Icebreaker (UCMH, #1) (2024)

1.75/5.0 stars

edit: i read the bonus chapter. why?

maybe it’s bc i’m secretly a masoch*st i have no idea. but they weren’t as bad as this book so that’s something!

if you are going to make a book that is sex driven at least make the smut good.

”You are the most annoying man I’ve ever met.”
”I don’t care what you call me as long as I’m top of the list.”

“You have no idea, do you? The lengths I’d go to if you’d let me. What I’d do to make you happy.”

”In a world where I feel like I could be swept away by the waves at any moment, he anchors me. I value that, value him.”

“You’re worth defending. Every cut, bruise, every single pang of anger or frustration. It’s all worth it. I’d throw my last punch defending you because you deserve to have someone be that person for you, and there’s no one more qualified for the job than me.”

i’m embarrassed to say i was excited to read this book. am i being dramatic? maybe. but listen: i genuinely tried liking this book. i put up with the boring first few chapters. but wow!! all of a sudden it picks up! is that supposed to make me like it more? who knows. from the very beginning, i didn’t like the main character that much. she gave me pick me vibes and it’s clear the author tries to make her different from other fmc’s. while i appreciate this effort, i could not bring myself to like her.

one thing i did like? ryan!! they had a dynamic that i loved and they cared abt each other in a way that wasn’t overbearing. not to mention the way anastasia was supportive of his relationship with olivia! i have to admit it was a nice change and it was completely understandable. i found his character to be so sweet and i wish we got more of his and anastasia’s friendship. i also liked sasha & anastasia’s friendship despite the embarrassing things that happened when they first met. i am never getting over it.

“I’m going to teach you how to be nice.”
“I’m sure there are plenty of things you can teach me, Nathan, but being nice isn’t one of them. I’m a delight.”

my main problem with the main character: she tried too hard to be grumpy. she was also super overdramatic and she swore to hate hockey players bc of a typical stereotype but one interaction and she realizes she starts to like them. the next thing she does is complain bc she was only willing to like henry. it was infuriating and annoying with how she tried hating all the hockey players. her inner dialogue was so hard to put up with because of the way she simply talked. she was WAY too stubborn for my liking and i did not like it at all. i’m so glad she gave up that behavior bc i wouldn’t have been able to stand the book if it continued like that.

i thought there were times where i did seem to understand anastasia. she reminded me of monica geller with the way she was described! from her competitive nature to the way she was “compulsively organized”. it’s also clear how she cares a lot about the people she loves. however they differed in many different ways with how “grumpy” she is and her demeanor around new people.

a small spoiler for this quote possibly!!

“It felt good hearing him make plans for the future, and I could pretend I don’t know why, but denial is useless at this point. Everything he says makes me melt, and half the time I don’t know how to react, so I kiss him, then things escalate, and before I know it, I’m screaming his name and seeing stars.”

—this was one of the many examples within this book that shows there’s no plot, it’s just sex driven.

overall, this book was so slow. it might seem fast paced with the events, but it slowly eased into a normal routine of them f*cking every other chapter. it becomes so boring to read the same damn thing every time. it throws you off at the beginning just as an excuse to slow down the plot and focus on them doing it. however this book was great with keeping everything consistent. the amount of pages for each chapter stayed relatively the same and they didn’t favor one pov over another!

if u saw my reaction while i read this book, you’d be familiar with these quotes.

“I swear to God I will leave you in this airport,” Nate grumbles, slapping my ass, laughing when the noise causes an elderly couple to turn around and look at us, making my cheeks blush.”

“It’s like he flicks a switch somewhere and suddenly it’s Niagara Falls between my legs.”

mid way this book became entertaining. not for the plot, which remained boring and gave us nothing. but i genuinely laughed out loud bc of how cringy the writing was sometimes & how it gave off wattpad vibes. the writing itself was entertaining. there was so much smut and usually i don’t mind but there was unnecessarily too much in this book. what was the purpose?? i was going to give this book 3 stars at this point. things were looking up and my rating slowly increased. i also liked the banter between the characters! it was pretty enjoyable on my part so there’s that

usually books that bring comfort involve the found family trope, but it’s not as present in this book mainly bc it focuses on friendships between the boys and anastasia, but even then it’s barely talked about there. plus, the main focus was the relationship between nate & anastasia, which in of itself is all abt sex. my favorite part is definitely the cooking lessons that jj and anastasia had together. cutest!!

context: literally just gray sweatpants

“He’s in a Maple Hills Titans T-shirt and gray sweats, and I hate myself for being a woman swayed by a man in gray sweatpants. sh*t. No, there will be no swaying.”

”Gray, obviously, because Nathan Hawkins is a man who was most definitely written by a woman.”

i hate nathan with a burning passion. this is the rare occasion where i WANTED a third act conflict. i usually hate them but they needed it!! he was below the bare minimum. i truly have no idea how anastasia put up with him. she likes a man who wears gray sweatpants and claims he is written by a woman. i wear gray sweatpants!! does that make me written by a woman? i would hope so but that’s besides the point. not every person who wears sweatpants immediately makes them written by a woman!

spoilers from this point on

“You think he’s going to manipulate her into forgiving him and then she won’t need you anymore. You like being needed by her. It makes you feel important. You know Aaron hates you and you think he’s going to keep her away from you. Which just shows you don’t know how strong she is, or truly understand how much she loves you.”

“I shouldn’t have to scream that I’m not naïve or being manipulated for Nathan to trust my judgment. I shouldn’t have to beg him to understand that there is a difference between friendship and partnership.”

these quotes single handedly ruined this book for me and made me hate nathan.

nathan desperately needs therapy. i’m surprised she put up with the attitude that he showed her. i wanted him to be able to work out his feelings on his own so she would never have to put up with a man who cannot communicate his feelings bc communication is key!! instead they got pissed at each other and would put off arguements. then they don’t see each other for a few days and everything is fixed! i do appreciate the boys knocking some sense into him.

“There’s a warm, full feeling in my heart when I’m around this team. It’s unfamiliar but familiar at the same time; a contradiction, I know, but so specific that it feels like it was specifically designed for me. It’s the feeling I didn’t know I needed until these guys crashed their way into my life three months ago.”

speaking of the boys: i don’t see why people like henry. he made a LOT of backhanded comments to everyone and whether or not he can tell if it’s mean, i’m surprised they put up with him for so long. i do see that he cares for anastasia but from the beginning he was so blunt. there was ONE scene of henry being kind. he wasn’t even funny! he just had no filter and just cannot control his honesty. if he was able to control his honesty, i’d probably like him better.

this book was so fast paced for the characters. this all happened within the span of 3 months. 3 MONTHS. i get that the idea of the story is supposed to be that they don’t have any miscommunications and have a “healthy” relationship but i’ve found some problems within this situation. they move way too quickly and the way they address it as “we’ve spent so much time together so we’re built different” does not work for me. don’t get me wrong, they had their cute moments but it wasn’t enough to suffice for me.

they don’t fight when they’re “frenemies” which i do appreciate but it’s obvious they wanted different things from the beginning. despite nathan knowing what anastasia wanted, they still got jealous whenever one hung out with another person and they didn’t address it. i feel like they sugarcoated everything and it’s clear anastasia doesn’t think on it much simply because she does not know how he feels. i’ve never met a man who’s happy to be her friend rather than upset that she just wants to be friends.

here’s where the book gets confusing: they are obviously involved with one another but not exactly in a relationship type way. they don’t even get together until chapter 30. i honestly stopped caring for their relationship bc i was that done with this book. i thought nathan was desperate and i just did not like them together all that much. sure, they can be cute but their whole relationship and personality revolves around f*cking one another and when they were away all they would think abt is alone time between them.

the supposed “plot” on the back doesn’t happen until mid way. sure, the ice rink breaks as soon as u jump into the book abt 2 chapters in but the second plot point took too long to happen. i wish it would’ve happened sooner to let the book pick up quicker and become shorter. also i loathe aaron in this book. do i really need to talk abt him? i’m pretty sure everyone hates him.

i personally would not forgive nathan for what he said at the end. that might just be me being petty but i don’t want to take sh*t from a man!! i’d deserve better than someone who can’t work out their feelings bc i got my own bullsh*t to deal with. sometimes i couldn’t see the reasoning behind the things the characters did bc of the way they justified it. sometimes justification works but not in this case!

i want to address the eating disorder that is part of the plot within the book but i also don’t want to be insensitive just in case. i just want to say i’m glad it was addressed and talk about! i didn’t like how late they addressed it into the book tho

one more thing: i’m convinced them “playing house” is another way of them boning and making it their entire personality for the entirety of a few hours. this book really pushed my limits. it also sounds like something roleplay related

icebreaker - 1.75 stars
wildfire - tbr
daydream - tbr


i had a nightmare i rated this book 5 stars. rtc

Icebreaker (UCMH, #1) (2024)
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