Podium FinishWith six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper's life is pretty much perfect. She's fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women's Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts. For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That's why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an "all skating all the time" type of guy, which would be fine, if he'd stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself? As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it's that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.
My Review / Thoughts
I often wonder what goes through the heads of Olympians as they struggle each day to make the team and this was a little glimpse into that life. Whether it was real or not, it was intense. I cannot even wrap my head around that kind of competition and stress.
I cannot imagine living away from my family to train every day for hours a day knowing that my hard work may or may not pay off. It was an exiting ride from the beginning to the finish.
Figure skating is my FAVORITE Winter Olympic sport so this book made me love it even more. The hard work and dedication it takes to be an Olympian is amazing. I am not a hockey fan, especially women's hockey, but this book made me feel like I was right there watching it go down, and I loved it.
I loved how Harper and Alex found their joy in being in the competition. They lived for it. I could really feel the emotions they were going through while reading this book. I found my self feeling anxious just waiting to hear who made the final cut for the Hockey team. That is how in to this book I was. I LOVE it when an author does that for me.
I don't think there is anything I didn't like about this book. It was exciting, interesting, intense, and had a love story to boot. Seriously a great read. A fun read!
Source: I received this book as a host for a blog tour. I was not compensated in anyway for this review, and these are my own PERSONAL thoughts on the book.
Author Beth Pond
Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.
Praise for Podium FinishPodium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity
This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one - bonus! ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads
This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review
Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer
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