Friday Fiction: Nothing Hurts But My Heart

nothing hurts but my heart cover

Nothing Hurts But My Heart

I saw this and immediately picked it up for the perfect 1980s hair and make-up. This is straight out of the Brooke Shields handbook for 1980s beauty. I mean, look at those eyebrows!

Our protagonist is Lisa, who is a high performing gymnast with an eye for the Olympics. However, she is diagnosed with scoliosis and must give up her gymnastics career. She also has to wear a back brace for several years to keep the condition from getting worse. I remember a few students having to wear those back braces. They did look uncomfortable and I can only imagine it was difficult to adjust to the brace and having certain activities limited.

The book is dated, but I liked the fact that there wasn’t a magic solution. The reality for Lisa was no gymnastics and wearing a back brace. There was a lot of discussion about scoliosis, which bordered on excessive. Life doesn’t always go according to plan, but at least there is a cute boy named Jeff from her math class.



back cover synopsis scoliosis diagnosis


  1. Most kids probably got scoliosis from lugging around backpacks that weigh about 90 pounds from all the schoolbooks and junk in them.

    1. Except it was a lot more common in my day (Class of 1987, just like the book!) than now when we actually used lockers and had less homework than kids do now. We definitely didn’t lug big backpacks. (backpacks were SO out of fashion back then). So now you have me wondering. . . . were kid incorrectly diagnosed with scoliosis back in the day?

  2. As contrived plot lines go, Lisa’s scoliosis jeopardizing her dad’s standing with his boss is right up there. It’s serious enough to make her mom agree to a second opinion—I mean, this is his CAREER we’re talking about!

  3. By 1987, wouldn’t they have spotted her scoliosis way before she was in line for the Olympics? And if it was so bad she had to wear a brace, even more so?

    I had a friend 10 years before this who wore one of those braces, and hers was really obvious. No way would she have been able to do fancy gymnastics before that, with all the perfect balance and symmetry needed, they’d spotted it much earlier. And it’s not like it would have been Lisa’s first physical if she was that elite.

  4. Lisa may have had a lucky escape. The book was published in 1987, and Larry Nassar became an athletic trainer for the USA Gymnastics national team in 1986.

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