By Elle Kennedy.
Previous book here. This one features the adventures of Garrett’s roommate John Logan and his dating a freshman, Grace Ivers.
I wasn’t as into this book as I was the previous one, by a long shot. I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason why I’ve been hooked on these various New Adult/college kid/hockey books is that what they boil down to is, “hero with some serious emotional problems/life trauma going on meets heroine with some serious emotional problems/life trauma going on and they bond and help each other and support each other through those particular dramas.” And this book straight up doesn’t have that equality going on.
Logan has a secret problem reminiscent of Bridger in The Year We Hid Away--his father is a handicapped alcoholic and his older brother Jeff has been running the family business and mopping up Dad's vomit every night for years so Logan can go to college. However, literally the second Logan graduates, Jeff is outta there, leaving the country right after the ceremony, and it's going to be Logan's turn to mop up after his dad for at least the next few years. Which means Logan canNOT join any hockey teams that might want him--the deal with Jeff was that he picked college or hockey, he can't do both. So he doesn't join the draft and claims he did but wasn't picked, and has to hedge about to others as to why because he doesn't want to tell the whole ugly truth. Which is compelling and sad and you wonder how that's going to resolve.
By comparison, Grace is...perfectly fine, thank you. The biggest dramas she's had are that her mom moved to Paris (no big deal) and that she and her best friend Ramona break up in this book because after Grace and Logan have a fight, Ramona texts Logan with a sexual proposition for reasons even she can't explain. And then they kind of reconnect again later, most notably when Ramona is imprisoned by a visiting hockey team and needs a rescue. But other than that, Grace is just a nice, normal girl with nothing super stand out about her. She briefly dates someone else, she gets a French makeover, she makes Logan go to dramatic lengths to make it up to her, there you go. Heck, there's not even a scene where Logan tells her what's going on with his dad straight up, we just find out she found out offscreen. This just missed a big opportunity for depth and drama, right there.
Also, Logan's problem ends up wrapping up way too easily and quickly under the circumstances. Nice for him, but it made me go, "Oh really? That simple, eh?"
Honestly, this was just...I dunno, not nearly as satisfying as other books of this ilk or its predecessor. Others will probably be more into it than I was. They're nice kids and I felt for Logan's plight because caregiving is a nightmare (I'm biased on that), but I wasn't super into their burgeoning romance or either person in general. I just feel like this book had enough mistakes in it that could have been fixed to make it a better novel. But other than feeling like it wasn't deep enough, it wasn't bad, so....three stars.