We are here today to share a little excerpt (and AWESOME giveaway) from Lessons in Falling, which debuted into the world yesterday. If you haven't seen Lessons in Falling yet, check it out below and see a review by Sarah at The YA Book Traveler.
Up this close, I see the dark stubble lining Marcos’s jaw. When I reach out to touch it, he inhales sharply. It’s rough as sandpaper beneath my fingers. Neither of us pulls away. He’s close enough that I could just tip forward and then...then what? Would he catch me? Would he lean forward too and meet me halfway?
Marcos clears his throat. I feel the vibration all the way up to his jaw. “Speaking of best friends,” he says, “why did Cassie take you away like that?”
My fingers freeze.
“What about Senior Cut Day,” he continues, “when you fell in and she just stood there watching? You could have hit your head on a rock.”
I roll my eyes. “Cass isn’t much of an athlete.” What do you mean, doggie paddling isn’t a stroke? she’d asked our swim instructor when we were eight. “She knew I’d be fine.”
“She’s no good for you.”
He looks taken aback by the strength of my voice. That’s right, Marcos—you can’t go around acting like the authority on my friendship with Cassie.
“You were so good at gymnastics,” he says. “Then, poof, you’re done with it.”
“You don’t know anything about my gymnastics,” I say heatedly. “You saw me do one skill, one time. Guess what? Five-year-olds can do the same thing. Nothing special.”
“Andreas found your YouTube channel.”
Goddammit, is anything sacred? Yes, my YouTube channel, made for college coaches to see my routines and skill upgrades, is publicly available. It’s fair game for anyone to view, although I never imagined people from school would watch it recreationally. I need to take it down ASAP.
“You were amazing,” he insists. “You were wearing all sorts of braces, so you’ve obviously been injured before.”
“That was the problem.”
“Yeah?” he says. “I don’t think you’re really afraid of getting injured. I think you’re terrified of failing.”
I jump to my feet, the alcohol and the anger pounding through me. “You don’t know anything
I’m not terrified of failing. You can’t be afraid of something you live and breathe every day.
Up by the smoke, Cassie sips from her drink and listens to whatever Juliana’s saying. Her eyes find me, and her eyebrows quirk. Everything okay?
Marcos rises, blocking my view. “I think you’re smart.” I can hardly hear him through the rushing in my ears. “I think that you’re a hard worker and really disciplined to get as far as you have in gymnastics. And I don’t think Cassie has your best interests in mind.”
I’ve heard enough of this bullshit. I step around him, one foot slipping into the water. He reaches out to help me. I wave him off. “If you’ll excuse me, I’m going back to my best friend.”
Marcos doesn’t know anything. He wasn’t there in the days after my surgery, when everything I ate made me nauseated and going to the bathroom was a marathon journey across the room. Cassie brought magazines, crackers, ginger ale. She stuck around despite the painkillers making me nod off mid- conversation. I woke up and she was on the bed next to me, knees holding her magazine in place. “Just in time, Savs. I’ve learned who my celebrity boyfriend is thanks to this super-scientific quiz. Ready? Question one.”
Over the laughter from the fire, I hear him say, “Okay.” Fleetingly, I think of turning around.
Instead, I let the moment wash away.
LESSONS IN FALLING
by: Diana Gallagher
Published: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
When Savannah Gregory blows out her knee - and her shot at a gymnastics scholarship - she decides she's done with the sport forever. Without gymnastics, she has more time for her best friend, Cassie. She's content to let her fun, impulsive best friend plan a memorable senior year.
That is, until Cassie tries to kill herself.
Savannah wants to understand what happened, but Cassie refuses to talk about it and for the first time, Savannah has to find her own way. The only person she can turn to is Marcos, the boy who saved Cassie's life. Being with him makes her see who she could be and what she really wants: gymnastics.
But Cassie doesn't approve of Marcos or of Savannah going back to gymnastics, and the tighter she tries to hold on to Savannah, the farther it pulls them apart. Without Cassie to call the shots, Savannah discovers how capable she is on her own - and that maybe her best friend's been holding her back all along.
Official Book Trailer (created by our talented friend, Sarah aka The YA Book Traveler)
Though Diana Gallagher be but little, she is fierce. She’s also a gymnastics coach and judge, former collegiate gymnast, and writing professor. Her work has appeared in The Southampton Review, International Gymnast, The Couch Gymnast, and on a candy cigarette box for SmokeLong Quarterly. She holds an MFA from Stony Brook University and is represented by Tina Wexler of ICM Partners. Her contemporary YA novel, Lessons in Falling, lands on 2/7/2017.
Special Giveaway from the Author
"Want to share your own Lessons Learned?? It's easy! Tell us about a time in your life when you persevered, despite a bad situation, and what lessons you learned from that situation. Share it however you like - on your blog, your social media, wherever! Submit your link to the Rafflecopter during the tour and share the giveaway with your friends to win an annotated ARC!"