Summary and book reviews of The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp

The Easy Part of Impossible

by Sarah Tomp

The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp X
The Easy Part of Impossible by Sarah Tomp
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Apr 2020, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2021, 352 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Callum McLaughlin
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About this Book

Book Summary

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 possible when the one thing you love is so tangled up in the thing you fear most?

One

One slip and it was over.

Everything Ria had worked for, dreamed of, spent every single second of her life dedicated to, was finished. No more demanding schedule, no dictated life. She could eat whatever she wanted. Do what she wanted, when she wanted.

If only someone could tell her what that was.

"Come on, Ria," said Sean. "Hurry up and pick something. We need to get to the quarry before dark."

"You said we should bring snacks." She'd liked the idea of picking something delicious and junky, but she hadn't expected three aisles of choices in the mini-mart. "What's best? Should we go for frosted sweets? Chocolate or fruity? Or are chips better? Look at the entire line of '-ito' choices! What's the junkiest? Doritos? Cheetos? Fritos?"

"It's not a picky crowd."

She turned and faced him. "Or, maybe Funyuns are a better time since 'fun' is right there in their name. Maybe they're the life of the party!"

Sean laughed. "What do you want to eat?"

"I'm not hungry." She shrugged. "...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

In addition to the emotional investment in the characters, the short chapters and readable prose make this a book that is easy to fly through. However, it's not uncommon for novels aimed at young adults to suffer from moments of awkward dialogue — the author becoming briefly visible through their attempts to adopt a narrative voice that feels authentically youthful. The Easy Part of Impossible is no exception, particularly throughout Ria and Cotton's romantic subplot. Another consistent thread that is highly successful, however, is the book's look at the benefit of sports on our physical and mental well-being. It's admirable that this novel is able to highlight the dark side of the sporting world without dismissing its many positive qualities...continued

Full Review (610 words).

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(Reviewed by Callum McLaughlin).

Media Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Sweet, complicated, painful, and honest. Explores the way victims can become trapped by abusers. Dives into difficult, legitimate issues with great form.

School Library Journal
Tomp's novel is compulsively readable and skillfully conveys the thoughts and feelings of neurodivergent characters.

Booklist
Tomp handles her characters with delicacy and care. An introspective look at human connection.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

The Benefit of Sports for Young People Living With ADHD

competitive diversIn Sarah Tomp's The Easy Part of Impossible, diving proves to be a vital lifeline for teenager Ria Williams, who lives with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The intense structure, discipline and exertion called for by the sport allows Ria to channel her excess energy into something positive and helps her to master the social skills she previously found difficult.

Tomp is not alone in championing the physical and mental benefits of sports for young people living with ADHD. In fact, research shows that the prevalence of the condition is notably higher among collegiate and professional athletes compared to the general population, suggesting that many people living with ADHD are naturally drawn to sports as a form of release ...

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