On Thin Ice

On Thin Ice

by Julie Cross

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Brooke Parker never expected to find herself in the tiny town of Juniper Falls, Minnesota. Of course, she also never expected to lose her dad. Or for her mom to lose herself. Brooke feels like she’s losing it…until she finds Juniper Falls hockey. Juniper Falls girls’ hockey, that is.

Jake Hammond, current prince of Juniper Falls, captain of the hockey team, and player with the best chance of scoring it big, is on top of the world. Until one hazing ritual gone wrong lands him injured, sitting on the sidelines, and—shocking even to him—finding himself enjoying his “punishment” as assistant coach for the girls’ team.

As Jake and Brooke grow closer, he finds the quiet new girl is hiding a persona full of life, ideas, and experiences bigger and broader than anything he’s ever known. But to Jake, hockey’s never just been a game. It’s his whole life. And leveraging the game for a shot at their future might be more than he can give.

Each book in the Juniper Falls series is STANDALONE:
* Off the Ice
* Breaking the Ice
* On Thin Ice

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781640634091
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 02/26/2019
Series: Juniper Falls , #3
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 340
Sales rank: 106,110
File size: 2 MB
Age Range: 14 Years

About the Author

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict.
JULIE CROSS lives in central Illinois with her husband and three children. She never wrote fiction before May of 2009, but since then, hasn't gone a day without writing. She is the author of The Tempest Trilogy.

Read an Excerpt



It's not that I can't speak. Or that I don't want to or don't have anything to say. I do. But I've recently become addicted to listening. And it's extremely difficult to talk and listen at the same time.

But try explaining that to a small-town high school guidance counselor and see where it gets you.

It got me regular — and mandatory — Friday appointments in Mr. Smuttley's office (yes, that's his real name, though I keep hearing other students call him a bunch of variations of it, most of them pretty nasty), where I continue to not talk about my feelings.

"How is your mother doing?" Smuttley asks.

I shrug. Not to be evasive, but because I have no idea. She doesn't talk to me. All the pills the psychiatrist prescribes have turned her into a zombie version of my mother ... Except, this isn't completely true. A few days ago, she must have woken up from her drug-induced haze and decided to go to the store ... in her pajamas. Then she got there, couldn't remember what she came for, and broke down crying. The shop owner called my grandmother, who promptly came to pick her up. And now everyone in town either gives me this look of pity or they avoid eye contact altogether. Or, in Smuttley's case, they try to get me to talk about the incident in a productive, helpful manner.

"How about we try something new today." Smuttley stands and walks around his desk, heading for the door to his office. I'm still seated in my designated student chair when he swings the door open, gesturing that I should follow him out.

I stare at the name placard on the door: Joseph Smuttley.

If he just dropped one of the Ts, he'd have way less nicknames from the student body.

"Come on, Brooklynn," he says, trying to look enthusiastic about his plan. "It's my duty as guidance counselor to make sure you've been shown all the best places around the high school. Which includes the coffee shop next door."

Brooke, not Brooklynn.

Only my grandmother calls me Brooklynn.

Sighing, I stand up and follow him out of his office and eventually outside. The October air in Minnesota is crisp, and even without us talking, the leaves crunching under our feet kill the awkward silence.

I zip up my pink hoodie and stuff my hands deep into the front pockets. We walk a whole block away from the high school before Smuttley says anything more. "Your grandmother said you've always been very active in — was it soccer? I can't remember ..."

I could answer him. It would probably be his greatest monthly accomplishment if I did. God knows I must be his most cooperative student — not that I have much competition. But I give it ten more seconds, and he finally admits to already knowing the answer. "Wait ... dance, right?"

Right. Dance. The thing that doesn't exist in Juniper Falls, Minnesota, not beyond the tiny recreational studio on Main Street that prides themselves on their toddler tap classes. I nod, and he seems satisfied with that response.

Smuttley opens the door to the Spark Plug, which is an insanely awesome name for a coffee shop, in my opinion. It's also a place I visit daily.

"Betty's hot chocolate is out of this world," Smuttley says.

I nod and flash him a smile, which he returns, though it fades quickly when Betty, the owner, spots me and says, "The usual, right?"

Betty might have memorized my order, but an hour from now, she'll be replaced by her granddaughter Melanie, who usually asks me to repeat my order more than once. Melanie may not be as committed to this shop as Betty obviously is, but she's still super sweet. Also very committed to great dental hygiene. She spends hours behind the counter with her Bluetooth on, confusing customers by holding a conversation with the dentist's office at the same time that she takes orders.

Smuttley requests a hot chocolate with extra whipped cream, and then when he sees my black coffee, he says, "Sure you don't want to try the hot cocoa?"

I'm one of those strange individuals who doesn't like anything sweet. Not desserts or candy, not pastries or muffins or soda. Not even chocolate. My mom always says it's because she fed me only pureed vegetables as a baby. No sugar for the first three years of my life.

"Coffee is fine," I say so quietly I'm not sure if the words came out of my mouth. "Thanks."

Smuttley's eyebrows lift, but he keeps his excitement in check. "I thought we could take our drinks and walk over to the ice rink. Have you been inside?"

"I hear the team is getting ready for tryouts," Betty says. "I can't wait for game season. We'll have lines out the door."

I live across the street from the ice rink. I haven't been inside yet, though I've been meaning to check it out for a couple of weeks. I shake my head and follow my guidance counselor to the building next door. In Texas, for years, I took skating lessons once a week. Every Saturday morning, my dad drove me to downtown Austin, helped me lace up a pair of brown rental skates, and stood by the wall while I learned to skate forward, backward, turn on one foot, all the beginner stuff. When dance took over my life, I had to ditch the recreational lessons. Maybe if I take up skating again, my grandmother will get off my back about coming home right after school every day. Or maybe they need a Zamboni driver? Or someone to clean the bathrooms? Anything to avoid extra hours in that old farmhouse that is definitely not my home.

Except, it kind of is.

Back in Austin, I had been planning to try out for cheerleading at the beginning of freshman year. I wasn't a shoo-in for varsity or anything, especially considering the number of girls in Texas who were bred for the sport from walking age, but thanks to years of dance, I had a killer toe touch and some decent acrobatic tricks that would have gotten me at least a spot on JV.

That's what I should have done. But I didn't try out for cheerleading. And I stopped taking dance. Basically, I spent most of freshman year doing everything I shouldn't. All while my dad was on trial and my mom fell apart. It's impossible not to associate those things with the same cause ... me and my bad choices.

This year needs to be different.

This year will be different. I promised my dad this right after two police officers handcuffed him in the middle of the courtroom, right before they took him away.

Smuttley opens the door to the ice rink. The smell hits me immediately — sweaty socks and frozen toilet water. Somehow, it's not a completely unpleasant odor.

"Are you a hockey fan?" he asks.

Am I a hockey fan? I could be, I guess, if I have the opportunity to see some games. Hockey is an Olympic sport, right? I've always loved watching the Olympics.

I shrug and turn my attention to the ice rink.

Smuttley goes on and on about the importance of making friends at a new school and exploring new options and new territories, not being afraid of change. Like how he got completely impulsive and decided today's hour-long appointment would take place outside his office. Bad Boy Smuttley. That's what I'm gonna start calling him in my head — it's way better than the nicknames the other kids use. Maybe he's not riding around town on a Harley, but dealing with angsty, cruel, and disrespectful teenagers daily definitely earns him a risk-taker badge, in my opinion.

I listen carefully to his usual motivational speech while keeping my eyes on the ice rink, hoping for some shiny tights and sparkly dresses to look at — I've always loved watching figure skating and even tried my hand at sewing a skating dress years ago. But instead of twirling figure skaters, a group of hockey players in mismatched practice jerseys are out on the ice. There doesn't seem to be any teacher or coach. Nor are any of them doing much besides horsing around.

"They haven't started the season yet," Smuttley explains, though we'd already established this over at the Spark Plug with Betty. "Preseason pickup games on Friday nights are an Otter hockey tradition.

"The games are a way for the seniors to show the freshmen who's in charge and put them in their place." Smuttley's gaze follows a skater with hammond on the back of his jersey. He's moving so fast that when one of the smaller players gets in his path, instead of stopping, Hammond shoves the kid down with one hand until he's bent over, staring at his skates. And then leaps right over the kid's back. The landing is so light and graceful, I'm certain if this Hammond guy spent a little time in a ballet studio, he could pull off a mean grand jeté. The kid who just got shoved stands upright again and removes his helmet. His cheeks and neck are bright red.

Smuttley continues to give me a lecture covering thirty years of Otter hockey history while I watch this impromptu game come together. Smuttley's details and explanations are as interesting as any tourist attraction, and I'm starting to wonder why we haven't talked about hockey in any of our previous sessions. A town rich in history, with deep hockey roots, is way more interesting than a small town in the middle of nowhere. Maybe I've been looking at this place from the wrong angle. This is why shutting up and listening can show you a new perspective. But I guess guidance counselors are trained to reach for words like "depressed," "withdrawn," "removed." I don't feel removed. Right now I feel alive and alert. More so than ever.

Hammond, who is wearing number 42 below his name, does a lot of pointing, tugging on jerseys, and somehow everyone seems to understand which team they're on and what the objective is outside of getting the puck into the goal (because even I understand that's the main objective).

"... So you can see how important it is to create your own history, to have memories you can carry with you for years," Smuttley says.

Smuttley is obviously a lifelong townie. I wasn't positive of that until now. I wonder if he played on the team or if he just wished he'd played? Last year, when my life was falling apart, I'd wished that I had joined cheerleading. I'd wanted that mask to hide behind. I'd wanted something to look forward to. Now I want that again, but for different reasons. To keep a promise to my dad and hopefully drag my mom out of her zombie state. If she was proud of me ... If she had something to look forward to herself, maybe it would help her get back to her old self?

"Outside of dance," Smuttley continues, "what are you passionate about, Brooklynn?"


And that's a very good question.

Maybe I'm passionate about passion. About caring. Whatever the opposite of numbing yourself with antipsychotics and sleeping all day is.

Smuttley doesn't press me further for an answer. He's smart like that. He knows the honest answer won't be the first thing to tumble out of my mouth. It will take time and thought.

I watch number 42 fly around the ice. The puck slides between his skates, then it's cradled in the curve of his stick, and then almost too fast for my untrained eyes to follow, the puck soars into the net. The guys on his team cheer, but he doesn't. He heads back to the center and waits for another player to drop the puck in front of him.

When he takes off again, I close my eyes and listen. Without even seeing, I can recognize the sharper, more purposeful sound of number 42's skates cutting through the ice. Clear, precise movements compared to the jagged choppy vocals of the others nearby. I open my eyes again and see Hammond making circles around a small area of the ice while he stays back, allowing other players to handle the puck. He glides forward, then backward, crossing one foot over the other, then changing sides, making sharp, abrupt turns but never pausing his movement. I imagine a true hockey fan would be watching the puck during a game, but I can't look away from number 42.

It's the closest thing to dancing I've seen in months.



One of the midget freshmen rips off his helmet and bends over, clutching his side. He glances at me and pants, "Water break?"

I roll my eyes but twist my body, stopping in front of him and spraying his legs with shaved ice. His eyes widen, giving me a clear view of his face. I know this kid.


Luke Pratt's little brother. Luke graduated three years ago. When I was a freshman, he used to wait for me to pull my helmet off at the end of practice, then he'd pound me in the head with his stick ... I wouldn't take that off if I were you, Hammond.

Little Pratt is still standing there staring at me like I'm the fucking president of pickup hockey. "What are you waiting for?" I say, waving a hand toward the drinking fountain.

The game comes to a halt, and I catch another freshman rushing over to the nearest garbage can to regurgitate his cafeteria tater tots.

"What just happened?" Red asks, crashing into the boards beside me. He's not the best at stopping, even though he's been playing his whole life. "Did that fucking rookie stop our game?"

I don't answer him. I reach over the wall into the penalty box and grab a roll of tape. "My stick's screwed up."

Paul Redmond has been my best friend since peewee hockey. Now that we're seniors and he's six-three and well over two hundred pounds, the freshmen already nicknamed him Big Red, and lately it's his head that's been growing bigger.

"Think Langston will make varsity?" Red asks.

"Don't know. Don't care. Coach picks the team, not me." I busy myself wrapping tape around my stick. I know Langston will make varsity. He's a sophomore this year and he's fucking Langston Juniper. As in Juniper Falls.

Red lowers his voice. Senior or not, he's not stupid enough to mess with the Juniper family. "That kid is a lost cause. Look at him ..."

I lift my eyes just enough to see Langston Juniper IV take a shot at an empty goal from three feet away and hit the crossbar, sending the puck over the wall and toward Mr. Smuttley, the guidance counselor.

"Heads up, Mr. S!" I shout. He shifts himself and the girl beside him to the right just in time to avoid a puck to his forehead.

"Thanks for the warning, Jake." He flashes us a grin and waves like he's some fan waiting for an autograph. Sometimes I wish teachers would treat us like inferiors the way they do the rest of the students — special treatment makes me feel in debt. But then again, Smuttley is a guidance counselor, so he'd probably cause mental instability or something if he went around yelling at kids.

Red nudges my shoulder. "What's the new girl doing with Smuttley?"

It's kind of pathetic that we can use the phrase "new girl" and everyone will know exactly who we're talking about. "I don't know, guiding her? Does anyone know what Smuttley actually does all day?"

"That's a question someone should be exploring." Red nods toward the new girl again, not making any effort to be discreet. "What's the deal with her, anyway? I heard she's mute."

"She's not mute." I don't know anything about her except that she isn't mute. Three hours ago she stood in front of me in the hot lunch line, and when Larry held up an ice-cream scooper full of soggy wilted broccoli, she said, "No thanks." It wasn't loud or anything, but I think that strips her of any mute label.

"Whatever. She's weird, has a crazy-ass family from what I hear," Red says, still staring. "But she's cute."

I give her a quick glance. She's not cute. Cute is when girls stare at you and the second you look back, they look away. New Girl has been staring at me for at least twenty minutes, and every time I catch her, she doesn't even attempt to look elsewhere. Cute is flat and one-dimensional. This girl obviously isn't either of those things.

Little Pratt and the barfing freshman finally return. I shove Red toward center ice. "Are we playing or talking about girls and guidance counselors?"

"Hey, I can multitask."

The game resumes with Juniper and me facing off. Tanley, another senior, is goaltending today. He poises himself in front of the net when he sees me cross the blue line, allowing the flood of players into his territory. Tanley's good. And he knows most of my shots. But I'm on fire today and pull off an easy fake. The puck slips right around Tanley and sinks into the net.

Red pounds me on the back, attempting to celebrate, but I shake him off and head back to center ice. We've only got fifteen more minutes of ice time, and I'm not wasting it cheering for myself.

Juniper Falls, Minnesota, might be a small town, but we've produced eighteen NHL players, five NCAA All-Americans, and three Olympians, including a member of the 1980 Miracle on Ice team. Hockey is in almost everyone's blood, and NHL games are only on TV for people like us; the Olympics are only once every four years. Juniper Falls High School hockey is a town event. No, it's the town event. Which is why, outside of the team and our coach, we're all treated like royalty.


Excerpted from "On Thin Ice"
by .
Copyright © 2019 Julie Cross.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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On Thin Ice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is book is amazing just like the other books in this series! <3
_magicbookdom_ More than 1 year ago
On Thin Ice by Julie cross 5⭐️ Thank you to Entangled Publishing for allowing me an E-Arc in NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I’ll start off by saying I had no idea this was part of a series at first, I read it as a stand-alone... which it 100% works but I am getting the first two books because I loved this novel so much. The main characters are so beautifully different that they work so tremendously well together. I was hooked into the story from the very start and my attention was still so focused all the way to the last page! I would highly recommend this book, but also the series to anyone who wants a quick, loving, cute, heartbreaking - but in a good way read.
Cherylahb More than 1 year ago
Super sweet, highly engaging story with wonderful characters and great backstory to make it interesting. I liked this book from beginning to end. I love stories where the heroine has to overcome and does so through her own strength and determination. The characters had enough depth and the writing style was a breeze to read. Dialogue felt real and so did characters. This is a good HEA story with a different premise than most.
marongm8 More than 1 year ago
I am a huge fan of sports romances and this one by far was so unbelievably well written that not only could I not stop reading but I can not wait until this book's release date to tell all of our teen readers about it. Everyone can connect with Brooke and Jake in their opposite lives, eventually in the unexpected way their paths crossing and then ending up falling for each other. I can't wait to tell everyone about it and I really hope this someday turns into a teen romance movie that all will enjoy. That is why we give this book 5 stars.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
On Thin Ice is the story of Brooke, the new girl and Jake the Hockey Star. It’s not an instant love between these two. They go through something together, that turns their world upside down. But also Brooke decides to do something she’s never done.. play Hockey. I’ve loved Cross’s previous books. But for some reason, I could not connect to the characters. The story is written well; it just did not grab me. Overall, Three Boundless Stars
etoile1996 More than 1 year ago
he juniper falls series is just so good. seemingly about hockey and teenagers, each book has tackled some serious issues in deep and thoughtful ways. jake and brooke are dealing with some heavy stuff in on thin ice. and what makes jake such an interesting hero is the stuff that makes him tarnished. on the surface, he appears to be the all-american boy who has it all. but he's not perfect. he makes mistakes. costly mistakes that are a result of peer pressure and stupidity. but then he tries to turn it all around. he works hard to ensure that the mistakes that were made stop repeating themselves. and because of this, he comes out on top. and it's wonderful. and brooke who is damaged and trying to find herself, in jake she finds someone who understands. someone willing to listen. someone who cares about her. i can't gush about this book enough. it's just so good. i love these characters so much. **on thin ice will publish on february 26, 2019. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (entangled teen) in exchange for my honest review.
Danii_045 More than 1 year ago
It’s no secret, I’m totally in love with Julie Cross’s books. Her characters always come with quirky personalities and I just can’t resist them. Jake Hammond is the captain of Juniper falls hockey team and towns the crowned prince. He’s not what I expected and he’s very swoon-worthy. Jake is all about hockey. He keeps his head in the game and doesn’t get distracted. At the beginning of the season, something goes terribly wrong. A 100-year-old hockey hazing goes so badly Jake is left with more than a sore arm. As a punishment, he has to help coach the girl's hockey team. Brooke is a broken version of herself. Her dad has gone to prison and her mum isn’t coping. They have moved back to Juniper falls to live with her grandmother but Brooke isn’t interested in adjustment. She is numb and only speaks when she wants to. Jake seems to be the only person she wants to share her words with. On thin Ice put my heart in my throat a couple of times. It’s a gripping story and the suspense was making me want to read faster. This is a glimpse into a future where one choice changes everything. The truth doesn’t come out straight away and the characters have to live with the consequences of their words. It’s about doing what right. Brooke needs a friend but the most popular boy in school isn’t the attention she wants to draw. You don’t always get to choose the person who is there for you. The pair finds a new found love for hockey. Neither was looking for love and the romance is more than sweet. On Thin Ice is actually about hockey which doesn’t always happen in hockey romances. In fact, I learned more about the rules from this book than any other book I’ve read. I wouldn’t say I’m a pro but I really like the information. Brooke joins the girl's ice hockey team after Jake challenges her. It’s fun to see her learn what being part of the team means. I’m a huge fan of Julie Cross’s books. This whole series is great. This can be read as a standalone, however, the characters from previous stories are part of the background in this book. I really like seeing how they are all doing. This rating is easy for me. 5 out of 5. It’s great. It isn’t an easy story but it’s perfect. I loved the storyline and the characters came to life. High five!
BeckyRendon More than 1 year ago
On Thin Ice is an intricately woven story about two teens on different parts that merge at the worst time. It's about a budding relationship in a trying time. It even brings up bullying and hazing without the horniness of an after school special. It has aREAL feel. It doesn't feel hokey or fake. I appreciated the flow and the realistic nature of their reactions to what was going on around them. On Thin Ice has made me want to read the other Juniper Falls stories.
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars — Dude, if this is the end of the series, I’m going to be really sad. Each story has been a fascinating look at hockey in a small town, and this one just brought that all together in the most perfect way. You can totally read it as a standalone, but if you do read them as a series, you’ll see how all the little events from the previous two books have culminated in the conflict/climax/resolution of this book. These YAs really do have a more mature feel to them, though this one was perhaps the tamest. There is a somewhat steamy scene, but it’s mostly cut away (and fits the maturity of the characters). But it tackles some difficult subjects, like hazing, bullying, mental health, and other subjects that are too specific to mention. I just loved the way the story played out. Ms. Cross really showcased how difficult it would be to take a stand against a toxic environment that has existed and been allowed to fester for decades. I could see this happening in a small town, and I truly felt for Jake and how torn he was over how he felt, and what he wanted for the future. If he’d just made the right decision all along, I don’t think it would have had the same impact…and I don’t think it would have had the same sense of realism. Anyways, I really don’t want to get into the plot too much, just know that I was gripped and that I was so happy with how it played out. Now onto our characters! Brooke was kind of fascinating, but I feel like we kind of got shortchanged on her story. We got hints of things that happened in Austin, and with her Dad…and while some bits were fleshed out, others were left more vague. I was actually a bit let down by that. And not only that, but there was no real development with what was going on with her Mom, and how that played out. Which is okay in some respects, b/c there was enough else going on, but then why have those bits mentioned? I also get it in that when something so difficult is happening at home, it can make sense to just compartmentalize it and focus on other things to deal. However, I LOVED the whole girl’s hockey team story!! While there was a part of me that was skeptical about the rate at which Brooke learned and excelled, in the end I’m not sure I really cared. I loved seeing the challenges they faced, and the support that Sheriff Hammond gave his team. I also loved seeing Brooke develop a friendship with Rosie. Jake was so not what I was expecting. I’m not sure what I was expecting, it’s been a bit since I read the previous two books, so I didn’t have a good memory of him necessarily, but he was so much more earnest and…just endearing than I was expecting. I really ended up loving him. He was hardworking, and caring, but caught up in the craziness that is Otters hockey. But deep down he was a genuinely good guy. And I really loved the two of them together. I felt the connection and the crushes on both sides, the fascination with one another. It felt real, and sweet, and just made me happy. They were good for one another. About my only complaint is that this book, like the others, had odd time jumps. I guess I don’t mind that happening, but then maybe mention the time in between. It just always took me a minute to adjust and be like “oh wait, so it must be like weeks later now”. Needless to say, I started this one late last night and stayed up way too late because I had a hard time putting it down (though I did eventually). There’s just something about the way M
FizzaYounis More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much. It is such a sweet and heartwarming story about teenagers who are trying to make the best decisions in life. They are not always right and they do silly things but ultimately they own up to their mistakes and try to make amends in any way possible. It is a story of a small town residents who are not used to having secrets. Yet, they are about to find out that even in small towns, full of nosy people, secrets do exist. Jake is captain of the hockey team. He is the most popular guy in their school. Every girl wants to date him and every guy wants to be him. But that doesn't mean anything to him. All he wants is an opportunity to play the game he loves and graduate high school so that he may start college. He is looking forward to it. His life is simple and uncomplicated until one fateful night. Teenagers being teenagers make one little mistake and now Jake's peace of mind is gone. In this chaotic time the only person who understands him is the new girl. The girl everyone things is mute. Soo, Jake realizes that she is so much more than just a new girl in town and he find hismelf falling for her. Brooke has been there and done that, she is not willing to go down that road again and date a popular guy. That can't end well but Jake is nothing like her ex-boyfriend. He is kind and considerate. He pays attention and he cares about the people around him. It might not be possible for her to resist his charm afterall. But life is not easy on her. She has secrets and her past still haunts her. She must find the strength to let go of the past so that she might be able to build a better future. Maybe with her new friends and people in her life she will at last learn to take chances again and live a little. It is a very well-written story. I enjoyed it a lot and I think all YA fans will love it!
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Julie Cross scores a hat trick with the third book in the Juniper Falls series, ON THIN ICE. Hockey captain, Jake Hammond, is tasked with helping coach the new girl’s hockey team after being injured during a hazing ritual. He discovers that there is more to life then hockey as he gets to know the new girl, Brooke Parker. This story is suitable for young adults. It takes place in Juniper Falls, Minnesota. I liked Brooke. She has had to deal with a difficult home life situation that caused her to relocate from Austin, Texas to Juniper Falls to live with her grandma. She decides to try out for the new girl’s hockey team to fit in and make friends. I love Jake. He is brave and has great values. I appreciated that he owns up to his mistakes and takes a stand to do what is right. I like how Brooke and Jake get to know each other. They come into each other’s lives at a point where they really need each other to help them deal with their situations. To outsiders, they might seem like a strange couple, but they help save each other (literarily and figuratively). Julie Cross does an amazing job with this novel. The name of the book is very clever. The plot was skillfully executed. The topic of hazing is relevant and important. ON THIN ICE is a story of courage and doing what is right. The novel had a perfect ending. I love how characters from the previous books (like Mike Steller) were tied to the outcome of this novel. This has become my favorite book in the series. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I had read and enjoyed the other books in this series, so I was pretty much in from the beginning. I liked Brooke and Jake. They both have a lot of things going on in their lives and with their quick connection, they find a person to support them. They each opened up with the other and I liked getting to know them. I especially liked seeing characters from the other books. Plot wise, this was not the fluffy book the blurb leads you to believe. Being familiar with the other books in the series, I figured there was going to be a darker side and in this one it’s all about hazing. The conflict after the fact was quite a slow build up and that had me struggling a bit. Overall, it was a story with characters I really liked. I would have preferred something more at the ending {as it was very abrupt}, but it was a good addition to the series. **Huge thanks to Entangled Teen for providing the arc free of charge**
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I forget in between books in this series just how intense they are. The blurbs make them sound much fluffier than the reality--these are some meaty stories, in absolutely the best way. Jake and Brooke are both dealing with some pretty major issues in their personal lives, and on top of that share a completely awful experience early on that binds them together--and at first, neither is at all convinced that this is a good thing. The romance here is slow moving but delicious, and other than worrying at times that Jake wouldn't eventually make the difficult but right choice in the end, I absolutely loved this book. On Thin Ice is the third book in the series, and though you'll care more about the secondary characters here in the book's most dramatic scene if you've read their stories too, you don't have to have read the other books to get its impact. Though this seems like a good place to end the series, my fingers are crossed that there's more to come! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
onemused More than 1 year ago
"On Thin Ice" is a sweet YA contemporary romance that follows Brooke and Jake in alternating chapters/points-of-view. Brooke is new to Juniper Falls, this odd town where hockey is king and the high school Otters are the penultimate. She moved there with her mother, who was originally from there, after her father was falsely put in prison for a changed narrative and her mother began to have mental health issues (which are not well defined). They live with her grandmother in an old farm house. Brooke is determined to do everything differently, beginning with listening rather than talking. She was a dedicated ballerina, but there's no dance in Juniper Falls. When she sees a hockey practice, and the dance-like quality of the moves, she decides to sign up for the newly forming girls' hockey team where no experience is required. Jake is lined up to be the Captain of the varsity team in his senior year and be drowning in recruiters and offers. In the pre-season, there's an Otter tradition where the seniors haze the freshman. Hating every second of it, but feeling like he has to participate in this over 100-year-old tradition, Jake is shocked when it all goes wrong, he ends up badly injured, and a freshman ends up airlifted to a hospital near death. Protecting their own is second nature, and Jake takes the fall for what happened. His punishment is community service- more specifically to help coach the new girls' hockey team. As Brooke and Jake get closer and deal with larger issues, a deeper romance begins to build, leading to something big neither of them would have expected. The romance in this book is top notch. Jake and Brooke are there for each other in all the ways that count, and their love heats up the pages. The bigger stories here are about the other things going on in their lives, primarily Jake's (although Brooke has some HUGE issues that are mentioned but not fully dealt with). The major issue is related to the way the town treats hockey and the team, considering the unequal treatment of athletes, allowances that can be harmful to not only others but also the students themselves, hazing, and the power and dangers of the lies around all of it. These issues are handled really well, and we end up hearing a lot of stories that all feed into the same issues with the way the town treats the sports and team, including the past police, school/classes, and family issues. Jake is a great poster boy for all of this because he has the most to lose, but he also feels a lot of guilt when not doing the right thing. We see the conflict and the later resolutions. I think this story line was very strong. I wish we could have had more insights into the mental illness plots of the book,, particularly with Brooke and her mother. We see it happening, but we do not get the full story nor the full resolution (some resolution at the end but not really information about the journey to get there). I felt like this could have been an equally big piece of the book, and I would have liked to have gotten more insight throughout the book and see an equally large discussion. I also do not agree with the portrayal of medications used to treat mental illness as inducing a "zombie-like" state- this is a really common misconception and can lead to people resisting treatments they potentially need. I feel like it could have all been handled better. Brooke is also mostly left to herself to handle all these big and horrible events, and I would have liked to see her g
Kristy_K More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars Brooke, the new girl in town, moves there to her grandma’s after her dad is imprisoned and her mom spirals into depression. Jake, captain of the hockey team in a hockey town, suffers an injury after a hazing ritual gone wrong. They meet because of this incident and although first both wary of the other they soon develop a friendship that turns into more. I think Brooke and Jake were great for each other. They both helped the other grow and gave them someone to talk to and lean on. This book was more serious than I assumed it would be. It takes a look at the toxic environment some sports towns can posses and how they elevate stars above those of regular students and citizens. It doesn’t paint sports to be all bad though an for that I am grateful. There is a lot of food that can come from being on a team or playing a sport and I liked that that was still shown here. I do wish we could have spent more time seeing Brooke’s family situation, as that seemed equally important, and wouldn’t have minded it being a little longer to squeeze that in. While a part of a series and the previous main characters make appearances, this can be read as a stand-alone.