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The Easy Part of Impossible

By: Sarah Tomp

After an injury forces Ria off the diving team, an unexpected friendship with Cotton, a guy on the autism spectrum, helps her come to terms with the abusive relationship she’s been in with her former coach.

Ria Williams was an elite diver on track for the Olympics. As someone who struggled in school, largely due to her ADHD, diving was the one place Ria could shine. But while her parents were focused on the trophies, no one noticed how Coach Benny’s strict rules and punishments controlled every aspect of Ria’s life. The harder he was on her, the sharper her focus. The bigger the bruise, the better the dive. Until a freak accident at a meet changes everything. Just like that, Ria is handed back her life, free of Benny.

To fill her now-empty and aimless days, Ria rekindles a friendship with Cotton, a guy she used to know back in elementary school. With Cotton, she’s able to open up about what Benny would do to her, and through Cotton’s eyes, Ria is able to see it for what it was: abuse. Then Benny returns, offering Ria a second chance with a life-changing diving opportunity. But it’s not hers alone—Benny’s coaching comes with it. The thought of being back under his control seems impossible to bear, but so does walking away. How do you separate the impossible from the possible when the one thing you love is so tangled up in the thing you fear most?

ISBN: 9780062898289

JLG Release: Aug 2020


Sensitive Areas: Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes
Topics: Competitive diving , Swimming , Physical and emotional abuse , ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) , Friendship , Autism spectrum , Accidents , Injuries

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

School Library Journal

School Library Journal

High school senior Ria has long needed a modified schedule, and this novel follows her struggles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the low self-esteem it causes. She is a skilled diver, but her coach, Benny, is physically and emotionally abusive, and won’t let Ria rejoin the team after she quits during a volatile moment. When a ne High school senior Ria has long needed a modified schedule, and this novel follows her struggles with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and the low self-esteem it causes. She is a skilled diver, but her coach, Benny, is physically and emotionally abusive, and won’t let Ria rejoin the team after she quits during a volatile moment. When a new school year begins, Ria reconnects with her childhood friend Cotton, who also has a modified schedule. Cotton is also neurodiverse and has suffered his own trials. His sister went missing years ago, and he is reluctant to attend college until she returns. As Ria develops feelings for Cotton, she gets what she’s hoped for: Benny reappears, saying she could qualify for a prestigious team. Fear is a major part of Ria’s story—diving always contains an element of fear, and though she fears Benny’s abuse, she believes that “pain is part of the process” and that no one is as invested in her as Benny. Both Ria and Cotton face internalized fears to confront Benny and physical obstacles. Told in third-person from Ria’s point of view, Tomp’s novel is compulsively readable and skillfully conveys the thoughts and feelings of her neurodivergent characters. Secondary characters are all distinct with well-defined motives, and the romance between Cotton and Ria pans out in a way that feels true to their characters. The buildup to the climax is compelling, and the story wraps up beautifully. A great fit for mid-size to large young adult collections.

Book Details

ISBN

9780062898289

First Release

August 2020

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/3" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

352

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

N/A

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Harper Teen

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Language: Mild Language , Sexual Content: Mild Sexual Content/Themes

Topics

Competitive diving, Swimming, Physical and emotional abuse, ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), Friendship, Autism spectrum, Accidents, Injuries,

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