Thursday, January 23, 2014

Blog Tour Review+GIVEAWAY: Podium Finish

Podium Finish 

PodiumFinishPodium 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.
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Genres:  YA, Sports, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Published: November 4, 2013

Series: N/A

Pages: 273

My Rating: 4 stars

My Review: I love watching the Olympics. I don't know what it is; watching athletes become legends, the coming together of a country, the underdog stories, or a combination of these, but I love it. (Wow, that sounded cheesy.) Podium Finish was the perfect Olympic book, and I couldn't get enough of it.

The Multiple POV: was great. I loved both Harper and Alex, and I never was rushing ahead to get to my favorite POV because I loved their stories equally. Which almost never happens with me. I always end up slightly rushing through one POV to get to the one i like better. 

The writing was AMAZING; absolute perfection. I felt like I was watching Harper and Alex instead of reading about them, which in my opinion is a true sign that a book is good.  Even if you don't know much about hockey or ice dance, you can understand what is going on.

There wasn't a single character that I felt was underdeveloped or didn't care about. My favorite character (and possibly a new book boyfriend) was Ace. Harper and Alex were both great main characters, and I felt like cheering for the half the time! The little details about them were what truly made them shine, like Alex tapping the Olympic rings, or Ace saving a teddy bear from his and Alex's first competition. (Really sweet, by the way!)

One thing that I would warn readers about is that the book didn't grab me right away. Which by no means a bad thing, especially in the Realistic fiction genre, (the beginning of Podium Finish was great in that we learned a lot about Harper and Alex) but I suppose some readers might be put off by it. It starts off a bit slower but by the end of the book I couldn't put the book down. So if you start off and the book isn't instantly amazing, KEEP READING! It builds up as it goes along. 

Four stars for an exciting read that exceeded all my expectations. Podium Finish is a book I would easily recommend!

Excerpt: Alex

Ace knocks a couple minutes later.
"He-ll-o, Juliet," he says.
"Wrong routine, Genius."
"Oh, that's right. We already kicked butt at that one."
Ace and I are sitting in fifth place, by the narrowest of narrow margins. Lindsay and Cory are behind us in sixth, 1.22 points back.
"Have you ever seen such a narrow margin in the Olympics?"
"No," he says. "That's crazy close, eh?" He sits down on my bed. This is the first time he's been in my room here.
"How'd you know that was my bed?"
"All the pink." He tosses a pillow at me. I brought two of my pillows with me to make this place feel a little more like home — my OTC home, not my Connecticut home. That place hasn't felt like home since I left, maybe even before that.
"Well, make yourself comfortable because we need to talk strategy."
"World domination strategy?"
"Would you stop joking? And yes, if we win the Olympics that would sort of be like world domination."
"Sorry. Jokes are just how I deal with the stress," he says. "I don't know what you want to strategize about. We need to skate as well as we can. Hopefully as well as we did at Nationals. Obviously this is a much bigger competition."
"Okay, what score do you think we'll need to make the podium?"
"At least tie our PB from Nationals to have a chance, but ideally higher. It's gonna be tough, Alex."
"No one ever said winning an Olympic medal would be easy."
"Look, I know you like to de-stress by crunching numbers, but if you try to predict everyone's scores, you're going to drive yourself crazy, lose sleep, and it will all be for nothing, so how about another kind of crunching numbers?"
"Like what?"
He shifts his weight to his side, digging his elbow into the mattress and pulls a deck of cards out of the back pocket of his jeans.
"Poker. If you win, we do a spy routine next year. If I win, it's a western theme."
"Western? What am I going to wear? Daisy Dukes?"
"You better win then."

Beth Pond author pic   
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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  1. This sounds like such a cute read! I love skating stories. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  2. I am so glad you liked this book as well! I loved it. It was such a fun read. I LOVE the Olympics so this book just got me so much more excited for the upcoming games. The author did such a good job of making me feel like I was "in" the book! Great review! Thanks!

    1. It got me even more excited as well! Thanks for stopping by!


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