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OPEN ICE by Pat Hughes


by Pat Hughes

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Nov. 8th, 2005
ISBN: 0-385-74675-X
Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

After high-school sophomore Nick Taglio suffers another concussion in a hockey game, doctors advise against ever playing hockey again. But Nicky Tag’s whole life and good-looking-jock persona are wrapped up in the game. Hockey and sex seem to be the focus of Nick’s life. He’s a fairly unlikable young man—even more self-absorbed and cranky than the average high-school boy—for a good part of his story, and his character seems purposely overdrawn to make his eventual transformation all the more cheering. The accident has thrown him out of his comfort zone, and he has to find a new life for himself, finding girls who seem to like him, not just the popular sports hero, starting to study and discover he just might be smart, and realizing he cares about his little brother. And yet . . . he realizes he can’t leave the game. Somehow he must make it back to the ice. Hughes’s first young adult novel ought to find an appreciative audience as surely as a shot by Nicky Tag finds the goal. (Fiction. YA)