By Kristine Carlson Asselin
Published April 2015 by Bloomsbury Spark
About the Book:
Penelope Spaulding just can't catch a break. Between long hours at the family restaurant, homework, and her parents' plans for her future, it's hard to find a spare moment to breathe. But when she laces up her skates and steps on the ice, everything slips away...My Take:
Racing around the rink allows her to blow off steam after yet another fight with her dad about going to culinary school. So when Jake Gomes, 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 father and his expectations.
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…and Jake’s not half bad either. But she knows it can’t last. As soon as her dad finds out, she’ll be benched. For good.
She’s absolutely not going to tell her parents until she’s sure it will be worth the inevitable fight. Not only is she skipping shifts at Slice Pizza while a foodie reality show is on the horizon, but her lies are starting to take their toll on her game. It’s only a matter of time before everything falls apart.
With the team counting on her and with her relationship with Jake on the line, will she have to sacrifice the thing she wants most for the people she loves? Or can she step up and take her best shot?
A wonderful tale of first love and self discovery! This contemporary YA is written in first person POV of the 15 year old narrator, Penelope "Penn" Spaulding, the local "Pizza Princess" of her small NH town.
Her family owns the best pizza restaurant on town, that's just been chosen for a reality show feature, adding stress to the family dynamic. If that weren't enough, Penn is also fighting with her dad about not wanting to be in the pizza business for the rest of her life, or go to culinary school for college. A run in with a local bad boy at the ice rink gives her a way to rebel against her strict father, but things spiral out of control quickly and Penn finds herself lying to everyone in her life.
A quick and totally absorbing read, I finished this in a few hours and loved every minute. The pacing was perfect and the narrator's anxiety as she loses control of the situation was almost palpable. I loved Penn's fresh, honest voice and the dynamics between her family. Wish this was in paperback so I could give it to my niece to read, but for now it's ebook only.
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