Cover Image: Unstoppable!


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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed this book so much! I've followed USA gymnastics and was appalled as anyone by the Larry Nassar case. It was interesting to hear from one of the many people affected by his actions and to hear about her experience in the whole of the gymnastics world.
Maggie is so brave for telling her story, and it is definitely one worth being heard!
Thank you to @netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for my honest review!

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Listen, I love a memoir. And especially since this one was about the US gymnastics team? (aka one of my serious interests). Unfortunately, I just couldn't deal with the writing style of this one. I don't know, there was just something about it that just didn't vibe with me. But I do think it's an important story to tell.

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I watched Athlete A on Netflix and when I saw this book I knew I wanted to read it.

It was great seeing Maggie as the person she truly is. Seeing her as a person outside of just gymnastics and the scandal that happened. To see all she did to become a great athlete but also an amazing person.

She wrote her story really well, and really explained everything going on in a way for us who didn't do gymnastics would understand. I liked reading about the scoring system because when I watch gymnastics that always confused me a little. Though it still does a little I have a better concept now.

I have been loving biographies lately and I am glad I picked this one up.

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wow! What a strong woman to write this book. I liked the insight into the gymnastics world, as well as the author's vulnerability about talking about the more difficult areas of her time spent there. It presented a strong and resilient person.

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Maggie Nichols was the first gymnast to raise concerns about Larry Nasser's "medical treatments" of USA gymnasts. She is a hero for that reason alone. She is also an athlete who competed successfully both internationally and collegiately. This book discusses her career, including her many injuries, her struggle with an eating disorder, and the consequences she faced as a result of reporting Nasser's abuse. It also presents the complicity of USA gymnastics, the many errors made in bringing Nasser to justice, and the bravery of all the athletes who spoke out. While the writing is rather basic, the story is compelling and important.

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I have a lot of respect for Maggie Nichols. I followed her career while she competed on the US national team, I watched Athlete A, I continued to follow her gymnastics during her years at the University of Oklahoma. I think she’s really inspirational. I was beyond thrilled to receive an ARC of her memoir.

That being said, I didn’t like this book. I wanted so badly to like it, but it was just… okay.

It was written as if it were meant for middle grade or younger, which I don’t think could have ever worked out. Given the sensitive nature of the themes here, like disordered eating and sexual abuse, it really would have benefitted from a more mature style. There was a lot of telling and almost no showing going on. A lot of this was just bland descriptions of what was occurring, one emotion adverb/adjective, and then no further explanation of her feelings on the matter. I also didn’t find the flow of the story to be very good, as a chapter always started off with something like “I was determined to do my best!”, then it would hit some issue, and then it would immediately go into the “I was going to work even harder at accomplishing my goals!” vibes. Reading this memoir was like reading a college admissions essay.

There were a few places where it felt like it was retelling Athlete A rather than exploring Maggie’s personal feelings in the depth I expected from a memoir. It felt very superficial and filled with fluff sentences like “it was so amazing” or “I had a great time.” The gymnastics explanation very from highly technical to very basic, so this is definitely not a book for anyone unfamiliar with gymnastics moves. There was a very abrupt shift from elite gymnastics to her time at the University of Oklahoma I thought could have been expanded on. Her academic career is almost completely glossed over, too, as an example of aspects of her life that are just ignored. It’s mentioned that balancing academics with gymnastics was difficult, but there aren’t really any examples of that. Overall, this was inspiring and I respect what it must have took to write this memoir, but it just seemed very surface level.

3.5/5, rounded to 4.

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Brave and riveting story. Writing style needed more editing, which is more a reflection of editors than author..

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What a powerful story from Maggie Nichols. Seeing the details of how Larry Nassar was handled is appalling yet Maggie Nichols managed to write an incredible story and succeed despite these issues. Well written and full of details on family and friendship and support.

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Maggie Nichols was an elite gymnast on track to make the 2016 Olympic team but when she was one of the first accusers of Larry Nasser, the doctor at the center of the gymnastics abuse scandal, that dream was derailed. However, this book is not only about that. It is about what it takes to be an elite gymnast in the first place, and about perseverance and strength of character and what it takes to keep going when not only have you lived through the horrendous experience of being literally abused you also have to deal with how that experience led to the crushing of your dream.

The book which was written with Hope Inelli draws you in immediately and really holds your attention throughout. It is in part extremely inspiring and in part outrageously horrifying. The part of the book that deals with Maggie's life before and after what happened to her is inspiring. She is a great role model for anyone not just young female athletes and not just because of her athletic prowess. Her character, inner strength, and courage in the aftermath of what happened to her and beyond, and how she was able to carry on with extreme grace and fortitude is something anyone can learn from.

The part of the book that deals with Larry Nasser's horrendous abuse and how it was mishandled by those in authority allowing him to continue his abuse and in fact, abuse many more innocent young girls long after his abhorrent actions were first reported is both outrageously shocking and completely terrifying, The way so many people in authority whose first priority should have been to protect these young girls and others like them failed so miserably in this duty is both disgusting and horrifying. Knowing that people like Maggie are now out there advocating for people like themselves, gives one the tiniest glimmer of hope.

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Thank you to NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, and Roaring Brook Press for an ARC of this book.

Unstoppable! is an important personal story that chronicles Maggie Nichols' remarkable live. She gives insight into her early years in gymnastics, her early rise through the ranks, and the numerous injuries and surgeries she survived along the way. However, even more significant is her retelling of some of the darker things she experienced - specifically the sexual abuse at the hands of Larry Nasser, the mishandling of the investigation and the additional emotional and mental abuse at the hands of key individuals within USA Gymnastics.

Some of the gritty details of the scoring systems at the various levels of gymnastics seemed a little clunky and difficult to comprehend for a gymnastics newbie, but overall, the book was a smooth read.

Fortunately, Maggie has managed to move forward with her life in the most positive ways possible. I really enjoyed hearing about her transition to collegiate gymnastics and what she plans to do in the future. I would definitely recommend this book!

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Maggie Nichols is Athlete A. She was the first to go on record with a sexual assault charge against Larry Nasser. That anonymous report most likely cost her a spot on the 2016 Olympic team. Despite this injustice, Maggie persevered and joined the OSU gymnastics team. This decision catapulted her to a long list of awards and accolades -- much more than she could have achieved at one Olympics appearance. Her best friend during her elite gymnastic days was Simone Biles. Unfortunately my ARC did not include the forward by Biles. Larry Nasser was eventually tried for his crimes and is serving multiple sentences. Sadly, the missteps of the FBI and their handling of the investigation have yet to result in any consequences for those agents and SACs. Even after a congressional hearing. Like many who are not personally affected by the case, I had no idea that athletes like Maggie have still not gotten answers or seen anyone punished other than Nasser. There had to be others enabling this monster. This book is a revealing look at what it takes to excel in gymnastics as well as the frustrations of the sexual assault investigation. Includes an extensive gymnastics glossary and photos (in the finished edition).

Thank you to Macmillan and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

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I flew through this story of Maggie Nichols & her rise to become a world champion in gymnastics & beyond. My heart went out to Maggie at so many different chapters of her life and career & all the sacrifices she made & struggles she faced. From the sexual scandals with Larry Nassar to disordered eating to multiple serious injuries, I was very inspired by her attitude to keep going & never let anything bring her down from doing what she loved. I learned a lot from this memoir about what it takes to be an elite gymnast.

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Unstoppable gives teens an opportunity to understand Maggie's journey into gymnastics and the ups and downs of this popular sport. This edition also gives attention to eating disorders and the sexual abuse Maggie and other athletes endured. Based on the sensitive subject matter, this would be a good fit for a high school library collection.

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Maggie Nichols’ memoir, Unstoppable!, is an inspirational story of her journey from a child gymnast in Minnesota to a world champion and collegiate athlete in Oklahoma. She was the first victim of Dr. Larry Nassar to come forward, and she describes the response from USA Gymnastics. The primary audience for this book is young people, so there are no descriptions of the abuse itself, just “he touched her inappropriately and she felt uncomfortable.” The overall theme of the book is overcoming challenges, not the scandal.

Maggie Nichols began her gymnastics career at the age of three in her hometown in Minnesota. Following her three older brothers, she was very athletic and showed promise early on. By the time she was five years old, she transferred to another gym and was training five hours per day. At the age of thirteen she was invited to attend monthly training camp at the Karolyi Ranch in Texas alongside the US national gymnastics team. There she was shamed about her weight and put on a very restrictive diet limited to lean protein. She describes the many injuries that she incurred over the years.

By 2015 Maggie Nichols carried the team all-around at the 2015 World Championships, helping to win the team gold medal. Her next goal was to be on Team USA at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was looking forward to training for the Olympic along with teammates such as Aly Raisman, Simone Biles, and Laurie Hernandez.

However while she was at the Karolyi Ranch, she asked another gymnast about her interactions with Dr. Larry Nassar and his inappropriate touching. Maggie’s long-time coach from Minnesota overheard the conversation and questioned Maggie in private. Then she immediately notified USA Gymnastics officials and Maggie’s parents. The Nichols also contacted USA Gymnastics and were assured that they would notify the authorities. Instead USA Gymnastics hired someone to investigate the allegations prior to notifying law enforcement. Meanwhile Maggie was not selected for the 2016 Olympic team.

Eventually USA Gymnastics fired Dr. Larry Nassar and he was criminally prosecuted for his sexual abuse of young gymnasts. There was a fall-out among USA Gymnatics staffers over their delayed response and the systems in place that allowed Dr. Nassar to perform his “procedures” without oversight. Meanwhile Maggie Nichols enrolled at The University of Oklahoma where she became an 8-time NCAA champion and an outspoken advocate for the protection of young athletes.

Unstoppable! shares a behind-the-scenes view of elite gymnastics, the sexual abuse scandal of USA Gymnastics, and Maggie Nichols’ role as a whistleblower. Maggie tells her story of hard work, injuries, hope, emotional trauma, healing, and recovery. Her engaging writing style is easy for young readers to understand. I highly recommend this book for all readers.

I received an advance review copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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This memoir is full of heart, determination, honesty, and SWAG! #iykyk

Thoughts: Maggie Nichols bravely shares with the world her personal journey through elite and collegiate gymnastics, and life as a survivor of Larry Nassar's abuse. Beyond the headlines, Maggie shares her whole truth and it is both empowering and heartbreaking. Maggie Nichols has been through so much, including many injuries -- one of which almost ended her career. After reading Unstoppable, I am in awe of Maggie's strength and determination, and I also appreciate that she explains so much about the gymnastics world, including how judges score routines and athletes enter elite status. Maggie Nichols' book is enlightening, informative, and inspiring, and has only made me an even bigger fan of hers!

**Thank you, NetGalley and publishers, for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.**

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Wow! What a powerful story. I hate that she had to endure abuse while reaching for her goals, but the bravery she showcased then and now is remarkable. Thank you for telling your story.

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Maggie shares with you her career of being a highly acclaimed gymnast. She'll tell you the highs and struggles and how she overcame those struggles. She also is going to take you into her dark nightmare of dealing with assault from what should have been a trusted source for her- and hundreds of fellow gymnasts. Maggie tells you how the Special Olympics inspired her and influenced her personally and professionally. Read how she navigates it all and survives pivoting her career.

Maggie was like many little girls- myself included- who was bitten by the gymnastics bug. Once she found it, she found her passion. However, it wasn't always a happy journey. She was plagued by injuries. She had setbacks that forced her to have to reevaluate her passion and how she was going to achieve the goals she set out to accomplish. Within the pages of Unstoppable, she shares with you what it was like and how she did it. Injuries are a blow to any athlete, but the recovery isn't always just a physical one. Athletes have to overcome the mental aspect of any physical injury that requires a break from their routine.

Unstoppable isn't just the telling of her career. Within it's pages, you're going to read some disturbing things that not only happened to Maggie, but too many of her fellow gymnasts. I've always known how disturbing the much acclaimed Karoli camp is. I've known how the athletes are treated there and the methods used to get the athletes into the "best condition for competition". I've never agreed with it and was angry with every story I read about it. Maggie shares hers with you and it will upset you. The way they altered her diet for the "better" and pushed her to the breaking point isn't uncommon to anyone who's walked the property. I had a hard time reading about what was overlooked and allowed for the sake of medals. This book reminds the reader that this facility is focused on winning at the expense of athletes' long term health.

The hardest parts to read within the book are those involving the sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of Larry Nassar. Long before he was charged and sentenced for anything, the abuse occurred. Maggie is just one of the hundreds who came forward to tell their story. Maggie tells you how that came to be and how the process was for having him put behind bars. It's not an easy read to see how many trusted adults turned a blind eye or even covered up what was happening to the very athletes they should have been protecting. It was a victory I celebrated when it finally was done and it was a victory I celebrated as Maggie takes you on that journey.

I loved reading how her transition was into college gymnastics. I loved reading how she was treated by teammates and coaches. I loved how they became a family. I loved how they were able to comin in and undo the unhealthy eating and training habits instilled, in party, by the Karoli team. By the time you finish the last page of Maggie's book you will have read how she pursued her dream and overcame the nightmares she encountered along the way.

Unstoppable is a great book that any young adults could pull lessons from. She explains the technical aspects of gymnastics, so starting out gymnasts can have extra knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed reading Maggie's story and I hope you do, as well.

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As a former gymnast, I followed the proceedings for Larry Nassar. To have an inside account of her life, the abuse that she suffered, and ultimately her success in Oklahoma with college gymnastics was one to read.

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I appreciated Maggie Nichols' vulnerability and strength. This book sheds light on the sexual abuse scandal that ran through US Gymnastics under Larry Nassar and Steve Penny, including how USAG and even the FBI mishandled the investigation and tried to sweep it under the rug.

Even though Nichols' Olympics success was hampered (in part due to her accusations against Nassar), she had an outstanding career at Oklahoma University that was fun to hear her detail as well!

Trigger warning of sexual abuse, of course, but she tells an important story with advice for young athletes.

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Thank you, NetGalley, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group, and Roaring Brook Press for this arc in exchange for an honest review.

I have always been a fan of gymnastics and of Maggie Nichols so I could not wait to read her memoir. And we can truly get to see and experience the trajectory of her career throughout this book. The writing is honest and accessible to readers and the sections it is split into truly highlight who she is as an individual. The love she has not only for the sport but for those who were part of her journey is so clear throughout the book. But she also does not shy away from talking about the various types of pain it has caused her. She is a true champion of the sport and for her fellow gymnasts.

At one point in the book, Maggie states that she sees this memoir and the “Athlete A” documentary as companion pieces and I think that they complement each other so well and highly recommend them both.

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