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    Loved it

    LOVED this one!! Fletcher and Hailey are amazing characters and I adored how they just seemed to fit each other. This is a great story of how things aren't always as they seem. Hailey seemed to have it all. Cheerleader, town princess, everything's good. Not so much. She's really struggling with school and she finds herself in summer school retaking Civics. That's where she meets Fletcher. Well, not really meets him. She's known him forever but she's never really known him. He's one of those people who always just seems to be in the background. Now he's her study partner and she's finding him fascinating. A great YA read and one I think everyone will enjoy.
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    Surprisingly deep

    A young adult romance with hockey? Sign me up! Haley is the Juniper Falls Princess (yes, that's really a thing) and Fletcher is a JV hockey player who keeps to himself. Normally, they'd never even be at the same party, but they end up in the same summer school Civics class, and Haley decides that Fletch's nerdy self is the perfect project partner to bring up her GPA (she even gives him a project partner invitation, complete with glitter and calligraphy). Haley is peppy, pretty and near-perfect, all those princessy words. At first this seemed like just another popular cheerleader falls in love with the nerdy guy stories, but it's so much more. Each time one layer of the story is peeled back, you find another layer underneath. Why does Fletch keep to himself? What happened in third grade? Why's Haley in summer school? Why does Fletch suddenly want to play on the varsity team? What's Fletch's mysterious job? “Can you promise me that if I kiss you, it’ll just be for fun? That I won’t keep feeling things after?” And the angst, oh the teen angst. Normally I avoid angst like the plague, but in this case, it didn't really bother me that much. Haley and Fletcher are both facing serious issues, and the alternating view points of the chapters helped ground me in the story. It was also surprisingly sexy, despite being a YA. It takes for-ev-er for the main characters to kiss, and the slow burn will-they-or-won't-they was well done and had me trying to sneak in chapters whenever I could. Fletch is just plain swoony! There are also, of course, several Important Issues covered, most of which I won't mention to avoid spoilers. I will say, however, that I especially enjoyed the thoughtful discussion around bullying, from both the bullied and bully's perspectives. “Maybe if I say exactly what I’m thinking, stuff won’t build into big imaginary relationships inside my head. A guy can be hot and sexy without being a marital prospect or a soul mate. Right?” Though this is the second in the series, I read it as a standalone. It worked fine for me, but it was obvious there was some backstory with Hailey and some of the other characters of the previous book. In fact, I enjoyed this book so much, I immediately went and put the first book on hold at my library as soon as I was done. As for cons, it felt like some of the plot points (like Fletch and the varsity team and Haley's suspected issue) needed more closure. Also, without going into too many spoilers, I found it surprising that none of Haley's friends or teachers suspected what Fletch figured out after working on a project with her for, what, a week? Overall, this was a surprisingly lot of fun, and it kept me guessing how things would turn out. I'm eagerly anticipating reading the first book in the series! I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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    Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls #2) by Julie Cross

    Julie Cross lights the lamp with BREAKING THE ICE, the second book from the Juniper Falls series. Juniper Falls princess/cheer captain, Haley Stevenson, needs help with her Civics class. She decides scholarly hockey player, Fletcher Scott, is the perfect person to help her pass the class. However, Fletcher likes to stay out of the lime light, which will be impossible if he’s hanging out with Haley. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for new adult audiences. It takes place in northern Minnesota. BREAKING THE ICE is a fun story. Haley and Fletcher are opposites. She is popular and outgoing. Whereas, Fletcher likes to go unnoticed and keep to himself. Haley bulldozes herself into Fletcher’s life. I like Haley and Fletcher together. They both misjudge each other. I like that they eventually open up to one another. My heart went out to Fletcher. His allergies are extreme. I know people with less server conditions and sympathize with what he goes through. Between his family and health issues, it is understandable why he wants to stay under the radar. BREAKING THE ICE was skillfully written and flowed well. There were unexpected twists and pertinent issues. BREAKING THE ICE is a wonderful addition the Juniper Falls series. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
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