There’s one time an entire nation can get behind a single thing. What’s that?
It’s the Olympic Games.
There’s something to be said for a tradition that’s been held for thousands of years. (though not consecutively, if you want to be persnickety). My family would inevitably ask the same question around the dinner table. Which is best? summer games? or winter?I could never pick, though I always leaned toward WINTER. We don’t see a lot of winter here in Southern California. But when the winter games were on, we could definitely bask in the images of snow. It made us feel like we were with the Olympians families huddled in the stands, wrapped up in scarves.
It just gave us a literal sense of chills to watch it! We would turn on the air conditioning and drink hot chocolate. haha… I was always in the mood to read wintery books around the winter olympics, and I’ve wanted to do a post like this FOREVER. But I never got to it.
Well. Today is the day. This year, is the year.
I’m putting up an ENTIRE POST on books that are based around the sports we love (or sometimes love to hate) surrounding the winter Olympic games. Now, I can’t cover every single sport that takes place in the games of course. It would probably be pretty difficult to find a YA book with Nordic Combined in the synopsis…. But I did my best, and I covered the basics. I’ve listed these alphabetically by which sport they center around. I hope this satisfies your winter sport and Olympic moods!!
I’m going to admit it, I’m proud of finding these winter Olympic picks, namely the first on this list. ONWARD!!
Pride, Prejudice and Curling Rocks
“Darcy Bennet lives to be on the ice. When the other little girls were watching the Olympics and dreaming of figure-skating, she was dreaming of representing her country not with skates but with a broom.
At seventeen, Darcy still has Olympic dreams, but she has more immediate concerns. Like getting her team to Regionals, making sure she’s accepted by the local college, and convincing her best-friend and team skip not to go to a university on the other side of the continent. And, possibly most important of all, resisting the urge to kill Lucas Fitzwilliam. ‘Cause he may be really annoying, but Darcy’s pretty sure they don’t have curling in prison.”
YES. I found a book with CURLING IN IT. There’s something fascinating about curling. I don’t know what it is. Like, I can fall asleep to it, but at the same time, there’s extreme dedication and enthusiasm for the sport. It’s weird and unique! I knew of a middle grade book that had curling in it, but had never heard of a YA with curling. Well, I FOUND ONE. YES. I actually really really want to pick this one up!
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All Laced Up
“Everyone loves hockey superstar Pierce Miller. Everyone except Lia Bailey.
When the two are forced to teach a skating class to save the rink, Lia’s not sure she’ll survive the pressure of Nationals and Pierce’s ego. Not only can’t he remember her name, he signed her bottle of water like she was one of his groupies. Ugh.
But if there’s one thing Lia knows better than figure skating, it’s hockey. Hoping to take his ego down a notch—or seven—she logs into his team website under an anonymous name to give him pointers on his less-than-stellar playing.
Turns out, Pierce isn’t arrogant at all. And they have a lot in common. Too bad he’s falling for the anonymous girl online. No matter how much fun they’re starting to have in real life, she’s afraid he’s going to choose fake-Lia over the real one…
Disclaimer: This book contains a swoony hockey player (and his equally swoony friends!), one-too-many social media accounts, kisses that’ll melt ice, and a secret identity that might not be so secret after all…”
I love the idea of a girl that knows BOTH sports. Dichotomy is great (we all love those opposites-attract romances!), but so is throwing off stereotypes. A girl that can be girly and love figure skating, but also love the brutal sport of Hockey? I’m in.
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Any Way You Slice It
“Penelope Spaulding just can’t catch a break. Between long hours at the family pizza shop, piles of homework, and her dad’s new obsession—getting the restaurant on a new foodie reality show—it’s hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, the world is hers to control and everything else slips away.
When the bad boy who lives down the street dares her to join the Rink Rats, the local misfit hockey team, she surprises herself and joins in silent defiance of her controlling parents.
The more she plays, the easier it is to keep lying, and soon Pen finds it impossible to come clean. She’s sneaking out to practice—and loving every minute of it. It doesn’t take long for her to fall in love with hockey…but she’s not entirely sure if it’s the game she’s falling for or the boy. Because it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
And the one thing she IS sure of…she can’t stop playing.”
This one sounds like it has an adorable story! A girl joining a local miss matched team out of spite is perfect. Sounds like a firecracker of a read. Our girl here obviously has passion, and needs an outlet for it. What better outlet than the full contact sport of Hockey? BUT it sounds like she ends up finding a refuge in the boy as well as the team. That’s what gives me the warm and fuzzies.
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“From Newbery Medalist Cynthia Kadohata comes a brilliantly realized sports novel about a hockey player who must discover who he is without the sport that defines him.
Hockey is Conor’s life. His whole life. He’ll say it himself, he’s a hockey beast. It’s his dad’s whole life too—and Conor is sure that’s why his stepmom, Jenny, left. There are very few things Conor and his dad love more than the game, and one of those things is their Doberman, Sinbad. When Sinbad is diagnosed with cancer, Conor chooses to put his hockey lessons and practices on hold so they can pay for Sinbad’s chemotherapy.
But without hockey to distract him, Conor begins to notice more. Like his dad’s crying bouts, and his friend’s difficult family life. And then Conor notices one more thing: Without hockey, the one thing that makes him feel special, is he really special at all?”
Ok, so this is a cheat. Checked is a middle grade novel. But it sounds so amazing, I just HAD to include it. Dogs, cancer and losing your self-identity? I already know it’s going to be a tear-jerker. A plus, is that it was JUST published last week(ish) I hope to pick up a copy at the ALA Midwinter this weekend.
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Just One of the Boys
“Alice Bell has one goal: to play for the elite junior hockey team the Chicago Falcons. But when she’s passed over at tryouts for being a girl, she’ll do anything to make her dream a reality…even disguising herself as her twin brother. With her amazing skills on the ice, Alice is sure she’ll fit in easily. That is, until she starts falling for one of her teammates…
Hayden Tremblay, star of the Falcons, can’t keep himself out of the penalty box. Constantly living in the shadow of his older brother, Hayden’s losing his passion for hockey. But when he gets shown up on the ice by the Falcons’ new rookie, Hayden’s determined to teach the kid a thing or two. Little does he guess that “Al’s” surprises on the ice are just the beginning…
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush title proves that wonderful things can happen when you’re brave enough to go after your dream. Dream hockey player, that is! Warning–a few locker room scenes are included…”
My FAVORITE TROPE EVER. Disguise yourself as a boy!! Nothing is more amazing than – *DUN DUN DUUUUUN* The Moment She’s Discovered. YAS. Just YAS. I will be reading this one ASAP.
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“With six months until the Olympic Games, seventeen-year-old Harper’s life is pretty much perfect. She’s fighting for the starting spot on Team USA Women’s Hockey, and for the first time ever, she has a crush on a guy who likes her back. She feels like the luckiest girl in the world, until she runs a risky play at practice and breaks her knee, thereby sentencing herself to six weeks in a cast and possibly ending her Olympic dream before it even starts.
For seventeen-year-old Alex, being anything less than the best is unacceptable. That’s why, after a miserable debut season at the senior level, the former junior national singles champion switches to ice dance. Her skating partner, Ace, is an “all skating all the time” type of guy, which would be fine, if he’d stop keeping secrets about the real reason he and his former partner broke up. Now is not the time for second thoughts, but how can Alex skate her best if she can’t trust her partner…or herself?
As the pressure to make the Olympic team builds, the girls must rely on each other, because if there’s one thing they both know, it’s that the only thing harder than skating to the top is staying there.”
I’m slightly dismayed at what Harper’s relevance is. Why is she mentioned in this synopsis? I mean, obviously it means she’s a major character. But the rest of the synopsis completely fulfills itself.. Either way, I was drawn in the most by Alex’s story. I LOVE a character with a really juicy secret.
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The Boy Next Door
“Maddy Spier has been in love with the boy next door forever. As his figure skating partner she spends time in his arms every day. But she’s also seen his arms around other girls—lots of other girls.
Gabe can’t imagine skating with anyone but Maddy, and together they have a real chance at winning some serious gold medals. So, he’s determined to keep thinking of her like a sister. After all, he’s never had a romantic relationship that lasted for more than two weeks.
But when their coach assigns a new romantic skating program, everything changes. Will this be the big break that Maddy’s been hoping for or the big breakup that Gabe has always feared?”
GUYS. I’ve actually already read this one! It blew me away, it was deep and it got darker than I expected. It was wonderful. You can read my full review here.
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“When Roxie Slade snaps into a pair of skis, there’s no one on Sugarville Mountain in Vermont who can keep up with her. Not even the boys. Still, Roxie was shocked when she received a scholarship to Stark Springs Academy, a boarding school that churns out Olympians in each graduating class. Entering as a high school junior, Roxie can’t wait to learn from renowned coaches and train with the fastest ski racers from all over the globe. But, upon arrival, Roxie discovers that Stark Springs lives under its own set of rules, and it appears one boy plays dictator.
Ryker Black is not friendly and Roxie cannot fathom why everyone wants to be his friend. Sure, he’s gorgeous and rides a snowboard like it’s his fifth limb, but he’s cold, ruthless, and holds way too much power over the Stark Springs population. Roxie won’t put up with it. She’s here to train, and she doesn’t care about impressing anyone off the slopes. The only problem? Ryker Black doesn’t permit defiance. Not without consequences”
Ok, so the name Ryker actually makes me cringe a little bit. It’s just trying too hard to be a bad boy… BUT I think I was actually on the cover reveal team for this one. And, not reading a book just because of a character’s name would be stupid. And shallow. I’ve never read anything on skiing before, so I’m really curious to see how that’s incorporated into the book.
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“Semi-pro SBXer Luke Madison can’t afford any distractions. He’s chasing his dreams in Aspen, not realizing the dire consequences of his actions. Now, if Luke can’t pull off a miracle, his family could lose everything, and there’s no way he’ll let that happen.
No pressure or anything.
Charlotte Brown is determined to become a doctor—a neurologist to be precise, and she’s always precise. She doesn’t have time for anything except school, waitressing at a mountaintop café, and studying. Meeting the ridiculously sexy Luke Madison won’t change that plan, even if kissing him makes her pulse race.
Neither can afford to slip up. If Charlotte doesn’t pass the MCAT this time, that’s it. Her dream of saving people—people like her mother—is over. And when Luke risks everything one last time, losing is not an option.
Even if it means losing each other”
This one really intrigues me. It reminds me of…like a fanfiction maybe based on Shawn White. Think about it, you’re a promising athlete, and millions of eyes are on you. That’s got to be a lot of pressure. I may love characters with secrets, but I also respect authors who drag their characters through hell. Can Kendra make me feel the weight of the world on his shoulders? I don’t know. But I want to find out!!
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On the Slopes
“Snowboarding means everything to Charlise, but she hasn’t met Sam Miller yet.
Charlise is a snowboarder with a promising career ahead of her. Despite the fact that her father hates her risking her life on the slopes that had taken the life of Charlise’s mother she is determined not to give up her career the way her mother did when she fell pregnant. Charlise wants to win medals, lots of them.
The last distraction Charlise needs is the American freestyle champion, Sam Miller, who utterly enthrals her with his wit and friendliness. Refusing to risk her career for a relationship, Charlise returns home for Christmas, determined to sort things out with her father. But the holidays culminate in an epic fight, and with a repeat of the painful breakup with Sam. However, new discoveries from her family’s past might change Charlise’s mind about Sam …”
Sam sounds like a loveable goofball. I can find a way to love most types of personalities in romantic novels. There’s pros and cons to all of them. But a type you don’t see very often is The Good Guy. The sweet, tender boys who were raised with respect and like to give it (and his love) in return. One of my favorite Book Boyfriends of all time was a Good Guy, and I’ve only read a few since then that have one! So I’m looking forward to checking this one out.
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And that’s it!! It’s almost midnight here in Denver and I have to wake up REALLY EARLY to go to a DC Comics breakfast! It’ll be loads of fun, but I will be sleep deprived for sure.
Do you have any great Winter Olympic Reads? Also, if any of you ever find YA with cross country skiing, or speedskating or bobsled, LET ME KNOW! I’d love to repeat this for future Olympics, and one day, MAYBE I can have a book for every sport!
I’m sorry that at least one title is out of order. I just reallllly have to go to bed! See ya guys later, and I’ll try to post about the ALA Midwinter as I go, okay?