novel starts out with Summer training at the skate park in her new town. After her DUI, she moves in with her mom in hopes of a fresh start. A new town, new school, new friends. This is her chance to leave her past behind. Though it would be easy for Summer to fall in with the same crowd she normally hangs out with and continue drinking and smoking, she decides that she’s not going to waste this chance that she’s been given to start over.
Though she’s turned over a new leaf and hasn’t had a drink since her DUI, Summer’s mom has a hard time believing and trusting her. Since Summer hasn’t lived with her mother for years, they don’t know each other anymore and are basically starting over. Her mom is getting married to a new guy and just can’t see how hard Summer is trying to make a new life for herself.
I felt terrible for Summer every time her mother accused her of drinking or getting into trouble as I could see how hard Summer was trying and desperately wanted her mother to see this as well. Since her mother didn’t trust Summer to make good choices, she put a lot more pressure on Summer then she needed, and it made Summer feel like she could do nothing right and nothing would please her mom.
With all her training for the upcoming X-Games, the last thing Summer has time for is a new boyfriend. However, things with Bastian move quickly. He’s like no one she’s ever met before and she just can’t control herself around him. Things start going well for Summer, until a combination of her mom’s distrust and not telling her friends the whole truth about why she’s on probation, cause Summer to self-destruct. Though Summer proves that she could be reckless at times, she really grows and learns throughout this novel. Watching her push her friends and Bastian away really broke my heart. I just wanted things to go right for Summer and for her to be able to move on and be great.
This novel had the perfect combination of adventure, excitement and heartbreak. I greatly enjoyed this novel and do recommend it to contemporary lovers everywhere. I cannot wait to see what Jenny comes up with next!