A. L. Graziadei’s Icebreaker is an irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best—and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way.
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.
📚 young adult/ new adult
💞 queer relationship
🏳️🌈 found family
Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei is coming in 2022. Two hockey players are competing in the draft… directly with one another because they happen to be playing on the same team. In the middle of trying to fit into a team… Mickey James III is struggling.
The main obstacle to Mickey being 1st draft pick is teammate Jaysen Caulfield. He’s taller, hotter than hell and annoying. At first. The two teammates rub each other the wrong way on the ice… and their captain and catch pressure them to sort out their issues. As they get to know one another, they find they have far more in common than just hockey.
There is a big spark between the two players, but they must keep everything on the down low. The NHL and the world of hockey still isn’t the open and accepting place the plyers may want it to be.
As Mickey and Jaysen become closer, Mickey struggles with other issues. He’s been living with depression for a long time… and it’s influencing all his choices and feeling. He’s not even sure if he wants to continue playing hockey despite the long tradition of successful players in his family. Mickey’s relationship with his father isn’t what it should be, he feels as though he was cast aside… and is only valued for his skill on the ice.
The themes of found family run throughout this book. Mickey has a lovely collection of friends, siblings and teammates who make up a support network for him that he doesn’t even really know that he needs.
I love reading queer YA books with great character development and this one meets the measure. The author clearly has a passion for the world of hockey and has woven a great story into it.
Looking forward to more by this author.
I received an ARC of Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei via Edelweiss in exchange for an unbiased review.