REVIEW: #AusYABloggers Blog Tour, 'As Fast As I Can' by Penny Tangey
Hello Fellow Readerholics,
I was recently given the wonderful opportunity to review ‘As Fast As I Can’ by Penny Tangey as part of the #AusYABloggers blog tour. I really enjoyed it and I had a lot of thoughts. Let’s get into it!
One girl. One dream. A few hurdles.
Ten-year-old Vivian is determined to win a medal at the Olympic Games one day. Problem is, she hasn’t found a sport she’s any good at yet. But everyone says if you work hard enough you can achieve anything, right? So when Vivian discovers she has a talent for cross country running, finally, her Olympic dream might actually come true.
But then a family illness is uncovered and all of Vivian’s plans begin to unravel. Can she keep her dream alive? Or will she be stopped in her tracks?
A funny, heartfelt novel about resilience, acceptance and dreaming big.
I enjoyed this book but I also found it really weird. I mainly found it strange because I’ve never read a book in which I so totally felt like I was seeing the world as my younger self did. Sure, I didn’t exactly want to be an olympic athlete but the thought processes of Vivian were so similar to my own at that age that at times I felt as if I were peering into a mirror. So naturally, I really loved Vivian. She was quite relatable which is saying a lot considering I am probably the polar opposite of a sportsperson. The way in which she thinks is so humorous and at times blunt that I found myself chuckling to myself at things that probably aren’t that funny.
The other character were just as authentic as Vivian. Mainly because they were all really flawed. They say stuff they don’t mean, they make fun of each other and they gave me far too much second hand embarrassment.
This book also took me straight back to primary school which was… actually appreciated. It’s far more fun than high school. As we follow the life of Vivian we are also taken to house sports carnivals, Healthy Harold visits and the general buzz that the olympics brings when your school makes it compulsory to learn about. But the novel could still be easily enjoyed by someone who isn’t particularly sporty… me, I’m talking about me!
I also really appreciated the realism of the relationships in this novel. Vivian’s relationship with her friends was really sweet but it was also super complicated at times, just like in real life. Her relationship with her family felt so real that at times it felt intrusive to read about. I really loved that aspect of the book. And when disaster struck I felt the pain it had not only on Vivian but on everyone around her. It was actually really sad.
My main critique of the book is that I wish there was an epilogue of sorts. The ending just felt too open ended and I would have liked to see some sort of conclusion that tied it all together. What can I say, I like to know the characters I’m invested in are doing okay!
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel. It was fun, witty middle grade book that made me feel things that I’m having trouble articulating, if I’m being honest. I’m rating this book a 4/5.
Your Favourite Bookworm