Review: Pucked by Rachel Walter


5 STARS!!!!

Goodreads synopsis:

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warrior’s Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warrior’s number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**  

I received this book in exchange for an honest review

I am still reeling from this powerful novel that dealt with some heavy issues.

The heaviest being parental alienation. Parental alienation is defined as a form of emotional child abuse where one parent vilifies or belittles the other parent to the child to plant a seed of distrust or hatred toward the parent. Its intent is to destroy the present and future relationship between the child and the alienated parent.

This book opened me up two very different worlds of two best friends, Audrey and Riley. The story start out when they are sixteen, and Riley is the captain of their high school hockey team. Audrey is a tomboy who loves muddin’ and hates dresses! I was instantly drawn to both of these characters, who are genuinely good people. They have been best friends for a long time and both have much stronger feelings for the other.

Audrey has big brothers and a wonderful mom and dad. Her childhood was full of love and support. Riley has a six year old sister that he takes care of, since his father left them when he was eleven. After his father left, his mother started drinking heavily and using substances, neglecting Riley and his sister. Riley has had to live the life of an adult at such a young age and witness horrific things form his mother and her abusive boyfriend.

The story was told in alternating POV’s (Aud and Riley’s) which I am a HUGE fan of. It was so emotional for me reading Riley’s chapters. He was living in a devastating situation, while trying to juggle school, hockey, and his feelings for Audrey. Audrey is an amazingly supportive friend to him even when he shuts her out. She is always there for him and waits patiently for him to take their friendship to the next level.

I really don’t want to give away any major events in the book, but I will say that after the halfway mark, a few things happened that I did NOT see coming. I am so impressed with Rachel’s writing style. And how she portrayed this beautifully devastating story.

If you are a fan of friends to lovers, YA, coming-of-age, or highly emotional books – this one is for you!

The epilogue… a lot of tears…

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this very special book!

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