Saturday, October 22, 2016

How It Feels to Fly, by Kathryn Holmes

At a three-week summer camp for talented (but troubled) young people, Samantha and her peers learn how to cope with crippling anxiety attacks.

Samantha has dreamt of becoming a professional ballerina since she was six, but puberty has not been kind to her and she finds that, despite her best efforts, she no longer has the body type that she needs to land roles.  Or at least that is what her inner voice tells her.  Learning to overcome that voice is what camp is for.  But in the comradeship that develops, Samantha and the others find there is much more to learning to fly than simply learning coping mechanisms.

Fairly predictable, but enjoyable nonetheless.  The story combines ballet, summer camp, and illness recovery in a nice slick package.  Mothers come in for particularly heavy blame, which will appeal to the usual readers.  Some potential romance keeps things juicy.  And angst runs throughout.  You can't really go wrong.  The cover, however, is really unrelated to the story -- not really sure where it came from!

Personally, I found this a hard book to read at points as I too suffer from panic attacks, so the struggles and the discussions resonated with me.  No major breakthroughs, unfortunately, but it was thought provoking and I'll think about the conversations that take place and the ideas raised.  Holmes did a lot of research on therapy techniques and that was probably my favorite part.

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