Off the Ice (Julie Cross)


All is fair in love and hockey… 

Claire O’Connor is back in Juniper Falls, but that doesn’t mean she wants to be. One semester off, that’s what she promised herself. Just long enough to take care of her father and keep the family business — a hockey bar beside the ice rink — afloat. After that, she’s getting the hell out. Again.

Enter Tate Tanley. What happened between them the night before she left town resurfaces the second they lay eyes on each other. But the guy she remembers has been replaced by a total hottie. When Tate is unexpectedly called in to take over for the hockey team’s star goalie, suddenly he’s in the spotlight and on his way to becoming just another egotistical varsity hockey player. And Claire’s sworn off Juniper Falls hockey players for good.

It’s the absolute worst time to fall in love.

For Tate and Claire, hockey isn’t just a game. And they both might not survive a body check to the heart.

I read this book as a buddy read with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too, so go to her blog in the next few days for her take on this book.

So… yeah, so I don’t quite know what I was expecting from this book, but it sort of wasn’t what I got…

I’m gonna start with the writing, and here my impression of this book wasn’t the most amazing. The book is told in dual POV, first person, but my main problem here is that between Tate and Claire’s voice, there’s not much distinction. Both characters sound eerily similar and I wouldn’t know who was saying what if their names weren’t at the top of the chapter. This was one of the reasons that the writing didn’t totally work for me.

But my main problem was that this was a very busy book. There was way too much going on in the main characters’ lives, and around them. Way too much. It took me way too long to just distinguish between Tate’s friends. There’s the drama of their romance, Tate’s dad, Claire’s dad, Claire’s school, hockey, Haley, Mike, Leo, …

It could have been great, because everyone has issues and those were things that could have been all going on and it would have been fine, but the way they were written, they just felt like they were dragging the book down and made it way too busy. With way too much drama!

The main thing about this book is definitly family, familial obligations and responsibilities, and the weight of those things. I actually really liked this theme, and some of the ways it was explored, especially towards the end. I felt like both main characters grow up a lot throughout the book.

About Claire and Tate… I wasn’t particular fond of either of them, though I had nothing against them either. I just felt very indifferent towards them, and that’s not good. I understood their issues and their fears, and I liked that they leaned on each other and weren’t afraid to voice their true opinions. But even though the pacing of their relationship was towards slow at first, I still felt that it was lacking something.

Overall this book didn’t quite work for me, though I thought the story had loads of potential. It was just little things that ultimately didn’t do it for me. But give it a chance, it has some pretty strong topics and messages.

February TBR


This month will be crazy! I went a little overboard with my netgalley requests, and ended up getting way too many ARCs for this month, most of them YA from Entangled Crush. Check out my enormous TBR for February.


  1. There’s Something About Nik by Sara Hantz
  2. The Feeling of Forever (Love Unplugged #2) by Jamie Howard
  3. Weddings, Crushes, and Other Dramas (Creative HeArts, #6; Willa and Finn, #2) by Emily McKay
  4. Any Boy But You (North Pole, Minnesota, #1) by Julie Hammerle
  5. A Thousand Letters by Staci Hart
  6. Making Faces by Amy Harmon
  7. Off the Ice (Juniper Falls, #1) by Julie Cross
  8. Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen
  9. Cheater by Rachel Van Dyken
  10. You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
  11. Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor
  12. Daisy and the Front Man (Backstage Pass #3) by Rebekah L. Purdy
  13. A Boy Like You by Ginger Scott
  14. Ten Thousand Skies Above You (Firebird #2) by Claudia Gray
  15. The Cad and the Co-Ed (Rugby #3) by L.H. Cosway Penny Reid
  16. A Million Worlds with You (Firebird #3) by Claudia Gray
  17. Be My Hero (Forbidden Men #3) by Linda Kage
  18. Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt

I doubt that I’ll be able to read all 18 books, and follow this huge TBR, but most of these are ARCs, so I need to read at least those. Wish me luck…

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Contemporaries!

top 10 tuesday

Hello, welcome back to another Tuesday. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is:

Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite Books Of X Genre (I know, I know. Picking all time faves. I’m MEAN. But I like knowing people’s definitive faves). Can also break it down into sub-genre if that helps?

I decided to go the obvious way and do some of my favorite contemporaries, either YA, NA or adult. Here we go!


You Before Anyone Else (Julie Cross & Mark Perini)


Everything she wants. Everything he needs. 

The supportive friend, the reliable daughter, the doting big-sister: Finley is used to being the glue that holds everyone together. But while her sweet demeanor makes her the perfect confidant, her wholesome look isn’t landing her the high paying modeling jobs, which are what Finley needs if she is going to reopen her mother’s dance studio.

Enter Eddie. He’s intense and driven, not to mention the life of every party, and he completely charms Finley. The last thing she wants is another commitment to stand in the way of her dreams, but when she’s with Eddie, their chemistry takes over and she can let go of her responsibilities and just be. After all, what’s so wrong about putting herself first once and a while?

Except Eddie is hiding a secret. A big secret. And when it surfaces, he and Finley are going to have to choose between their love for each other and everything else…

I am so glad that I requested this book, seriously, so so glad! First I would like to talk a bit about the book’s genre. While I requested it under Teens & YA, I have to say that for me this book is more a New Adult book than anything else.

With that out of the way, I loved this one! The writing is great, and I really liked how it flowed between the two POVs and how distinct Eddie and Fin’s voices were. I’ve read enough YA/NA dual POVs books to know that doesn’t always happen, so I was so glad that it went without a hitch here.

I don’t know exactly what I was expecting when I read the blurb, but Eddie and Finley were way better characters and way more developed than I thought possible. I found them both such strong people, who had to face some terrible things and tried to be better because of that. I really liked how Finley tried to help everyone and be there for her brothers and father, even if she put herself last in the process, and I loved how she little by little made herself a priority. And Eddie, I loved Eddie, he’s just such a great guy. I really liked that he was doing what he thought was the right thing, and I totally understood why he did it. He was fierce. He was strong enough to leave everything behind for what he thought was the best, that takes guts. Also, YAY for a gorgeous and privileged guy who is not cocky or decided, or a huge player.

I have to say, the relationship between Eddie and Finley is probably one of my favorites ever. It’s amazing how they are 100% acceptive of each other, and while they wanted what was best for the other one, they never judge or tried to change, or did anything other than support one another 110%. And another amazing thing was how it there’s never really a conflict between them, not really.

That’s one of the most amazing things about this book: it’s not really about the romance. It’s about both of them doing what is right for THEM – as Fin doing something for herself, and Eddie doing what is best for him (etc). Their relationship is just an added bonus. A support system. A family.

Speaking of family, I’m IN LOVE with Fin’s family. Seriously, she has the best dad. Sam is amazing, I don’t even have enough words to express how amazing he is. He’s supportive of her, but still pushes her to be her best self, he doesn’t judge anything she does, or who she associates with. And best of all, when she brings Eddie into their lives, he welcomes him, and becomes the support that Eddie needs as well… AMAZING! Then there’s the twins, and Eddie taking care of the twins, and my heart soaring reading this, because he’s perfect with those little guys… *sigh*.

I struggled with one of the main issues of this book, and I have to admit that it made me cry. But I think the resolution was perfect, and I was so glad that Eddie and Finley got what they wanted and needed.

I highly recommend this book, it’s such a beautiful story that balances teen and adult problems, and how to be yourself in a world where you’re expected to be anything but. This book has an amazing love story, a great family and great friendships. Read it!

July TBR


Last month was a weird reading month, and I ended up not making the progress I wanted in the ARC department. So for this month I want to read 14 books, 12 of which are eARCs from Netgalley, and 8 of those I’ll be reading with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much (we need to be better in July!).


  1. Crystallum (The Primordial Principles #1) by Laney McMann
  2. Life After Juliet by Shannon Lee Alexander
  3. No Breaking My Heart by Kate Angell
  4. Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle Casey
  5. Edge of Glory by Magan Vernon
  6. Six Month Rule by A.J. Pine
  7. No Falling Allowed by Melissa West
  8. In the Hope of Memories by Olivia Rivers
  9. You Before Anyone Else by Julie Cross & Mark Perini
  10. A Mess of a Man by A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine
  11. Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  12. Heartfall by J.B. McGee
  13. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson
  14. Daemoneum (The Primordial Principles #2) by Laney McMann

Guys, have you read any of these books? What do you think of my TBR?

June Book Haul


Let’s just say that I might have used and abused the request button on netgalley… But I didn’t get any physical book 🙂 .