by Melanie Hooyenga

Verdict: A fun, romantic story with a likeable protagonist and a familiar, yet enjoyable dramatic storyline that will appeal to teen readers.

IR Rating



IR Rating

In her new young adult romance, Melanie Hooyenga delivers an enjoyable story about mean girls, grief, and the challenges of adjusting to a new town. For Cally, moving not only means leaving her friends and her school, but it also feels like she’s losing her mom, who died in a car crash when she was younger, all over again. To make matters worse, the ski team is already set in the new town, and it’s yet another thing that Cally will be giving up. watch Hercules 2014 film online now

The story is well-paced and delivers on drama and action. A new town means new social rules, and Cally quickly finds herself in a situation that many teens will relate to. Social hierarchy in high school is complicated, and the author does an excellent job of portraying the challenges of trying to navigate a new one. Thanks to an earlier encounter with one of the popular guys in school, Cally gains instant access to the clique of “it” girls. On the surface, this seems like a good thing. Except it’s not. The Snow Bunnies tell her who to talk to, what to wear, and how to act.

Cally is well developed and complex. She’s an elite athlete with a highly competitive streak, and she doesn’t allow boys or her peers pressure her to temper her skill or her desire to win. While the Bunnies’ leader Bri felt somewhat like a mean-girl stereotype, the author did a good job of capturing clique dynamics and social pressure. Follow the rules, all is fine. Go against Bri, feel her wrath. The rapidness with which Cally begins challenging Bri feels a bit like a Disney after-school special, but the ideas of not bowing to peer pressure and standing up to bullies are valuable messages to reinforce with teens.

The author also successfully demonstrates the role that money and pride play relationships- especially in a place where most of the students fit into the “have” column. Unlike many of the other students at Blake’s school, his family is not well off, and he baselessly assumes that Cally is too superficial to like him.

The detailed descriptions of skiing and snowboarding add some color to the story, and put the reader square in the action. A dramatic incident towards the end of the novel brings everything to a head, and Cally uses her skills to save her friend and herself from peril.

Overall this is a fun, romantic story with a likeable protagonist and a familiar, yet enjoyable dramatic storyline that will appeal to teen readers.

~Rachel Seigel for IndieReader

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