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Breaking the Ice (Juniper Falls) Kindle Edition
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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4 stars — Earlier in the year I read book 1 in this series and really enjoyed it, despite it being very different from YAs I usually read. And so I was excited to see another book set in the town of Juniper Falls. And this one was similarly engaging and yet SOOOOO different!! Honestly, I couldn’t put it down…I was up until 4:30 am finishing the book because I just kept telling myself “one more chapter” until there were no more chapters left.
Fletcher and Haley were seriously unlike most teenagers I read…but they felt very honest and authentic. They were both EXTREMELY flawed and occasionally made me want to hit them over the heads, but I also felt for both of them and the struggles that they were going through. It felt kind of like a coming of age story for both of them, even though this is definitely a grittier book…more mature young adult than just young adult, you know? But that also just made it feel more real and authentic. And their chemistry with each other was fantastic…I really felt how they were drawn to each other, despite some reservations.
I adored Haley, which surprised me a little. She has a lot of qualities that might normally annoy me, but she is just so genuine and sincere that you can’t help but love her. Her peppiness and overachieverness and just constant overthinkingness was crazy. Like, I was seriously worried that those things would overshadow the rest. But I LOVED that the author sort of explored the reasons for these qualities in her personality…she really made me think about all the other effects ADHD could have on a person’s life. I really loved that. And honestly, the depth with which Haley loved her friends and took care of them was truly inspiring. It wasn’t just that she was trying to achieve some goal, she genuinely cared about her friends and wanted them to succeed. She had such a fragile and breakable heart sometimes, and she broke my heart with how she thought about herself, especially wrt her academics…not to mention the fall out from her breakup with Tate and what happened in the last book. But it was so satisfying to see her grow throughout the book too!
Fletch was a different animal altogether. He was so messed up from his childhood and his allergy issues, it was heartbreaking to see inside his head and his genuine lack of trust for the people of Juniper Falls, and his very skewed views of relationships. He really just took so much of what his family went through to his heart, and stubbornly wouldn’t let go. Sometimes I felt like his situation was just a bit odd and unbelievable…NOT the allergy stuff, that was super well done and I loved how that was explored (and all the different ways it affected his life). But the part with his job. I just can’t imagine that in real life… I tried to suspend my disbelief, it wasn’t completely out of the realm of possibility…but I don’t know. It really did make him grow up in a different way, and yet stunted him in other ways. I would have loved to see it though, hoowee, talk about sexy.
I did really love Fletch’s determination to make the Varsity team though, and prove that he’s more than his medical issues. And even though it dragged out longer than I would have liked, I appreciated how flabbergasted he was by the new friends that I don’t think he realized he was making. Again, it broke my heart. He was so freaking stubborn, and damaged, and man could he be a jerk sometimes. But he was a very consistent character. And it did make me appreciate his growth as well.
The one thing that I loved about the previous book in this series, and that remained true in this book, is the solid cast of secondary characters. I really felt like I could imagine this small town, with all its own flaws. I LOVED Jamie. AGAIN. He was just so adorable, and I LOVED how he was with there for both Haley and Fletch. He is SUCH an intriguing character, and I’m a little concerned that we won’t get his story since he went off to college. I want his story. He was definitely my star secondary character, but I also loved the reappearance of Tate and Claire (and what they both did to help Haley move forward); Cole intrigues the crap out of me…he’s a very odd kid; and all Fletch’s coworkers brought something to the table, and helped Fletch grow up as well, not to mention Fletch’s family (his brother and gramps especially). And I even appreciated the brief appearances of Leo, Jake, and Mike (and his family).
So yeah, another solid book in this series. They’re very different for me, they definitely don’t follow any usual formulas, and I really appreciate that they’re about so much more than just the romance. Can’t wait to find out whose story is next!
Haley was the reigning princess of Juniper Falls. Super popular, super social, and seemingly, always in the middle of things. She was still feeling the pangs of rejection following her breakup with Tate and unsuccessful foray into meaningless fling territory. Haley was trying to put all romantic entanglements behind her, as she worked on improving herself and reaching for her goals.
Fletcher was the quiet boy, who kept a low profile away from the spotlight. After his family became a main source of Juniper Falls gossip, and he was the victim of an almost deadly bullying incident, Fletcher developed some trust issues. He had no friends in town and kept his physical relationships detached. He was a nerdy loner with a goal of leaving Juniper Falls behind.
Neither Fletcher, nor Haley anticipated what would happen when their paths crossed in summer school. Initially, Haley was just looking for a project partner, who could help her achieve her scholastic goals, but eventually, the feelings simmering beneath the surface came to a full boil, and when the sparks flew, Fletcher and Haley reacted in very different ways.
There are so many things I loved about this book, but since we don't have all day, here are my top five reasons I loved this book.
•I found Haley to be quite a wonderful character. She started to redeem herself in the first book, but in this book, we get to see what is really so special about her. She was loyal and often put aside her own feelings in order to help other people. She often showed a lot of maturity, that she really didn't get credit for, and she had a heart of gold. I was really elated when she was able to figure out some of her academic issues with the help of Fletcher, because I couldn't help but want her to achieve her goals. I also admired that she acknowledged her shortcomings, and she was addressing them and striving to be a better person. What more could I ask of her?
•Wow! I don't even know where to start with Fletcher. First, there were all the wonderfully nerdy t-shirts. I couldn't wait to see what he would wear next. Then there was the double life he was leading. There were so many things swirling around in my head, and I liked the way Cross slowly revealed those parts of Fletcher's life, piece by piece. Oh, and he was swoony too.
•This romance was a slow burn and at times, confusing, but I loved every second of it. I was excited every time Haley and Fletcher were on page together. Sometimes it was because the tension between them was delicious and palpable, but other times, it was because I thought they really pushed each other to be better versions of themselves. There was a lot of push and pull, but because the drama was kept to a minimum, I was ok with it.
•Fletcher's world was littered with some very interesting characters, but his family won my heart. His grandfather, father, and brother were all fiercely protective of Fletcher, but they were a lot more then just manly men. These guys were real men, who had experienced epic love, and minimally passed on some really sage advice to Fletcher regarding how to treat and respect a woman.
•This book was fun, and filled with some great banter. I audibly laughed often and grinned a whole lot.
Overall: This was a really great trip back to Juniper Falls, where I got to know the gang a little better. I loved that Haley and Fletcher challenged the tropes with all their hidden layers and sort of kept me guessing in the best way. Fun, flirty, swoony, and a little bit spicy too.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
Most recent customer reviews
Haley is the princess, top cheerleader, she seems to have it all and she would if she didn't have to...Read more
I kept saying yep they like each other just admit it.
Haley is great, I love how she was determine to win over Fletcher at first as just...Read more