Casey Carlisle is an eighteen-year-old "mathlete" with a latent passion for skating. Challenged to complete a "personal science project" to win a physics scholarship, she unites her physics talent with her appreciation for figure skating and reaps unexpected results. The more she discovers her skating abilities, the more she is challenged both physically and emotionally, which provides great character growth. She makes true friends of some skater schoolmates who previously saw her only as a geek, and maintains her identity and self-worth in the world of a sport that tries to tear it down. Casey's newfound desire to skate puts a rift between her and her mom, but Casey does her best to treat Mom with love and respect throughout, and the rift is eventually repaired. A sweet romance between Casey and her skating coach's son round out this lovely story.
The biggest caveat comes in the form of Tina Harwood, owner of the local skating club and Casey's eventual coach. She's manipulative and scheming; one of her underhanded ploys gets Casey's feet severely injured. Tina never apologizes for any of this, nor does Casey expect her to--it's seen as normal behavior for the sport. Speaking of which, most parents put a lot of undue pressure on their children to win competitions. One dad even says his daughter is only worth his working two jobs if she wins. That's an extremely negative message parents would do well to discuss.
It's also worth noting that throughout the story, Casey is presented with skating as an either-or option--she can either be a skater *or* an intelligent woman whose career has a "shelf life." Casey is a good role model because of her kindness, intelligence, and fortitude, but parents need to make clear to their daughters that they can be all those things without giving up what they love.
Other minor caveats include what may or may not be drinking at a teen party (beverages served in opaque cups) and catty behavior from skaters in the interest of winning competitions.