Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication Date: January 18, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction
Mickey James III is a hockey legacy. His father and grandfather were both pro hockey players and he is hoping to follow in their footsteps. Now a freshman on the same college hockey team as his father, Mickey is struggling. Mickey is a strong contender for the number one draft spot, but the only thing standing in his way is his teammate, Jaysen. Jaysen may be his rival, but he’s also his teammate, and the two must find a way to get along for the sake of their team. But what starts as a truce turns into something much more, and Mickey has to decide where his priorities lie.
Icebreaker tackles gender discrimination and homophobia in sports, specifically hockey. Mickey is struggling to live an authentic life. He is doing his best to hide both his sexual orientation and his depression from the public eye. There is so much scrutiny placed on him, both because of his talent and because of the legacy of his father and grandfather. Mickey has a lot of self-doubts stemming from the legacy of his father and grandfather, former NHL hockey players.
I loved watching Mickey progress as a character, as he slowly starts to bond with his teammates, and begins to open up about himself.
I loved the relationship between Mickey and Jaysen. They start as bitter rivals but quickly develop an attraction toward one another.
Thank you to Fierce Reads and Netgalley for the review copy! All opinions are my own.
Synopsis from Goodreads
Seventeen-year-old Mickey James III is a college freshman, a brother to five sisters, and a hockey legacy. With a father and a grandfather who have gone down in NHL history, Mickey is almost guaranteed the league’s top draft spot.
The only person standing in his way is Jaysen Caulfield, a contender for the #1 spot and Mickey’s infuriating (and infuriatingly attractive) teammate. When rivalry turns to something more, Mickey will have to decide what he really wants, and what he’s willing to risk for it.
This is a story about falling in love, finding your team (on and off the ice), and choosing your own path.
About the Author
A.L. Graziadei was born in Buffalo, New York and raised on Sabres hockey and video games, using their free time to write books inspired by both. Now living in Wisconsin, A.L. still plays plenty of video games and is a proud member of the Displaced Buffalo Sabres Fans group. Icebreaker is their first book.
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