Thursday, June 28, 2018

Skating Through by Jennifer Cosgrove

There are two things Ben Lewis has convinced himself he can never have at the same time: playing hockey and being openly gay. Hockey is looking to be his only choice. Until now. Being captain of the team and starting his senior year of high school is a lot to handle. Throw in a budding friendship with his crush, Marcus, and Ben is faced with deciding if he’s brave enough to take the next step.
Fortunately, courage can come from unexpected places. His BFF Ryan, new friends, and a voice from the past are great assists to his determination to be true to himself and keep playing the game he loves, but will they be enough?
REVIEW - 4 Stars
Skating Through is a great coming of age story that includes how tough it is to come out in the world of sports. Jennifer Cosgrove does a fantastic job of intertwining this journey with some interesting family secrets.
Ben is a shy, closeted high school hockey player. Only his best friend, Ryan, has known that he is gay.  Ryan is the kind of best friend we all want; loyal, dependable and encouraging. With some pushing from Ryan, Ben finally starts to talk to his long time crush, Marcus.
When Ben starts to hang out with Marcus, who is openly gay, he has to decide what his priorities are. Marcus would never want to date him in secret and Ben has long feared the reaction of his teammates if he comes out.
A great little gem in this tale is the family history that Ben discovers. His grandmother gives him a wooden box that contains some romantic and mysterious letters written during World War II, filling me with love for the bittersweet secondary story line.
Throughout this book we see how being a closeted high school sports star can affect someone. Keeping secrets, trying to navigate a relationship, and coming out are not easy. Trying to decide if, how and when to tell your team is even more difficult. I appreciate how all of these aspects are tackled with consideration and authenticity by Cosgrove.
I am glad to have found Skating Through and I recommend it to any teen questioning themselves.

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