by Sarah Ockler
This book has been on my radar for ages and I've heard good things about it and yet I still kept waffling for ages over whether I should read it. But, seeing as it was one of the free reads on Riveted Lit, I finally decided to give it a chance. And I read it in one sitting (considering I started reading at about midnight and was reading on my laptop, that's a testament to how much it hooked me).Summary: Once upon a time, Hudson knew exactly what her future looked like. Then a betrayal changed her life, and knocked her dreams to the ground. Now she’s a girl who doesn’t believe in second chances... a girl who stays under the radar by baking cupcakes at her mom’s diner and obsessing over what might have been.
So when things start looking up and she has another shot at her dreams, Hudson is equal parts hopeful and terrified. Of course, this is also the moment a cute, sweet guy walks into her life... and starts serving up some seriously mixed signals. She’s got a lot on her plate, and for a girl who’s been burned before, risking it all is easier said than done.
It’s time for Hudson to ask herself what she really wants, and how much she’s willing to sacrifice to get it. Because in a place where opportunities are fleeting, she knows this chance may very well be her last...
It wasn't the most amazing story I've ever read, and I did have some issues with it, but it was really cute and I loved the pace and the fluffy, mostly angst-free romance that was present without dominating the story. I loved that her relationships with her family (particularly her little brother) played as big a part of the story as the romance did too. And the skating stuff, particularly the hockey parts, I adored those bits so much...that stuff is what made the book for me really.
The issues I had were mostly to do with the characters and choices they made. The characters weren't really developed much...I mean, they were far from being badly written, but it's one of those books where I finished the last page and didn't really feel like I knew much about the characters beyond basic stuff (e.g. I could rattle off a few facts we learn about their families, but couldn't tell you much about their personalities or what Hogwarts house they'd be in or much that was really specific).
Plus, I'm on of those people that gets really bad second hand embarrassment, so Hudson's narration was a bit cringey for me at times and her daydreamy tangents in the middle of scenes were not my kind of thing but overall, I liked her.
The dialogue could be a bit off at times, like it really felt like an older person trying to write howthey think teenagers/kids talk instead of how they actually talk. Although, I am Scottish, so perhaps it is accurate of American teens/teens from that part of American? But yeah, some of it just registered as clumsy/dated to me while reading though.
As for the thing about characters choices -- my expectations for the story may have been part of the problem with that but it's still something that bothered me. I went into it expecting it to be a certain type of story and it was, up to a point, then it kind of goes down a totally different track towards the end but the way it was done, it felt a little off.
It's very difficult to explain without spoilers, but it was like the main character was being made to feel guilty and ashamed for things even though there wasn't anything wrong with her wanting the things she wanted, while characters like her mum or her best friend were treating her poorly a lot of the time...and it felt like it not all of that was really acknowledged or resolved (only the best friend stuff). I'm fine with the story not going in the direction I thought it was going to (actually, I appreciated that it wasn't predictable in that area), my issue was more with the way it happened rather than what happened.
This review is a bit on the contrary side. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really enjoyed the book, it was really cute and fun and I devoured it easily in one sitting with no regrets...but at the same time, it was lacking that spark of something to really make me love it.
Overall, I'd rate the story 3.5 stars out of 5. And now I'm going to go and watch some cheesy figure skating movies because the book has put me in the mood for that.