HOW IT FEELS TO FLY

HarperTeen  

hardcover and ebook out now! 

The movement is all that matters.

For as long as Samantha can remember, she’s wanted to be a professional ballerina. She’s lived for perfect pirouettes, sky-high extensions, and soaring leaps across the stage. Then her body betrayed her.

The change was gradual. Stealthy.

Failed diets. Disapproving looks. Whispers behind her back. The result: crippling anxiety about her appearance, which threatens to crush her dancing dreams entirely. On her dance teacher’s recommendation, Sam is sent to a summer treatment camp for teen artists and athletes who are struggling with mental and emotional obstacles. If she can make progress, she’ll be allowed to attend a crucial ballet intensive. But when asked to open up about her deepest insecurities, secret behaviors, and paralyzing fears to complete strangers, Sam can’t cope. 

What I really need is a whole new body.

Sam forms an unlikely bond with Andrew, a former college football player who’s one of her camp counselors. As they grow closer, Andrew helps Sam see herself as he does—beautiful. But just as she starts to believe that there’s more between them than friendship, disappointing news from home sends her into a tailspin. With her future uncertain and her body against her, will Sam give in to the anxiety that imprisons her?

For fans of Center Stage, and with shades of The Breakfast Club, this is a compelling novel about body, mind, and the courage that it takes to become who you’re meant to be.

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praise for how it feels to fly:

“A heartfelt, hard-won story about following your dreams and confronting your inner demons...HOW IT FEELS TO FLY is for everyone who's ever fallen and faced the difficult task of becoming whole again.” —Kelly Loy Gilbert, Morris Award Finalist for CONVICTION

“Holmes’ look at anxiety feels wonderfully authentic, and readers will recognize, and sympathize with, the pressure Sam feels from family and friends. Filtering these issues through the lens of an athletic endeavor gives this added appeal.” —Booklist

“An empowering story for middle and high school readers searching for acceptance from themselves as well as others.” — School Library Journal

“A realistic and interesting read that teenagers can relate to and enjoy." —VOYA

“Should resonate with driven readers and those with their own body issues.” — Kirkus Reviews