Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Blog Tour/Review: Podium Finish by Beth Pond

Tour Schedule

Podium Finish

With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper’s life is pretty much perfect. She’s fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women’s Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts.

For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That’s why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an “all skating all the time” type of guy, which would be fine, if he’d stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself?

As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it’s that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.

I love the Olympics! And I think Olympians are amazing! When I saw this book come up for review so close to the Winter Olympics, I knew I had to read it. Harper and Alex have been roommates at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center for the past year. They've also become friends who support and rely on each other to get them through the tough days.

The book switches POV between Harper and Alex. Harper is working hard to gain a starting spot on the women's hockey team and the competition is fierce. She has some friends and she has a nemesis named Jess. They have a hard time working together because they each want to shine separately. She breaks her knee one day and has to work extra hard to come back in time to play in the Olympics.

Alex was a singles skater doing well until she had a bad year. Her dad wanted her to switch to ice dancing so she'd have a chance to be in the Olympics. She did, and she's now partners with Ace. Ace is a champion skater who recently split up with his dance partner, Sophie. Alex and her dad want Ace to do more interviews and be more involved in social media, but he's not interested in the fame at all. Alex does a video chat with her parents once a week and when things aren't going well, her relationship with her father is strained.

This was fun to read as each girl worked hard to make it into the Olympics. There were challenges and setbacks for each of them. Harper got her first boyfriend, Rye, and she needed to figure out how to balance that relationship as well. Alex wanted to know what happened to break up Ace and Sophie's skating partnership and kept pushing him for answers. I enjoyed reading about Harper's games and Alex's competitions and the discipline they each had to continue to do their best. I felt bad when things didn't go their way and cheered them on when they were in the midst of competing. It was hard to put this book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next!

I enjoyed this book and look forward to more from Beth Pond in the future! And I am now officially in the mood to watch the Olympics (too bad they don't start tomorrow)!

My Rating=5 Stars

Author Beth Pond

Beth Pond graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Hendrix College in 2012. In 2013, she taught in South Africa for 9 months as part of a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship Grant. Pond is currently completing her coursework at the University of British Columbia’s Creative Writing MFA program. Her debut novel, Podium Finish, was released from Astraea Press in November 2013. When she’s not writing, Pond enjoys martial arts (she’s a black belt) and serving as a volunteer coach for her brother’s special needs baseball team.

Praise for Podium Finish

Podium Finish is unlike any other book I have read, period. It is amazing that Ms. Pond could take two very different characters who are pursuing two completely different sports and tie them together as roommates at the Olympic Training Center. ~Crystal, Books are Sanity

This is a great, fun book! This story is really 2 stories in one – bonus!  ~Shelley Walker, Goodreads

This book was truly enjoyable to read. ~Michele, Amazon Review

Podium Finish is one of the best books I have read in a very long time. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it. ~Ana, Amazon Reviewer

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 2/9/14

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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