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Cold Day in the Sun

Review

Cold Day in the Sun

Sara Biren is a young adult contemporary romance author from Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is also a copywriter and freelance editor, and her first novel --- THE LAST THING YOU SAID --- was published in 2017. Her newest novel from Amulet Books, COLD DAY IN THE SUN, features one of Biren’s loves: hockey.

COLD DAY IN THE SUN follows Holland Delviss, a member of the boys’ varsity hockey team at her school. Growing up with her three hockey-playing brothers, she has always played with the boys. Holland works hard to prove herself and maintain her spot on the boys’ team, waking up early to practice and avoiding any distractions, including relationships. More pressure is placed on Holland when her team is selected to be featured on a TV special called HockeyFest, and her interview is in the spotlight. Meanwhile, the team co-captain, Wes, turns from an annoyance into a fervent supporter of her.

"I highly recommend COLD DAY IN THE SUN to fans of contemporary novels, small towns, sports, or music. A variety of elements make this story flow well, and there is much for readers to be excited about and connect with."

Holland is a talented no-nonsense junior in high school who I could not help but love reading from. Always witty and quick with a comeback, she is a force in her small town and her hockey team. Wes is a mystery, and Holland is angry that he moved from a championship-winning team to her team and rose to co-captain in such a short amount of time. He pushes her the hardest to be better out of anyone on the hockey team, and he is overall a unique love interest. While the story has the trope of enemies-to-lovers, it does it with a twist that makes it unique.

The small, hockey-centered town is full of those who are stuck in their ways and not necessarily comfortable with Holland’s position on the boys’ team. The town's attitude comes into focus many times throughout the story, but she continually breaks barriers and shatters expectations. She is also left to defend her decision to be on the boys’ team instead of the girls’ team, and it was probably one of the more interesting parts of the book for me. Holland’s three brothers and parents are incredibly supportive of her and her hockey pursuits, and I appreciate the positive family representation. But not everyone supports her fully; her grandpa and many around her believe she should not take a spot that could go to a boy.

One small but impactful part of COLD DAY IN THE SUN is Holland’s blogging. Throughout the book, readers see her music-themed blog and how her experiences impact her music taste and everything she writes. It also offers her a connection with her brother in college who she does not often see, but he does comment on her blog. While many books try to incorporate a diary into the story, Sara Biren does it successfully and with a clear purpose.

I highly recommend COLD DAY IN THE SUN to fans of contemporary novels, small towns, sports, or music. A variety of elements make this story flow well, and there is much for readers to be excited about and connect with. This book reminds me of Julie Cross’ hockey-centered Juniper Falls series, and I recommend this book to fans of her work. Other similar reads include Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oaks series and some of Katy McGarry’s novels. Finding young adult stories about sports can often be a challenge, and Sara Biren has added another fantastic option for readers wanting a sporty and enthralling plot. 

Reviewed by Grace P., Teen Board Member on March 19, 2019

Cold Day in the Sun
by Sara Biren

  • Publication Date: March 12, 2019
  • Genres: Family, Fiction, Sports, Young Adult 13+
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Amulet Books
  • ISBN-10: 1419733672
  • ISBN-13: 9781419733673