Breaking the Ice by Julie Cross

Posted December 20, 2017 by lenoreo in 2017 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge, 2017 Diverse Reading Challenge, 2017 NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge, 2017 New Release Challenge, NetGalley ARCs, Reviews / 0 Comments

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Breaking the Ice by Julie CrossTitle: Breaking the Ice
Author: Julie Cross
Series: Juniper Falls #2
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Release Date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 300
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
Find it: AmazonB&NGoogleKoboiBooksIndieBoundGoodreads
My rating: four-stars

Blurb:

The second book in the Juniper Falls series from NY Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Julie Cross, perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally and Abbi Glines.

Haley Stevenson seems like she’s got it all together: cheer captain, “Princess” of Juniper Falls, and voted Most Likely to Get Things Done. But below the surface, she’s struggling with a less-than-stellar GPA and still reeling from the loss of her first love. Repeating her Civics class during summer school is her chance to Get Things Done, not angst over boys. In fact, she’s sworn them off completely until college.

Fletcher Scott is happy to keep a low profile around Juniper Falls. He’s always been the invisible guy, warming the bench on the hockey team and moonlighting at a job that would make his grandma blush. Suddenly, though, he’s finding he wants more: more time on the ice, and more time with his infuriatingly perfect summer-school study partner.

But leave it to a girl who requires perfection to shake up a boy who’s ready to break all the rules.

My Review:

I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

4 stars — Earlier in the year I read book 1 in this series and really enjoyed it, despite it being very different from YAs I usually read.  And so I was excited to see another book set in the town of Juniper Falls.  And this one was similarly engaging and yet SOOOOO different!!  Honestly, I couldn’t put it down…I was up until 4:30 am finishing the book because I just kept telling myself “one more chapter” until there were no more chapters left.

Fletcher and Haley were seriously unlike most teenagers I read…but they felt very honest and authentic.  They were both EXTREMELY flawed and occasionally made me want to hit them over the heads, but I also felt for both of them and the struggles that they were going through.  It felt kind of like a coming of age story for both of them, even though this is definitely a grittier book…more mature young adult than just young adult, you know?  But that also just made it feel more real and authentic.  And their chemistry with each other was fantastic…I really felt how they were drawn to each other, despite some reservations.

I adored Haley, which surprised me a little.  She has a lot of qualities that might normally annoy me, but she is just so genuine and sincere that you can’t help but love her.  Her peppiness and overachieverness and just constant overthinkingness was crazy.  Like, I was seriously worried that those things would overshadow the rest.  But I LOVED that the author sort of explored the reasons for these qualities in her personality…she really made me think about all the other effects ADHD could have on a person’s life.  I really loved that.  And honestly, the depth with which Haley loved her friends and took care of them was truly inspiring.  It wasn’t just that she was trying to achieve some goal, she genuinely cared about her friends and wanted them to succeed.  She had such a fragile and breakable heart sometimes, and she broke my heart with how she thought about herself, especially wrt her academics…not to mention the fall out from her breakup with Tate and what happened in the last book.  But it was so satisfying to see her grow throughout the book too!

Fletch was a different animal altogether.  He was so messed up from his childhood and his allergy issues, it was heartbreaking to see inside his head and his genuine lack of trust for the people of Juniper Falls, and his very skewed views of relationships.  He really just took so much of what his family went through to his heart, and stubbornly wouldn’t let go.  Sometimes I felt like his situation was just a bit odd and unbelievable…NOT the allergy stuff, that was super well done and I loved how that was explored (and all the different ways it affected his life).  But the part with his job.  I just can’t imagine that in real life…  I tried to suspend my disbelief, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility…but I don’t know.  It really did make him grow up in a different way, and yet stunted him in other ways.  I would have loved to see it though, hoowee, talk about sexy.

I did really love Fletch’s determination to make the Varsity team though, and prove that he’s more than his medical issues.  And even though it dragged out longer than I would have liked, I appreciated how flabbergasted he was by the new friends that I don’t think he realized he was making.  Again, it broke my heart.  He was so freaking stubborn, and damaged, and man could he be a jerk sometimes.  But he was a very consistent character.  And it did make me appreciate his growth as well.

The one thing that I loved about the previous book in this series, and that remained true in this book, is the solid cast of secondary characters.  I really felt like I could imagine this small town, with all its own flaws.  I LOVED Jamie.  AGAIN.  He was just so adorable, and I LOVED how he was with there for both Haley and Fletch.  He is SUCH an intriguing character, and I’m a little concerned that we won’t get his story since he went off to college.  I want his story.  He was definitely my star secondary character, but I also loved the reappearance of Tate and Claire (and what they both did to help Haley move forward); Cole intrigues the crap out of me…he’s a very odd kid; and all Fletch’s coworkers brought something to the table, and helped Fletch grow up as well, not to mention Fletch’s family (his brother and gramps especially).  And I even appreciated the brief appearances of Leo, Jake, and Mike (and his family).

So yeah, another solid book in this series.  They’re very different for me, they definitely don’t follow any usual formulas, and I really appreciate that they’re about so much more than just the romance.  Can’t wait to find out whose story is next!

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