Told in alternating points of view, Takedown is the story of two six grade wrestlers, Mikayla and Lev. In Mikayla’s family, wrestling is their thing. Ever since her parents’ divorce, wrestling is also the way Mikayla ensures one on one time with her father. At the start of the novel, Mikayla (known as Mickey on the mat) is ready to move up from a rec league and follow in her brothers’ footsteps by joining the Eagles travel team. Coach Spence though is not willing to accept girl wrestlers. As a result, Mikayla makes the bold decision to join the Gladiators, the Eagles rival team.
Lev also comes from an athletic family and has been a member of the Gladiators for a couple of years. His goal is to make it to States after losing to Coach Spence’s son, Nick last year. So when Coach Billy pairs him with Mickey for training, Lev is at first reluctant about having a girl partner. Slowly, Lev warms up to the idea and realizes that Mickey understands better than anyone what it means to work hard and push yourself.
Sports has never been my thing but I devoured Takedown. Laura Shovan wrote an engaging and captivating story that will appeal to all readers. I absolutely loved the format of the novel hearing from both Mikayla’s and Lev’s perspective, which revealed their determination, competitiveness, and insecurities. Mikayla believes in herself but has to constantly prove to her family, peers, and coaches she is strong enough to wrestle. Through being Mickey’s partner, Lev recognizes not only her strength as a wrestler but also as a person. As the story unfolds, Lev learns that while wrestling is a part of his life, it does not have to be his whole life. Family and friendships are equally if not more important.
A very special thanks to Laura Shovan and Random House for sending Takedown to our #bookexcursion group. Pre-order now so your copy will be delivered promptly on June 19, 2018. Can’t wait to get this book in readers’ hands!