16-year-old Amalia Blanchard has been training her whole life to make the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team. After years of failing to qualify to elite gymnastics, her hard work finally pays off when she is invited to the national team training camp at the insistence of her coach. Though her routines aren’t as polished or pretty as the others, she shocks everyone - including national team coach and former Soviet superstar Vera Malkina - when she unveils a secret weapon that will help her challenge for one of the five spots on the team.
Her best friend and training partner 19-year-old Ruby Spencer also desperately wants to make it to Rio. A junior star pegged to lead the 2012 Olympic team to gold medal glory in London, Ruby tore her Achilles at the U.S. Championships two months before the Games, going into a deep depression for two years before working on a comeback. When she made her not-so-triumphant return in 2015, the press said she was “washed up” and would never make another international team again. Instead of falling apart, she decides to get in the best shape of her life to prove everyone wrong.
Then there’s Emerson Bedford, the 18-year-old diva who’s won every competition she’s entered in four years. Emerson is a two-time World Champion, has Gatorade endorsements and her own line of leotards, and brags about rejecting Justin Bieber when he asked her out over Twitter. She’s the golden girl born to become an Olympic legend, until family problems threaten her mental game right when it counts.
The lives of these talented, driven, extraordinary teenage girls revolve around their dreams. They trade cute boys, glittery prom dresses, and sweet sixteen parties for unrelenting coaches, sweaty leotards, and thousands of hours in the gym, all for the tiniest chance of someday becoming Olympic gymnasts. The 2016 trilogy follows Amalia, Ruby, and Emerson through heartbreak, triumph, and everything in between as their lifetime of training comes down to a single summer that will change their lives forever.
As the first book in the series, "Finding Our Balance" follows the gymnasts in the months before the Olympic Games. With a few preliminary qualifiers to overcome before the team trials, all three have something to prove, as Emerson tries to maintain her status as queen bee, Ruby wants to show everyone she's still a contender, and newcomer Amalia hopes she has what it takes to stand out in a talented field. If the pressure of competition isn't enough, drama outside the arena adds a further challenge as they struggle to keep their focus on their goal of making the team.