Telia makes her movements graceful as well as technically perfect. And when she finishes with a full straight-body somersault - something I have never been able to do - her delighted grin makes everybody else smile.
Even the judges. Even me. Even though I am wishing, more than anything, that I could perform like that. And knowing, with a horrible sinking feeling, that I never will. Chelsea is the hardest worker in her gymnastics club and she's determined to make the Nationals team, and then the Olympics.
But new girl Telia has more natural talent. Chelsea gets jealous, which feels awful, because she really likes Telia, who isn't stuck-up like some other girls at gym. And it's not only envy that's bothering Chelsea - she's got family issues to worry about and her school friends are acting weird.
It's time for Chelsea to figure out what's really important - and just maybe take a leap into the unknown . . .
Chelsea lives for gymnastics and dreams of being selected for the Nationals team, but while she might be the best member of her troupe - and the most dedicated - she’s also the oldest, and time is running out.
With the State Championships looming Chelsea’s single-minded determination to achieve her goal is derailed when it becomes obvious that the new girl in the club has that “special something” that she lacks.
Can Chelsea bring herself to help her new friend if it’s going to mean that Telia earns a place on the Nationals team instead?
Flyaway Girls deals realistically and sympathetically with some of the big issues that face young people as they move into adulthood: the unravelling of childhood friendships, the choice to make hard decisions for the greater good, and learning to pursue what’s really important.
This is an ideal novel for younger secondary students, especially those who need a gentle reminder to take a breath and enjoy life.
Flyaway Girls is the twelfth book from CBCA shortlisted author Julia Lawrinson.
Reviewed by Lian