Book Review: Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren

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Book Title: Cold Day in the Sun
Author: Sara Biren
Publisher: Amulet Books
Publication Date: March 12th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

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Holland Delviss wants to be known for her talent as a hockey player, not a hockey player who happens to be a girl. But when her school team is selected to be featured and televised as part of HockeyFest, her status as the only girl on the boys’ team makes her the lead story. Not everyone is thrilled with Holland’s new fame, but there’s one person who fiercely supports her, and it’s the last person she expects (and definitely the last person she should be falling for): her bossy team captain, Wes.


Rating: 3 out of 5.

With the summer season just around the corner, a book about ice hockey and perpetual snow probably doesn’t seem all that appealing to most of you. I understand there are tons of other YA contemporary reads which are all summer-y and more appropriate for the season, but I ain’t about that right now. I personally prefer cold weather rather than hot, and this is a great book for escaping this heat that I dislike so much.

Set in a small town in Minnesota, Holland grew up with a special love (and skill!) for hockey. Growing up with three brothers who all share the same passion for the sport, she grew accustomed to playing with the boys. So this ultimately led to her decision to play for the boys’ hockey team of her school, instead of the girls’. Of course that doesn’t come easy as Holland constantly gets criticized and belittled because of her decision. So, she always has to try extra hard to prove them wrong and to “earn her spot” in the team. Regardless of the people who don’t believe in her and try to bring her down, what Holland doesn’t expect is that she has a passionate supporter in the form of their awfully crabby team captain, Wes. Now she’s not sure if that would complicate things, especially when feelings get involved.

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Blog Tour: Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen [REVIEW, FAVORITE QUOTES + GIVEAWAY]

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Book Title: Happy Messy Scary Love
Author: Leah Konen
Published by: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see. This sweet and funny summertime romance is perfect for fans of Love and Gelato and The Unexpected Everything.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of the blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club.

MY THOUGHTS

Having read and loved the author’s other work, The Romantics (you can read my review here), I was pretty psyched to find out I was given the opportunity to read and review her latest book. The premise of this book was just as interesting for me as The Romantics’ premise was, so I had no problem getting into this one.

Olivia Knight, also known as CarrieRevenge on Reddit, is an aspiring screenplay writer and is a huge horror buff. That’s why, on her late night escapades on Reddit, she met a fellow horror fan on there with the handle named Elm. They’ve hit it off right from the start and after months of online friendship, Elm sends a picture of him to Olivia (or Carrie) and asks one in return. So, in typical teenage fashion, Olivia lets her uncertainties get the best of her so she sends a picture of Katie, her best friend, instead. It’s totally fine because there’s no chance in hell that they would meet, right? Wrong!

From the beginning, readers get to be well-versed on who our main character is and what events prompted the mess that would eventually befall her. Olivia was an okay main character for me. Because although I do enjoy her enthusiasm for horror films and understand the self-issues she’s been dealing with, she never really warmed up to me all that much. Still, I really loved getting to explore about her happy, messy and scary summer romance.

Elm, on the other hand, was a character in the book that I absolutely adored. For a fictional character, he just seemed so real to me. He is so charming, nerdy and an overall sweet guy. That, amongst other things! Katie was another one that made the book so enjoyable! Another touch of spice and realism to an otherwise fictional story. She’s honestly the best best friend anyone can ask for; the one that’s always got your back but isn’t afraid to let you know when you’re being too much. Her own character was explored for a bit in this book too, despite the story not revolving around her, which I appreciate a lot.

The romance itself was sweet, because Olivia and Elm are perfect for each other, and thrilling, in the sense that I have this anticipation of when Olivia’s facade will all come tumbling down. The banter that they had, both online and in person, were a delight to read and I can see how they get on so well together. However, I do think that the ending wasn’t what I hoped it would be. It was a bit rushed, in my opinion.

Overall, though, this was a good read! Happy Messy Scary Love is a cute and fun read whenever you’re in the mood for something quick, especially during the summer season!


FAVORITE QUOTES

“Photos are a different level. Photos have flaws, pimples, and pores. You can’t capture your witty banter, your love for 1930s noir, in a photo.

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”

“When it comes to romance, sometimes right and wrong isn’t always so black and white.”

“I know I’m playing with fire. I know that this is unsustainable, that it can’t go on this way. Only it’s so lovely, it’s so wonderful, seeing every side of him like I do.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

p-1Leah Konen is a graduate of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she studied journalism and creative writing. She’s the author of the forthcoming HAPPY MESSY SCARY LOVE, LOVE AND OTHER TRAIN WRECKS, THE ROMANTICS, THE LAST TIME WE WERE US and THE AFTER GIRLS. She lives in Brooklyn and Saugerties, NY, with her husband and their dog, Farley.

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GIVEAWAY

Win a copy of Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen (US Only)

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