Pucked by Rachel Walter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
**** 4 Cranky Stars ****
"Life is like the weather. Rain, like our emotions, builds up along the streets of our hearts softening the earth of our souls, creating mud. Though messy, mud is the glue of our decisions. It cements our personal changes. Its not permanent, because when it rains again, you'll need to restructure, rebuild, change, and just our decisions in life, nothing lasts forever."
This YA book packs a real punch. If you enjoy YA-coming of age stories, I highly recommend this one.
It centers on Audrey and Riley. They’re two best friends who have grown up together in a small town and are now of an age where they’re growing into each other.
Their two lives could not, however, be more different. Riley is the child of divorced parents. He has hockey skills that maybe his ticket out of his life – a life with a mother who is more of a child, an absent father, an abusive stepfather, and a younger sister who needs him.
Audrey is the opposite. She comes from a loving, secure family with two parents and a gaggle of brothers who are supportive. When Riley is on the ice, Audrey is his number one fan.
Riley internalizes his anger, releasing it on the ice as Frozen Silk. He keeps his rage in check, but when that strategy begins to fail, everything begins to fall apart.
The ‘will they or won’t they’ dynamic between the two adds another dimension to the story. As tensions rise between Audrey and Riley, he may lose the one person who is a constant in his life.
The promising future beckoning Riley might disintegrate with the problems in the present.
This story touches on some really important themes: kids who have to grow up too fast, kids stuck in situations because of their parents and through no fault of their own, parental alienation, emotional abuse and how people cope with little to no support system.
At times, my heart was in my mouth. Yep. It all got real at times, too real, and I felt like I was waiting for the hammer to fall. If you want to find out what happens, you’ll have to pick it up for yourself.
My one criticism is this book does start slowly. Walter, however, has the ability to write characters you empathize with and cheer for, as well as emotionally charged, but real scenes.
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