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Goodre helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Happiest girl alive rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book. Their friendship shatters. No matter the cost. The Happiest Girl in the World explores the dark history behind an athlete who stands on the world stage, biting gold.
It's about the silence required of the exceptional, a tarnished friendship, and the sacrifices a parent will make foreven as a family is torn apart. Get A Copy. Paperbacks. Published April 20th by William Morrow Paperbacks. More Details Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews.
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Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. Sort order. Apr 11, Katie B rated it really liked it Shelves: arcsportsfictionwilliam-morrowread-inwmtastemakers. The author draws much of the story from the big scandals in the U. Gymnastics program and that somehow manages to be both the strength and weakness of this novel.
I'll try Happiest girl alive best to explain what I mean by that in a bit. Sera Wheeler and her friend, Lucy, have dreams of competing in the Olympics as part of the U. They train f 3. They train for 30 hours a week, adhere to a strict diet, and constantly battle thru the pain of their injuries. Their families have made great sacrifices for them as well as it's not a cheap sport when you add in money spent on coaches, the travelling expenses for competitions, fancy leotards, etc. When Lucy tells the adults running the elite gymnastics program that one of the doctors has been molesting her, Sera is faced with a decision to make.
She can either speak up and back up her friend, or keep quiet so she doesn't make waves and potentially lose her spot on the team. If you have followed the case in the news, it Happiest girl alive doubt infuriates you that there were so many victims because adults decided to turn a blind eye. Happiest girl alive story mostly follows Sera but there are some chapters devoted to her mother. Both the child and adult's perspectives serve a purpose as they show the intensity of that elite level of competitive sports and that win at all costs attitude. The author does a great job showing the contributing factors that led to this tragedy and why such evil people were able to get away with it for so long.
While the names of the guilty were changed, the names of some current and former gymnasts appear throughout the story. The story feels like it belongs in both regular fiction and historical fiction genres. While I do think the book was written with the best of intentions, at times I felt uncomfortable reading it.
I've been struggling to figure out the exact reasons for why I felt that way. I guess it's because I kept wondering if the victims are okay with essentially an outsider writing about this tragedy. I hope Happiest girl alive see the value in this book rather than feel like it's exploitative in nature. Thank you to William Morrow for providing me with an advance copy!
All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion. View all 12 comments. All Sera has ever wanted is to go medal at the Olympics. This affects their friendship and Sera has to choose between standing up for her best friend or supporting the sport that she loves. The darker side of gymnastics is discussed throughout the book while Sera achieves her dreams. It is mentioned briefly at the end. The Happiest Girl in the World is a must read for fans of the Olympics and gymnastics. I felt like I got to learn more about the sport.
The Happiest Girl in the World is a story of fighting for your goals and friendship. This book is difficult to read at times but very enjoyable overall. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Frankie Corzo and Mikhaila Aaseng and they both did a great job. They were the perfect voices for Sera and Charlene.
View 1 comment. A Real and raw, sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally brutal look at competitive gymnastics. This book had a definite ripped from the headlines vibe to it with all the recent devastating news that has come out of the US gymnastics world. As Young girls Sarah and Lucy were queens of the gym. They could stretch further, leap higher, land steadier, and twist further than any other girl their age. This put the girls on the elite track of gymnastics training. Long distances, grueling hours, pain, swe A Real and raw, sometimes heartbreaking, occasionally brutal look at competitive gymnastics.
Long distances, grueling hours, pain, sweat, tears, and accolades. The girls spend their summers away at gymnastics camp where they encountered the most intense training of all. They also encountered a revered US gymnastics Doctor Who miss treated the girls terribly. When Lucy decides to speak up against the doctor Sarah has to make the decision to stand by her best friend or pursue her dream of Olympic gold. This book does not pull any punches. It was truly about the ugly side of gymnastics the hours of training, the working through injuries, The food deprivation, the pill popping, the complete sacrifice of a normal childhood.
Not to mention the impact it has on the athletes Happiest girl alive both emotionally and financially. Happiest girl alive was so incredibly driven. The lengths she was willing to go for her dream were uncomprehendible. Her mother I struggled with a little more. I just felt like she got so myopic and was willing to sacrifice her daughter for this Olympic dream that somehow became hers? This really was an extremely well told story about the exorbitant price of success.
The audiobook is narrated by bothFrankie Corps and Mikhalia Who did a stellar job of bringing the voices of these characters to life. All opinions are my own. Apr 21, DeAnn rated it really liked it Shelves:netgalley Most are probably familiar with many elements of this book for gymnasts: food deprivation, medication, relentless training, injuries, expense, and abuse by doctors. It was hard to read at times, especially knowing that similar things Happiest girl alive happened to many young women and many turned the other way rather than helping these athletes. We get the pers 3.
We get the perspective mostly from Sera, but a few chapters from her mother and how important it was to her that Sera succeed. Her family makes countless sacrifices. Through all of this, I rooted hard for Sera to overcome many obstacles she faced.
When her friend Lucy accuses the doctor, does Sera stand by her or stay silent to preserve her place as an Olympic candidate? I have always loved watching the Olympics, but I Happiest girl alive a different lens now after reading this book.
I hope that the sport and the Olympic committees continue to reform. View all 10 comments. Jun 10, Alena rated it really liked it. I gobbled it up the way I do Olympic coverage. View all 3 comments. The parts Happiest girl alive weren't focused on the sexual abuse scandal were written really well and I would have loved to see how much more developed the plot and characters would've been if the focus wasn't weighed so heavily on the case t 2. The parts that weren't focused on the sexual abuse scandal were written really well and I would have loved to see how much more developed the plot and characters would've been if the focus wasn't weighed so heavily on the case that so many people area already familiar with.
Also, I felt like the repercussions of gymnastics in terms of Sera's obvious eating disorder and self harm were skated by, used as caveats to move onto the next section relating to the abuse scandal. One of the reasons covering the scandal in this fictionalized fashion irks me is the fact that it's not the author's story to tell.
There are so many victims out there that could provide so much more emotion and insight into the abuse and the world that nurtured said abuse but I can't get over the fact that the author herself is not only not one of those victims but not a gymnast herself, relying only on the insight from Happiest girl alive vaguely attached to the world to tell the story of so many others.Happiest girl alive
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