Book Review: Off the Ice by Julie Cross
Off the Ice by Julie Cross
All is fair in love and hockey…
Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business—a hockey bar beside the ice rink—afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.
Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.
It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.
For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.
Off the Ice:
I received an e-arc of Off the Ice by Julie Cross Entangled: Teen via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way influenced my thoughts and feelings about the book.
Off the Ice is one of those books that I wasn’t sure if I was going to like. I asked to review it on a whim because I felt like some romance. But, it just didn’t hit the spot and I was left disappointed.
Off the Ice follows protagonist Claire O’Connor whose return to her hometown in unforeseeable circumstances and Tate Tanley is thrust into the spotlight when he is unexpectedly called to take over as his ice hockey team’s goalie. The last time these two were together, secrets were revealed, but then Claire left for university.
I didn’t really like this book. There I said it. I was expecting more and was left dry. Recently I’ve loved reading about hockey players, I blame Elle Kennedy for that. So I was super excited to start this one, but as Off the Ice went on, I become more and more disappointed.
I’m not too sure how I feel about Claire. I liked her determination and her grit, but there was something that just didn’t sit right with me. I loved that Claire has left her life at university doing what she loved, to come back for her family. To be there for her father. But, then at times all she did was complain that she was there and that her life was ‘ruined.’
Tate again wasn’t a protagonist that I loved. I think I liked him more than Claire, but he again didn’t sit right with me. I felt for Tate, he’s a character that hides all his emotions, wants to help everyone else, but when it comes to helping himself. He didn’t. It was frustrating at times, but overall I understood why.
The reader knows that secret that Claire finds out before she leaves for university, and it’s heartbreaking. One of the things I liked about Off the Ice was that Julie Cross was able to interview the secret and really make it work. However, it was also really angsty at times and was just too much to make a smooth story.
The romance in Off the Ice was okay. Claire and Tate were totally adorable at times, but again the angst really put me off it. I liked that Claire was older than Tate as we don’t see that too much in YA. It’s part of what made me enjoy the romance side. Claire and Tate balanced each other out, and it was great to see how their relationship worked.
The family aspects of Off the Ice were another reason why this book wasn’t my favourite. Both Claire and Tate don’t have great home situations. Claire’s father is very sick and it’s put a damper on how the family works. Claire’s had to leave university, her family doesn’t want her to give it up, but she wants to be there. It’s all a bit of a mess.
Overall, I didn’t like Off the Ice that much. There were parts here and there which I enjoy the romance. However, it was a little too angsty for me. Off the Ice explores the notion of family, friendship, love and finding yourself. It’s about standing up for what you believe and that sometimes you need to look after yourself, before others.
Have you read Off the Ice by Julie Cross? What did you think of it? Are you planning on reading it? Have you read her other books. Let’s Chat!