On Thin Ice by P.J. Sharon
Seventeen year old figure skater Penny Trudeau has secrets. She's not perfect, as hard as she tries to be. With a mother who is dying and a father who treats her like she's invisible, Penny has every reason to lie. To escape the life that is spinning out of control, she falls into the arms of an older boy. But when she lies about her age and he finds out the truth, Penny loses the one good thing that has happened in a long time. Carter McCray is the hockey hunk she falls for, but Carter has his own family drama, and he's not looking for trouble. Penny proves to be the exception, until the truth comes out and he can't get past the betrayal-or her father's threats. Can Penny find her way back into Carter's heart, or will she have to face the harsh realities of life on her own? Penny's choices lead her down a dangerous road and the secrets she's keeping will change her world forever. On Thin Ice is the story of a young girl's journey from being a child in a dysfunctional home, to a young adult who has to learn from her mistakes, make hard life choices in the face of devastating circumstances, and live with the consequences of a lie. Although there are no explicit scenes or language in this book, I believe the subject matter is suitable for young adults ages 14+ and will appeal to any adult reader who has ever lost someone close or been faced with issues such as eating disorders, rape, teen pregnancy, or having alcoholic parents. Most everyone on some level, I suspect. Penny's story is a testament to the human spirit and the resilience of our hearts, even when faced with tragedies beyond our control. This is a story of triumph over tragedy, faith, and how good things can come from bad situations.
Publishes in US: November 22nd 2011 by Createspace
Genre: YA Contemp
Buy it: AMAZON B&N SMASHWORDS CreateSpace
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I chose to read On Thin Ice because it was available on netgalley and I love all things related to the ice-hockey or figure skating and I was intrigued. I am also drawn to books that deal with illnesses and problems at home, so this synopsis basically said Brandi, read me.
I was not disappointed, because I really liked the narrator Penny. She is hard core scheduled and she takes on so much at home and at school. I relate with her because I am one of the people that was like that with home and school, but Penny is different from me in that she was good at something, very good. At skating and she juggled that along with everything else. She had so much on her, but she stayed so strong. Of course she had her weaknesses, but I got to see her grow in those through the book.
Carter definitely got my attention right along with Penny's. He wouldn't stand for bullying and then he was kind, if awkward, when they ran into each other. I do think that the attraction and progression of their relationship was fast, but I felt the chemistry so was able to ride with it. And honestly, if you give me a reason why they see something in the other person, I am not as picky about insta-love type things as others, because it is a reality of teenage relationships.
There was a lot going on in this book, the skating, her responsibilities, including her mom with cancer, her jobs, eating disorders and body image issues, plus the lying about her age, and the things that Carter is dealing with on top of it all. But I was never confused, and I felt like the plot lines kept themselves up and they were all able to be resolved, or given hope for the future that things are working themselves out. I felt like it was trying to shove the cliches into one story and a few I think weren't really necessary, but that aside, or in spite of it, I couldn't look away from the book and I was invested in Penny and couldn't stop reading. It still is realistic and emotional though. Unfortunately there are no miracles to make everything a perfect HEA, but it makes everything believable, and therefore satisfactory for the book.
I did appreciate the hard work that she had to do in counseling, and although she was resistant to going at first, which actually made it realistic, that it wasn't an addendum at the end. She was working through things for a good part of the book, and that healing takes a long time, it is not easy, but it is worth it.
There is a good bit of talking about religion, but again, it worked. I think that it was her personal battle, although there were some monologues from the nun sister that while they were believable that your nun sister would say these things, I know that some might find it a bit preachy. BUT they were all things said that helped Penny to ultimately find her way, her answers, and peace.
The ending worked for me, showing hope, optimism, that sorrow and grief are burdens that you will forever carry, but that you can still find and experience joy.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Do you ice skate?