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All booksRomanceHead Over Heels
Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Head Over Heels

by Hannah Orenstein

Quick take

Missing the 2020 Olympics? Here’s your fix of long-standing rivals, gymnastic routines, and inter-athlete love.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Emotional


  • Illustrated icon, Icon_FamilyDrama

    Family drama

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Quirky


  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Millenial


Illustrated icon, Icon_Challenging_Indicator


This book contains themes of emotional and physical abuse.

Why I love it

Brianna Goodman
BOTM Editorial Team

I’m no gymnast, but I know a little something about chasing a dream with an expiration date. For most of my life I trained for a career in dance, spending hours in classes and rehearsals for performances that flew by. When I traded in the ballet barre for a desk job, there were some things (ice baths, blisters) that were easy to let go of. But my identity as a dancer was—and still is—hard to shake.

In Head Over Heels, our protagonist Avery undergoes a similar identity crisis. After a debilitating injury brought her dreams of competing in the Olympics to a halt, Avery is struggling to figure out her place in the world. Enter Ryan, fellow gymnast and her former high-school crush, who asks Avery to train a young gymnastics protégée. As Avery and Ryan navigate co-training (and their growing feelings for one another), a devastating scandal breaks that turns their lives upside down.

This is a love story with A+ chemistry and a premise that will fill the 2020 Olympics-sized hole in your heart. It’s also an inspiring story about friendship, lost dreams, and what it means to grapple with the past. Come for the balance beams and floor routines, stay for the heartwarming story of a woman carving a new life for herself.

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The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Head Over Heels.

Member thoughts

All (9487)
All (9487)
Love (4345)
Like (4663)
Dislike (479)
9607 ratings
  • 45% Love
  • 49% Like
  • 5% Dislike
  • Tulsa, OK

    Whether you’re a lifelong gymnerd or a 4 year fan, you’ll love this book that perfectly combines fun gym details and a believable romance while tackling the longstanding issue of abuse in the sport.

  • Bryn Mawr, PA

    A perfect summer read & ultimate antidote to missing this year’s Olympics! HOH is about so many things: gymnastics, love, friendship, but above all, it’s a story of finding & learning to love yourself

  • Celebration , FL

    I thought I was going to hate this book as I’m not into gymnastics but let me tell you, I couldn’t put this books down. Waiting to see if they made it to the Olympics kept me on my toes the whole time

  • Willoughby Hills , OH

    Cute love story in a setting thats not typical..elite gymnastics. Refreshing to see romance not revolve around the star quarterback. Cliche at times, like all love stories, but cute and easy read????????

  • Brea, CA

    I LOVED THIS BOOK. As a ballet dancer who didn’t join a professional company but has coached & taught for years, this hit home. I cried so much at the end and I truly felt EVERYTHING Avery felt. LOVE!

  • Portland, OR

    I didn’t know what I was getting into with this one because I am not too familiar with the world of gymnastics but I am happy I read it. This was a great light-hearted read for these difficult times.

  • Orlando, FL

    I’ve always obsessed with gymnastics and the Olympics so I enjoyed this book immensely. I love all the characters and Avery is so likeable. The pacing is great and overall it just makes you feel good.

  • Wood-Ridge, NJ

    Got this book because of my love for gymnastics, but stayed for the beautifully written story. Love how the real issues within the sport were addressed. Perfect way to get over Olympics’ postponement

  • Livonia, MI

    Its a great story for the young adults in there 20s trying to push through these never ending hard times. Thinking we will never go anywhere especially after such a tragedy like the one she had. 

  • Edmond , OK

    I read this book in 2 or 3 sittings while my husband watched the Olympics. It’s the perfect read for right now! The retired gymnast perspective is so interesting and reals you in from start to finish!

  • tivoli, NY

    i was hooked from page 1! i loved Avery and her evolution. it all felt so real, like i was truly looking in on someone’s life. this was more about Avery & her growth, than a romance, which i liked

  • Longview, TX

    My inner chubby 8 year old who pretended parking curbs were balance beams after watching the 1996 Olympics loved this book! A nice fill-in for 2020’s delayed games. Athletes with muscles and voices!

  • Fort Worth, TX

    I was a little skeptical of this book when I ordered it but man was I blown away. I don’t think I’ve read a book this fast in a really long time. I definitely recommend this to any former gymnast.

  • Morgan Hill, CA

    Absolutely loved this book. The story of athletes asking what comes next after their dream ends touched home to me and had such a beautiful message that shows life still goes on. I couldnt put it down

  • Cuyahoga Falls, OH

    I thought this was so interesting. I love gymnastics and I loved the romance behind the story. But I loved the behind the scenes look at training for the Olympics (or what I think it would look like).

  • North Caldwell, NJ

    This book showed readers big issues in the gymnastic world and the lasting mental and physical effects that the sport can have on athletes. Such a good read & I loved rooting for Hallie along the way!

  • Byron, GA

    Such a great book! I have always loved watching gymnastics, but to read about the interworkings mixed with romance, self determination, and awareness,even better. By the end, happy tears for everyone!

  • Woburn, MA

    This is the first time in a long time that I've read a book in a day. As an Olympic & gymnast fan who missed watching all the excitement this summer, I truly loved this book and could not put it down.

  • Plainview, NE

    This was a great take on the current climate in the gymnastics world. I liked how she tied in past experiences of abuse with current ones to connect the characters. Proof that these athletes are brave

  • Riverside , CA

    This was a light, fun read. Although predictable at times, it kept me engaged. I love that a realistic sex scandal was included as well as the fact that there isn't enough mental support in the sport

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