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Breaking the Ice


Breaking the Ice

Julie Cross is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of numerous young adult and new adult novels. She writes contemporary romance and science fiction. Residing in Illinois, she is a former gymnast and coach. Her book, OFF THE ICE, is the first of two contemporary romance novels about hockey players in Juniper Falls and was released in February of 2017. The companion, BREAKING THE ICE, follows new characters that interact with the previous characters, but it can be read without reading OFF THE ICE. It was released in December of 2017.

"I found BREAKING THE ICE to be an enthralling tale that is almost impossible to put down....[It] dips into many issues, but it does it in the way that nothing feels incredibly serious."

BREAKING THE ICE follows Tate Tanley’s ex-girlfriend, Haley Stevenson, and a mysterious hockey player, Fletcher Scott. A cheerleader and the seemingly flawless princess of Juniper Falls, Haley is battling academic and emotional issues. Fletcher is keeping many secrets from his town and wants to keep everyone out of his life. Fletcher and Haley both attend summer school for very different reasons, but they end up working on a Civics class project together. Because of Fletcher’s aversion to dating and his cousin’s crush on Haley, their relationship develops unevenly, and they must decide if they are genuinely committed to each other.

I found BREAKING THE ICE to be an enthralling tale that is almost impossible to put down. It has been a while since I read the first book, but it was not really an issue because Fletcher and Haley’s characters were expanded so much further than in the first book. Fletcher and Haley are strikingly different than Claire and Tate were in OFF THE ICE, which is precisely what I think a spin-off novel should entail. The point of view changes with every chapter, and it works very well with the plot. The reader is never stuck inside of one character’s head for too long, and it keeps the story moving at a fast pace. Fletcher’s past and secrets are unique among the rest of the YA genre, and I am delighted to see them represented.

I had extremely high expectations for this book because I have read multiple gripping books by Julie Cross, and these were met. BREAKING THE ICE dips into many issues, but it does it in the way that nothing feels incredibly serious. I enjoyed the easy-going nature of the book and had many laughs while reading. I also love seeing hockey in books because normally authors result in football or other more common sports. As a cheerleader, Haley broke down stereotypes instead of building them up. Fletcher was able to overcome his setbacks, and together they achieved so much.

I highly recommend BREAKING THE ICE to readers of contemporary romance. Julie Cross created a refreshing romance that is bound to put a smile on your face. If you love hockey or cheerleading, the characters will cater directly to you. The novel is blurbed as being perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines, and I have to say that this is an excellent guideline for whether you will love BREAKING THE ICE. This novel is as good, if not better, than book one of the series.

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on January 10, 2018

Breaking the Ice
by Julie Cross