Book recs: ‘Icebreaker’ brings romance to the rink in hockey-themed novel

Hannah Grace tells the story of falling in love on the ice.

Photo courtesy of Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace tells the story of falling in love on the ice.

Gianna Cocovinis, Staff Writer

Well, everyone, this is my last book rec for you all. I recently read “Icebreaker” by Hannah Grace. Out of all the sports-themed books out there, I’ve noticed hockey romances are definitely some of the most popular. And yes, Bookstagram totally influenced me to pick this one up, but it was completely worth it.  

Anastasia Allen, also known as Stassie, is one of the most talented figure skaters at her university, Maple Hills in California. Skating since she was five years old, Stassie has worked her entire life at the chance of becoming an Olympian. With a full college scholarship, an amazing skating rink and coach, Stassie is close to achieving her dream. Except, she deals with a bossy, manipulative skating partner that criticizes her as much as he lifts her up. Stassie is almost able to put up with it all for the sake of having a chance at making the Olympic team, until her rink is trashed by a mysterious culprit. Stass hardly adjusts well to change and having one out of two of the school’s skating rinks puts her dream on thin ice – literally. But the skating team isn’t the only sport that suffers. Nate Hawkins, captain of the hockey team at Maple Hills, has big plans to lead his team to victory, and even go pro after his college career. Now with only one working rink, the skaters and hockey team must find a way to collaborate – or tolerate, at the very least – together until the new rink gets fixed. Stass and Nate cannot help being stuck in each other’s orbit, and therefore cannot deny their growing friendship in the time they have been forced together.  

This book seriously was a breath of fresh air. I went into it thinking it was going to be maybe a slightly above average romance novel with the typical mundane pacing that we’re put through, but this book didn’t fall into typical tropes or stereotypes at all. Instead, the author was able to showcase a healthy relationship, mercifully staying away from miscommunication and petty games that many romance novels are guilty of having. The main characters are open with their feelings, thoughts and emotions, and explain them in such articulate ways that made it less about nonsense drama and more about tackling problems together. I seriously loved Stassie as a main character; she was entirely open about her anxieties, fears and mental health struggles. Nate was by far one of the most thoughtful, selfless, passionate male main characters to read from – definitely a man written by a woman, and better for it. I was glad to see that there wasn’t a third act falling out between the main characters, instead they talked through their feelings, voiced their thoughts and communicated in a healthy, stable way that was better than so many books that throw in drama and fighting just for the sake of the plot.  

Definitely pick up “Icebreaker” over the summer for hockey romance supremacy. It’s been great giving book recs to you all these past few semesters, keep reading!