Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Off Balance: A Memoir Book Review

The 2012 Olympics have been over for a while now, I know, but I still love to watch the gymnastics competitions on YouTube.
I was never really interested in the Olympics, but since Gabby Douglas' victory, I started taking an interested in the sport of gymnastics. So, browsing through her routines, I came across the celebrated the Perfect 10, Nadia Comaneci, and then Dominique Moceanu. Dominique really caught my attention because among the Magnificent Seven, she was so tiny and cute, so I started researching more about her, and came across the fact that she had a book.

Buy it:

The book is called Off Balance: A Memoir.
She wrote this book to tell her story. It is a very easy read, a very informal style, it feels as if Dominique was telling you the story, right there while drinking tea in your kitchen, like an old friend. She goes back and forth in time during the book.
In her book, she discloses a lot of personal issues as well as her career. Dominique Moceanu talks about her Romanian heritage a lot, how her parents came from Romania looking for a better life. She talks about her coaches' physical and emotional abuse that marked her childhood, her love of gymnastics that let her and her team win the Gold in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and  tumultuous family life that ultimately led her to request emancipation from her parents at the age of 17. But the most shocking revelation in the book is the fact that she had a secret sister, Jennifer, that her parents gave up for adoption because she was born without legs. She talks about meeting her sister, and coming together, catching up with all those missed years, and the contrast of her sister's life to hers.
I loved that she included the personal pictures that help to give a more personal feel to the story.

The book is a nice read, and Dominique, at the end comes off as a brave, courageous young woman who was able to put a stop to years of abuse and was able to take back her life. A very informative book, answers a lot of questions that fans might have, and leaves you with a pretty good idea of who Dominique Moceanu is a human being. This is a good read, with a happy ending.

Highly recommended!

Disclaimer: I was not provided with any type of payment or reward. All my opinions are my own and completely honest. Picture from under Fair Use Act for purposes of criticism