With her second novel, How it Feels to Fly, I think Kathryn Holmes has officially made my favorite author list alongside Kiera Cass, Neal Shusterman, and Laurie Halse Anderson. Her first novel, The Distance Between Lost and Found, instantly made its way to my favorite books shelf, and I can’t wait to buy my own copy of How it Feels to Fly to join it.
This novel is about a dancer with body image issues. But it’s not your typical ballerina thinks she’s fat and starves herself kind of story. Holmes gives us something unique. The book features Sam, a girl who loves ballet but whom ballet doesn’t love with her new, curvy body type. Sam has only gained fourteen pounds, but now she was barely accepted into a summer intensive program, her mom constantly warns her about her eating habits, and she feels like everyone is looking at her.
To help with her anxiety, Sam goes to a therapy camp called Perform at Your Peak, which is for artists and athletes with anxiety. There, her therapist and peer advisors help her to start to confront her anxiety and come up with coping methods. But Sam’s future in the ballet world is so uncertain and she still feels that her body is against her.
This is a beautiful novel about overcoming anxiety and body image issues. I feel that everyone can relate to this book in some manner with the way that Holmes weaves in the other camper’s stories and problems. I highly recommend Holmes’s novels and I can’t wait to see what she does in the future!