In the Penalty Box

Entangled Teen. Jan. 2021. 400p. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9781682815762.
Gr 9 Up–When Willow is injured, her hopes of figure skating at the Olympics are crushed. Moving back home to Woodhaven to recover, she finds herself propelled into an ice sport she had always written off: hockey. With the newfound comfort of team comradery and a crush on team captain Brodie, Willow finds herself becoming whole once again. Spending time together on and off the ice, Willow and Brodie navigate a forbidden love alongside the struggles of family challenges. Rush and Blount share a story of perseverance and hope that focuses on the ice rink. Impactfully written from both Willow and Brodie’s points of view, the book offers glimpses of the thoughts and inner struggles of each character. The romance between the characters does overshadow the narrative, but it is redeemed in its intimate portrayal of family dynamics. The emotional journeys that the characters face drive the story forward and build empathy for their circumstances. Readers will find themselves rooting for both the budding relationship and personal success of Willow and Brodie.
VERDICT A story of perseverance that will appeal to romance readers and ice sport fanatics.

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