If you are trying to pull yourself out of a reading slump, look no further than “Icebreaker” by Hannah Grace. Throughout my time reading this book, my jaw did not leave the floor. The influx of plot twists and drama kept me thoroughly entertained. Many times I had to re-read sentences because I could not believe my eyes.
“Icebreaker” is a new-adult novel exploring themes of love, lust, friendship, and sacrifice. At first glance, readers can see the cute cartoon cover, picturing two skaters. However, do not be fooled by the cover, because this is not a children’s book.
“Icebreaker” is a college romance novel with a forced proximity trope. After a prank by the college hockey game goes wrong, the figure skaters and hockey players have to practice on the ice together. All chaos breaks loose when the athletes realize how vastly hard it is to combine their sports. The figure skaters are angry with the hockey players, and there is tension on and off the ice.
The story follows junior-year college student, Anastasia, on her journey to go to the Olympics for figure skating. Her days are planned down to the minute, leaving little time for love. Her world is turned upside down after meeting Nate, a hockey player.
Anastasia holds herself to a very high standard due to her upbringing. Since she was adopted, she has always felt extreme pressure to make her parents proud. These internal conflicts are revealed throughout the book. Her character is spunky, and confrontational, but has a soft side. She is multi-faceted but ultimately craves happiness and success.
The male protagonist, Nathan, is a senior hockey player on his way to play in the National Hockey League (NHL). His driven personality lands him the role of team captain. He acts as a father figure to many of the players. His poor relationship with his own father fuels him to be a better person than his dad.
The book takes place on a college campus, so it is perfect for any college student. Any scenes will have you laughing out loud and thinking about your own best friends.
The dialogue between the two main characters flowed strikingly well. Since the book was narrated through both of their point of views, it allows great insight into their personalities. Previously, I have been skeptical of stories told by multiple characters. This is because I usually find one of the story lines significantly less interesting. While reading “Icebreaker,” both sides kept me captivated throughout.
Throughout the book there are themes of sacrifice within both of the characters’ careers. Nathan takes the blame for something he did not do in order to keep his team playing. Anastasia has to continue to skate with her less than satisfactory teammate in order to qualify at nationals. Both characters witness how dedicated the other one is, even though their drive causes conflict at times.
I enjoyed the characters because each one was set up well. The character progression was evident, especially in Henry, Nathan’s roommate. The reader gets to experience how he goes from introverted and awkward to the next team captain. The characters were nuanced and relatable, especially as college students.
For anyone seeking a college age young adult novel with a twist of romance, “Icebreaker” is the book for you. From moments on the ice to moments in the narrator’s head, you’ll be sure to be lost in this story of a hockey player and a figure skater.