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The Beauty of a Spiral


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Madz is a teenage figure skater who leaves the demanding sport behind in pursuit of normalcy but is met instead with a life-changing illness

The beginning sucked me right in. The pacing was excellent. The writing style was seamless and flowed easily. I especially enjoyed all the interactions between Madz and Gracie and the way the author crafted each character with unique and distinct personalities so that it felt like the world was completely fleshed out and real. This is the type of contemporary fiction I would recommend to anyone who wants a good book with depth, and gut-wrenching emotion, and who doesn't mind learning a thing or two about the daily grind of a figure-skating teenager.

Madz is brave. She is brave to say no. She has the courage to stand up for herself, her body, and her needs. She dares to do the opposite of what her parents want, what her coach wants, and what her sport thinks she should do. She's been pushed to the edge of her limits and she's not backing down on her decision. It is so admirable that she finally defines her boundaries and stands her ground on her decision to leave figure skating. It is so hard to change your daily schedule and to suddenly be free of an activity that didn't just take over your life but is your life. Figure skating is a defining part of who Madz Monroe is and without it, she will have to figure out who she is. I admire her so much and love how strong her personality can be. She's not just stubborn but full of conviction that's backed by facts. She's not just quitting because it's hard or uncomfortable. Madz is a role model for teenagers and adults in the way she navigates her world and her problems. "… asking him to help me takes nerve. But I have a lot of them, and I have to get going." (Kindle Edition, 77%).

There is so much going on in Madz's world! This book was not just about Madz and her journey with figure skating. It touches on so many emotional subjects and does each of them justice. The parts with Chelsea were especially emotionally gut-wrenching.

It was so hard to put this book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen in each of the internal and external conflicts. The tension between Madz and Will, the cute landscaper, was intriguing. The relationship between Madz and her mother was fascinating and all their interactions had such well-written dialogue.

The relationship between Madz and her skating and health was the most fascinating of all. It was this subject matter, after all, that drew me to this book in the first place.

Reviewed by

Hello! I'm an author and a book reviewer. I've reviewed ~400 Indie books since 2013 and just reached over 1000 blog posts since 2013! I love lists and challenges. I especially enjoy contemporary young adult books. I'm a fast reader and love spotting typos when reading ARCs.

About the author

Beth Maddaleni is a Boston-area native and former registered nurse with a BA in English. She battled Hodgkin's lymphoma as a teen, and for years as an adult, she was an avid skater and figure-skating mom, experiences that rendered unique insight evident in The Beauty of a Spiral. view profile

Published on July 10, 2023

80000 words

Genre: Young Adult

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