Rule #1 of the Gulf City High hockey team: Don’t date the coach's daughter. Not like Charlotte Morrison will ever speak to Jesse Carrigan, let alone date him. The coach's only daughter is a robot. At least, that’s what they call her. Robot, Ice Princess… it all means the same thing: she won't lose sight of her figure skating goal no matter what it costs. Even if her dad’s team needs her. Even if the captain of said team learns her biggest secret. That the ice princess has game. And Jesse has to know more. He wants her to teach him, to teach the team how to fix their zero-win record. As those icy walls of hers start to thaw, Jesse realizes he needs her out there on the ice with him, skating next to him where she belongs. But she’s been a figure skater her entire life. How does hockey fit into her life of competitions? Maybe the game isn't the win he needs. After all, hockey is just that--a game. And Charlotte Morrison? She is life. The only problem? She skates on the outside of his world, and he isn't sure how to make her see they belong on the same ice. Beware of Zamboni shenanigans, adorable siblings taking care of each other, lots of hockey playing madness, and a sassy girl who goes after what she wants.
Jesse and the Ice Princess (Gulf City High)Featured
Jesse Kerrigan has it all: good looks, charisma, and popularity. Even though he’s captain of a winless hockey team mired in last place, he’s the guy everyone loves… with the exception of Charlotte Morrison, a figure staking phenom determined not to stray from the path that leads to Olympic gold. Though their personalities seem incompatible on the surface, the two discover that they may need each other more than both realize.
What I loved:
Everything. It would have been so easy to make these characters unlikeable, given how teens that fit this mold are often portrayed in fiction as arrogant, entitled jerks. Getting the know Jesse and Charlotte, from their wildly different family dynamics to their strangely similar motivations – she wants, just once, to be part of something bigger, while he just wants, just once, to win – made for one delightful journey. Throw in supporting characters, not all of which are rote figures in YA fiction, and I was hooked from Chapter One.
What I didn’t love:
Um… that it ended?
My Final Verdict:
Given the huge body of work Michelle McQueen has created in the past few years, spanning multiple genres and tastes, it’s no surprise that Jesse and The Ice Princess is a winner. It’s sweet and fun and funny and heartwarming. And who doesn’t love a good underdog story?
To their school, Jesse is just a popular typical athlete. But what no one knows is that since his mother’s death, his father has thrown himself into work, leaving Jesse to care for his younger siblings. Including his sister, Cassie, who suffers from PTSD and anxiety after witnessing their mother’s murder.
Similarly, there is a lot going on with Charlotte that people don’t know. They see this “robot” of a girl, who only cares about figure skating. She’s tough and cold, but inside, she wants more. Both characters evolve as they work together, and I loved seeing them open up.
The story is so well done. It’s light and fun, but there are also very real moments full of emotion. It accurately depicts those feelings of growing up and trying to figure out who you are and what you want in life.
It sets up this world perfectly for the new series, and I can’t wait to see all the characters’ journeys!
*Full original review on Functionally Fictional.
- Light and fun, but are also very real moments full of emotion
- Well written and easy to read
With Jesse's mom gone and his dad busy with work, Jesse has taken it upon himself to help out at home. This includes cooking dinner, making sure everyone stays in line, and helping his sister out with her social anxiety. He's passionate about hockey, but the school's team hasn't won a single game. When he sees Charlie playing hockey with her friend, he knows the team needs her. However, she's the coaches daughter and completely off limits.
Jesse is persistent about getting Charlie to help the team. When he gets her in trouble at school, she has no choice but to help out them out, much to her dad's surprise. Slowly, Charlie learns that not everything is about being the best figure skater. There are more important things than going through life as a robot and she has Jesse to thank for that.
JESSE AND THE ICE PRINCESS is a contemporary romance that also shows the little thing in life can be the most important. Charlie is stubborn, but even she can't help but fall for Jesse's charm. He's just the sweetest and shows her all the possibilities of who she can be. I love the incorporation of hockey and figure skating because it brings in a bit of action and keeps the pace of the plot up. Michelle MacQueen steals my heart with another sweet romance that I could reread again and again.
Final Verdict: I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance, sports romance, hockey, figure skating, and coming of age.
Charlotte Morrison is the hockey coach’s daughter and a competitive figure skater. She doesn’t have time for friends or fun. Her determination and one-minded focus has led to her unfortunate nickname: ice princess. Charlie hates this nickname. Her shyness coupled with her lack of social life has her labeled a snob, a mean girl that thinks she’s better than everyone else. But that’s not Charlie and she doesn’t know how to change that persona or if she really cares to.
Jesse Carrigan is the hockey team captain and school’s golden boy. Everyone wants to be Jesse and the girl’s want his attention. But Jesse’s school life and home life couldn’t be more different. After his mother’s death two years prior, his dad has retreated into work, leaving Jesse and his sister (who suffers from extreme social anxiety) to raise their younger twin brothers. I love Jesse. Never once does he complain about his lot in life. Instead you see a young man completely comfortable in his role as caretaker. It’s this trait that leads him to see through the ice built around Charlotte.
The plot of this one centers around Charlotte and Jesse. Jesse’s team is not known for winning, and just once before they graduate, he’d like to see them win. After seeing Charlotte playing on the ice with her friend, he knows how they’ll win. He needs the ice princess to come teach the team her moves. It’s convincing her of this that is the problem. I love the complexity of the plot here. While it seems straightforward, MacQueen delves deeper into Charlie’s actions and the motives behind them. In this short novel, the character’s development is beyond expectations as Charlie learns to adapt to new situations and stand up for what she wants.
Overall, I really loved Jesse and the Ice Princess. This is the first contemporary from the author I’ve read (I have read her fantasy novels under her pen name M. Lynn), and it won’t be the last. If you enjoy sweet, YA contemporary, I highly recommend it.