Age Range: 13 - 18
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At almost 16 years old, Olivia Kennedy, daughter of Olympic gold medalists, already feels like a washed-up failure of a figure skater.

Once the reigning U.S. junior pairs figure skating champions, Olivia and her partner’s first season on the Senior Grand Prix circuit was a disaster, and now she’s given up competitive skating and is navigating regular high school for the first time. She’s also working at her parents’ ice rink, Ice Dreams, which is struggling financially, while medical bills mount for her mother’s back injury. But when speed skating Olympic hopeful Jonah Choi books the rink for his private training sessions, things heat up. Jonah’s determination to be the best is both relatable and inspiring to Olivia, and their friendship grows into something more. Fans of the 1992 movie The Cutting Edge will wonder if that something more includes pairs figure skating, but Fujimura (Breathe, 2018, etc.) simply gives a nod to the movie and takes Olivia’s journey on its own trajectory. Olivia has many obstacles to overcome, including absent parents (both literally and figuratively), lack of emotional support, and financial struggles, but her character is believable from start to finish, and the romance is not overly saccharine. Comic relief and perspective are provided by Mack, Olivia’s white best friend. Olivia is half white and half Japanese; Jonah is three-quarters Korean and one-quarter assumed white.

Sure to take the gold. (author’s note) (Fiction. 13-18)

Pub Date: March 3rd, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-250-20407-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Tor Teen
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2020