Book Review

Book Review: In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary romance
Length: 364 pages
Author: Lynn Rush & Kelly Anne Blount
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: January 5th, 2021
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Cutting Edge meets Friday Night Lights in a sizzling new hockey romance from bestselling authors Kelly Anne Blount and Lynn Rush.

Willow
Figure skating was supposed to be my whole world. But one unlucky injury and now I’m down…but I’m definitely not out. I just need to rehab—a boatload of rehab—and who’d have thought I could do it on the boys’ hockey team?

Of course, the infuriatingly hot captain of the team seems to think I’m nothing but sequins and twirls. What’s a girl to do but put him in his place? Game on.

Brodie
Hockey is my whole world. I’ve worked my tail off getting my team in a position to win the championships—hopefully in front of major college scouts, too—so what’s a guy to do when a figure skater ends up as our new goalie?

Of course, the distractingly sexy skater thinks I’m nothing but a testosterone-laced competitive streak. And surely she’s only biding her time to heal, then she’s gone. Game over.

ALERT: RAGING TEEN HORMONES

That’s about the only major thought that kept going through my head. This was a book that couldn’t decide what age group it actually wanted to be apart of. The dialogue, conversations, and inner monologues swayed from young YA and towards NA (new adult). It was weird. Really weird.

What I did like was the hockey story. I love a good sports novel and I LOVE that Willow got be the goalie for the boy’s team. That was awesome and really neat to see. I liked reading about the games and wondering who was going to win.

I also did enjoy Willow’s character progression. Ridiculous thoughts about Brodie aside, she made some great strides in figuring out what was best for her. I think she made the best decisions with the information she could and picked what she truly felt was going to make her happy in the long run.

The wild drama all over the place took me out of the story. I don’t mind a bit of drama, but sometimes it hits a line. This one rolled way past that point. Everything felt amped to try and create an emotional side, and I didn’t feel much of that. I wish I could have felt drawn to some of the inner story more, but it’s fine. This was a quick YA romance that had some good, some bad.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult sports romance
  • Language: some
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs
  • Violence: physical altercations
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: difficult sports injuries, sexism, misogyny, loss of a parent through car wreck, parent abandonment, parent incarceration, alcoholism

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Book Review

Book Review: Dating Makes Perfect by Pintip Dunn

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: YA Contemporary Romance
Length: 400 pages
Author: Pintip Dunn
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: August 18th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The Tech sisters don’t date in high school. Not because they’re not asked. Not because they’re not interested. Not even because no one can pronounce their long, Thai last name—hence the shortened, awkward moniker. But simply because they’re not allowed.

Until now.

In a move that other Asian American girls know all too well, six months after the older Tech twins got to college, their parents asked, “Why aren’t you engaged yet?” The sisters retaliated by vowing that they won’t marry for ten (maybe even twenty!) years, not until they’ve had lots of the dating practice that they didn’t get in high school.

In a shocking war on the status quo, her parents now insist that their youngest daughter, Orrawin (aka “Winnie”), must practice fake dating in high school. Under their watchful eyes, of course—and organized based on their favorite rom-coms. ’Cause that won’t end in disaster.

The first candidate? The son of their longtime friends, Mat Songsomboon—arrogant, infuriating, and way too good-looking. Winnie’s known him since they were toddlers throwing sticky rice balls at each other. And her parents love him.

If only he weren’t her sworn enemy.

ABSOLUTELY LOVED.

Ohhhhh my goodness, this was precious. If you’re a YA contemporary romance fan, add this to your TBR stat. It was reminiscent of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and I was smitten with this childhood friends to lovers story.

The audio was great and really brought these characters to life. I loved getting to know Winnie’s family. It’s always refreshing to me when I get to read about sibling and parent dynamics in a book. They were heavily present and really showed off the cultural aspects and coming of age for Winnie.

Faking dating trope alert! Bless Winnie’s Mom for including this because Mat and Winnie were definitely endgame. I thought having all of the dates be recreations of pop culture romances were laugh out loud inducing. I’m sure people thought I was the weird one smiling out on my jogs while I listened to this. It really is a can’t help but smile book.

The ending came together so beautifully well. Winnie came through in owning who she wanted to date and how she wanted to go forward. Her parents were accepting and loving of her decision (and her sister’s). All around heartfelt and wonderful.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult contemporary romance
  • Language: a little
  • Romance: kisses/make-outs

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