Harper Summer 2016 Tour: How it Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes Review + Discussion Post + Giveaway!!!

Posted March 10, 2016 by Nori in Blog Tour/ Blitzes, Book Reviews, Discussion Posts, Giveaway / 21 Comments


Important note- there are a lot of themes in How It Feels to Fly that can be triggers. If self harm, eating disorders, or extreme anxiety are triggers for you, do not read this book.

With that being said, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY is a book that I think is extremely important. Personally, I related to the main character, Samantha, more than I care to admit (but more on that later). But, even if you don’t suffer from anxiety, you should read HOW IT FEELS TO FLY  because it allows you to step into the shoes of someone who does. You can never replicate the same feeling, but at least you can learn a little bit about the emotions and the thoughts that come with the experience.

Anxiety. The constant fear of…something. Anything. It changes for everyone. It can happen to anyone.

Panic attacks. A moment in time where your anxiety overwhelms you, to the point that…well, it’s different for everyone. Some people can’t breathe. Some people feel like their chest is going to explode.

Samantha suffers from extreme anxiety and panic attacks, and eventually goes to a treatment camp in the summer that’s supposed to help her get over it. After all, she wants to be a professional ballerina- she can’t let something silly like anxiety or panic attacks stop her. That would be ridiculous. *PLEASE NOTE THAT WAS SARCASM*

If it was that easy to treat/get rid of/deal with, Samantha, and lots of other people would be very happy campers. But, unfortunately, it’s not easy to treat. It’s not something that will go away when you snap your fingers. It’s a part of you that will never truly disappear. But, there are ways to help.

While HOW IT FEELS TO FLY focuses on Samantha and her journey to believing in herself, she isn’t the only character. All of the campers face different emotional issues that caused them to go to the camp, and reading about all of their different experiences was eye opening for me.

I highly highly highly recommend this book and give it 5/5stars. It was incredible from start to finish.

Discussion: Anxiety

Okay, now that I’ve given you a LITTLE background to the story, it’s time for my discussion.

As you can see above, HOW IT FEELS TO FLY is about Samantha and her anxiety. It’s about her learning how to let go of certain expectations, and to just be herself. As corny as that sounds, it’s really important to stay true to yourself.

So, I decided to let you in on a couple of secrets- some things that constantly worry me and make me anxious. I may seem all smile-y on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t ever worry. I worry about my blog everyday.

I constantly wonder…


  • Will people like this idea? Will it interest them?
  • Is it funny? Will it make people smile?


  • Do they actually mean what they say? Do they actually like the post?
  • Or are they just trying to be nice?


  • Did I do the book justice? No, there’s no way that I could do that.
  • Does my review actually matter? Will anyone pick up the book because of my review?
  • Did I include enough details about the book, but make sure not to just summarize it?


  • Did anyone have this idea in the past? Will they accuse me of stealing their idea?
  • Will this offend anyone? Will anyone feel excluded? Will anyone hate the idea so much that they’ll hate me?
  • Will this idea even work? Or will it fail?


  • Are people going to show up? Are people tired of twitter chats?
  • Do people mute me because they don’t want me to spam their timeline?
  • Do people consider it spam? Do people find it annoying?
  • Will it live up to everyone’s expectations?
  • Will people be disappointed? Will people be bored?


  • Do people think that I’m not genuine?
  • Do people think I talk to authors just so I get favors/ARCs from them? That’s not why I talk to them…but what if people think that?
  • Do people just find me annoying because I tweet a lot?

Now, those are just a couple of examples, but believe me, I could go on for ages. I really could.

Please remember- this post isn’t about me looking for reassurance that you don’t all hate me (even if you said that, I probably wouldn’t believe it ;P). This post is about anxiety, and how it is okay to have it. Do not be ashamed. It is TOUGH, but with the support of friends and/or family, you can still lead the life that you want to live. 

I am always here to talk- my DMs on Twitter are always open. <3

Okay, now it’s time for some happy, cheerful news!

Harper is being SUPER GENEROUS and there are TWO giveaways concurrent to this tour!

#1 – A Harper Teen Summer 2016 Catalog prizepack of 45 books*.
*Titles not included: The Crown by Kiera Cass, Escape from Asylum by Madeline Roux, Sing by Vivi Greene, The Countdown by Kimberly Derting, & United As One by Pittacus Lore
In addition to the one massive prize winner, we will also have 4 winners who will be able to select 3 titles they want from the Summer 2016 Catalog. (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#2 – 5 Finished Copies from the Harper Teen Winter 2016 Catalog
5 books are: Front Lines by Michael Grant, Revenge & the Wild by Michelle Modesto, The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks, Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin, & The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig (US Only)

How to enter:
Collect the daily word from each blog stop during the Harper Summer 2016 Tour (a total of 50). Once you’ve collected them all, email the complete saying to: HarperTeenTour@gmail.com (Psssst mine was in purple)

Prize Rules:
Winner must have a valid US mailing address to receive the prize
Winner must be over 13
Only one (1) entry per person for Prize #2 – duplicates will be deleted.
Only a completed phrase will be accepted as an entry – do not email each word/phrase daily. Wait until you have the complete saying and then email in.
All email submissions must be received by 11:59 PM EST 3/31/2016.
Winners will be selected 4/1/2016 and will have 48 hours to claim their prize before another is selected.
Participating blogs and bloggers are not responsible for unsent, damaged, and/or stolen prizes offered by the publisher.



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21 responses to “Harper Summer 2016 Tour: How it Feels to Fly by Kathryn Holmes Review + Discussion Post + Giveaway!!!

  1. Wow! That’s some praise! This was one I already added to my TBR list since it sounded interesting. Now, after reading your thoughts, it’s a must for sure! Thanks!

  2. danielle hammelef

    The issues in this book are so difficult to hear about or read about for me, but I’m blessed not to have these in my past. That also means I have much to learn, so I appreciate good books like this one.

  3. Thanks for the review! I have to read this. I’ve suffered from serious anxiety for years, so I’d love to see how well it’s captured in a book. I know I’ve said to someone that it can feel like you’re tied to a train track with a train on the way.

    And serious, you’re awesome! Remember that!

  4. I hate anxiety. I hate that it is really hard to overcome, and I hate that when I am anxious or nervous, my chest just feels super constricted and it won’t go back to normal until the thing has passed. And no matter what I tell myself, like how everything will be okay, IT DOESN’T WORK.

    With that said, I don’t think I have it as bad as others. It mostly pops up with cars, finance (aka money being taken from my bank account), or social things that will seriously affect my future (lol). I don’t really get anxious about my blog as you do, but I can say for a fact that NO ONE HATES YOU. At least I don’t. And that’s all that matters really 🙂 I also think you do the perfect amount of Twitter chats. And I know you aren’t friends with authors just because they’re authors. I know you, from real life. So I would know 😉

  5. Sarah Cone

    As someone who deals with anxiety attacks, I’m very glad these forms of self harm is being represented in a book. So many people deal with these issues but are afraid to talk about it or get help because of the stigma that still surrounds it.
    Tbh, I probably won’t read this book despite the fact that I appreciate the content. One of the reasons I read is to escape my anxiety and I’m just afraid this book would be counterproductive. It really did sound like a great story though and I hope Sam funds happiness by the end!
    And as alway’s, great interview! 🙂

    • Sarah Cone

      I know it wasn’t to get sympathy or make it about you but thank you for sharing with us.I just can’t leave without saying that I’m sorry that you also suffer from anxiety. BELIEVE IT, SISTA, I wish you could see you how we see you; then you’d know that there was no need to worry…because I’m betting I’m not the only one who loves, admires and appreciates you.

  6. Jennifer Y.

    First, this book sounds really good…I need to read it.

    Now onto your post…I have lived with anxiety my entire life. And I hate it! I hate worrying about everything. I hate how it makes me feel. I hate how much of living it has prevented me from doing. I hate that it makes me question myself. It’s one of the main reasons I haven’t started my own blog yet.

    When you live with anxiety sometimes you might feel like you’re the only one in the world that feels that way, but that’s just your anxiety telling you that. You are not alone. Don’t be ashamed. It’s taken me years to deal with and face my anxiety, but we are slowly learning to live together. I’ll never be free of it, but I can learn how to manage it and show it who’s boss. Occasionally, my anxiety wins the battles, but as long as I win the war, we’re okay.

    And I know you didn’t ask for it, but I’m giving you lots of hugs. You were one of the first to welcome me and my anxious self to the book community on Twitter & I’m very grateful. I’m here for you, too. (And anyone else I’m @2many2read on Twitter)

  7. Kathleen P

    I like how this book discusses real life issues. So few books do this. I think my OTSPSS and I would really enjoy this book.

  8. Hi, Nori! I loved this review. I really want to read this book, but I haven’t got to it yet. I love books that deal with mental health/anxiety. I have heard great things about this book. I’m so glad you loved it! BTW, I LOVE RQWN. Seriously. It’s one of my favorite twitter chats! -Alli

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