I’m not a sports person and contemporary isn’t my favorite genre to read (though it is growing on me) so Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren might be an odd choice for me to pick up. But after reading it, I will admit that I need more YA books about hockey in my life.
Holland Delviss wants to be known for being a hockey player, not “the girl” playing on the boys’ hockey team. When her hockey team is selected to featured during HockeyFest, her story being “the girl” is what gives her team an extra edge. As Holland struggles against negative feedback from the community, she finds unwavering support and admiration from the last person she expected: her overbearing and stiff team captain, Wes.
I absolutely love the premise of this book. It has just enough of a feminist vibe to make me root for Holland’s success, but it wasn’t pushy or agenda-seeking. Holland just wants to play hockey, simple as that. My only issue with the premise is that the school also has a girls hockey team, which isn’t a huge deal but it did make it seem a little unrealistic that they would approve of her playing for the boys’ team. I know that’s the whole point and she’s used to playing with the boys, but I still think there would have to be more to allow her to play if the school also offers a team for girls. But alas, it didn’t bother me enough stop reading.
The romance between Holland and Wes is insanely adorable. I love when relationships start off as a enemies to friends to lovers, and this one was so good. Their relationship definitely isn’t perfect, and I wish they would communicate better and be less secretive of their relationship. But they definitely have chemistry and the hockey angle helps drive the ups and downs of their relationship, which was different than a lot of YA romances. Let’s just say Wes’ hockey nickname is “Hot Sauce” for a reason.
I also loved that this book focuses on Holland and her relationships with her brothers and family. In general, this book is very pro-family support, which is so refreshing to read in a YA book. Holland talks to her brothers and even parents about what she’s facing, and they are encouraging and supportive of her the whole way through.
This book does contain a fair amount of swearing, more than I’m used to in YA. Usually, swearing doesn’t bother me, but for some reason, this felt over the top. There are a couple of steamy scenes between Holland and Wes that get rather touchy, but otherwise, the book keeps its focus on Holland’s perseverance as a hockey player. Her determination is definitely admirable.
If you like cute romances and are interested in sports books or girls besting boys in competition, Cold Day in the Sun is an adorable YA contemporary that delivers all of that and more. We need more YA hockey books.