Ｔｉｔｌｅ：Just One of the Boys
Ａｕｔｈｏｒ：Leah and Kate Rooper
Ｒａｔｉｎｇ：★ ★ ★ ★ ★
＊Ｎｏｔｅ：I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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…
✩ Alice was a very driven character. She was confident and a little sarcastic at times in a funny way.
✩ Hayden was more cocky than driven. He was also kind of self-destructive, but very loyal to his teammates.
✩ Xander was more of a mystery since we saw less of him in the book. He was kind of secretive and very moody, but I think overall he wasn’t a bad guy.
❝ It feels like there are a million things competing in my brain right now, but none of them have a chance. My visual sensory system is overloaded right now, with this guy standing in front of me. He stares down at me, and his eyes are so brown, they’re nearly black. Like his eyes are black holes, and I’m just a pathetic little asteroid, in the path of being crushed by his gravity.❞
I had such a fun time reading this book. It was just really light, funny, and cute. This is the perfect book to read when you’re looking for a cute contemporary YA romance.
Everything pretty much starts when Alice’s twin brother, Xander, gets injured shortly after making the Chicago Falcons hockey team. It’s then that they come up with the plan to have Alice disguise herself and take Xander’s place until he can play again. Of course, things don’t exactly go as planned. Soon, enough Alice’s double life reveals secrets that Xander has been keeping from her and it changes things between them.
Even though I didn’t like what Xander did to protect his secret, I did understand his uncertainty in sharing it. That being said, I was initially very annoyed with him for choosing to protect his own secret and not Alice. I was happy with his character development in that he could admit to himself that hockey was not his true passion.
Alice made for an interesting main character, and she was definitely my favorite. I liked how she was so passionate about hockey and willing to push herself to be better. She didn’t settle for anything other than her best. Yet, she was really neglecting the other parts of her life. It made it so that she was oblivious to her mother and brother’s feelings. Not to mention she always put romance on the very bottom of her list. Her whole life was so invested in hockey that when she was initially turned for the Falcons she didn’t seem to know who she was without it.
❝ I look in the mirror and see Al. I thought I’d feel a little better. A little more certain.
But now, I’m even more lost. I don’t even know who Al is. But the scary part is… in becoming Al, I think I’ve lost Alice too.
I don’t know who I used to be.
And I most certainly don’t know who I am.❞
The other problem that came up because of her duplicity is that it caused a strain between her and Xander. He knew that she was the better player and that when he was better there was no way he’d be able to play at the same level she did. People would notice, and he would probably get kicked off the team because he wasn’t good enough. He was always comparing himself to Alice in hockey and seemed stressed out by the fact he couldn’t improve like he wanted to.
As for Hayden, he was determined to make captain but at the same time, he didn’t really want it. He was always getting himself in trouble and being really self-destructive. He was also really cocky and didn’t work together with his team. It wasn’t until Alice pushed him and they started working together that he started to really focus and put in an effort.
I loved Alice and Hayden’s partnership on the team because they had one another’s backs and it was when we got to see a more positive side to Hayden where he was really loyal and protective. This was when the book really started getting fun for me because I enjoyed watching them help one another. They became best friends and that was something they both needed.
And then there was the romance aspect that wasn’t in your face, but just developed slowly over time. Neither of them really knew how they felt right away. Especially for Alice, she was kind of in denial about it because she wanted to focus on the games. I just really enjoyed the romance because it was so smooth, organic and just adorable. I really loved this book and I’m happy I got to read it ❤
Just One of the Boys was just released on October 2nd, and I highly recommend you go pick up a copy, especially if you like contemporary YA romance!