Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff — 5 stars
Off the Ice by Julie Cross — 3 stars
On Thin Ice by Julie Cross — 4 stars
Meet Me in Outer Space by Melinda Grace — 4 stars
Obsidio is an epic conclusion to the Illuminae Files. After witnessing the Heimdall station attack, we’re finally brought to back to Kerenza where we find Kady Grant’s cousin Asha still alive and part of the rebel group fighting the BeiTech occupation. We also meet Rhys, who used to date Asha and now works for BeiTech—talk about star-crossed love. Unlike Gemina, where the story was definitely focused on Hanna, Nik, and Ella and only contained a little overlap with Kady and Ezra towards the end, our main crew of characters is present throughout the story and flashes between what’s happening down on Kerenza and what’s happening on the Mao as they work their way back to the planet. I’m glad we saw more of the characters we already love, but as a result I didn’t form the connection with Asha and Rhys like I did the previous characters. Don’t get me wrong—I still loved them and was interested in what they were doing, but the connection was not as strong. However, it was so neat though seeing all the characters interact since they were finally all together. I listened to the audiobook while also reading the book and the narrators brought such distinct voices to everyone that I was never confused about who was who. Also, I just want to throw out there that I love how Isaac Grant has become the dad of everyone (sobbing emoji).
I’m a huge fan of sports romances so I was excited to read Off the Ice, the first novel about hockey-obsessed small town. I wasn’t hooked right away when I first started reading, so it took a little while getting into the story. I liked the main characters (Tate and Claire) and how their POVs switched back and forth, but I didn’t fall in love with them. The story was slow and seemed a little drawn out at times. It also felt like the climax/ending was thrown in pretty randomly just to end the bool. By random, I mean (highlight for spoiler): Tate’s dad gets violent and abuses him at the beginning of the novel when he’s drunk. At the climax, a guy attacks Claire and Tate rescues her by beating up the guy. All of a sudden he’s afraid that he’s like his dad (even though there was nothing to indicate this fear or inclination prior in the plot). This seemed like it was added to easily finish the book and didn’t feel right, especially since Claire almost being sexually assaulted was only used to move Tate’s storyline forward. Also, Claire and Tate’s huge secret throughout the book is that Tate’s dad was the one who violently broke his arm a year ago when he was drunk. I had a hard time supporting this secret being kept when they should have told his mom immediately (for reference, his parents were already divorced and his dad lived several hours away). It seemed like an unnecessary secret that needed to be reported to an adult. On a picky continuity note, the beginning said that Tate was only a year younger than Claire, but she’s returning to college (basically her freshman year since she left a year early) and he’s still a junior so they would need to be at least two years apart in age.
On Thin Ice is the perfect read for the last few weeks of winter as the small-town setting and hockey romance just makes you want to curl up on the couch with a cozy blanket! I read this swoon-worthy sports romance a couple weeks ago and loved it! I could not get enough of Jake and Brooke’s romance and their support for one another. I really liked how the different situations were handled and how the abusive hockey system was finally dealt with. Overall, I enjoyed this story way more than I did the first book in the Juniper Falls series, and now I really want to go back and read the second book, which focuses on Hailey and Fletcher. Be sure to check out the aesthetic I created for the MTMC blog tour!
I’m always on the lookout for more YA books set in college, and I was especially excited to read Meet Me in Outer Space for its disability rep! Even though Edie has a central auditory processing disorder, she’s been able to get through three semesters of college just fine without any assistance. However, French 102 has proven to be too difficult for her to try to work through on her own so the TA volunteers to tutor her. As someone who has utilized the disability services on a college campus, I really appreciated seeing this representation in a novel! However, I’m glad that Edie’s disability wasn’t her only defining feature—I loved how dedicated she is to her future career in fashion merchandizing! Overall, Meet Me in Outer Space is a super sweet and fast-paced read with invaluable disability representation in a college setting. Read my full review here!