The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years #3) by Sarina Bowen
“Getting along together was never the problem with you and me. We’re both easy. It’s just the rest of the world that’s hard.”
This series keeps getting better and better! The Understatement of the Year is a male/male romance about hockey players Rikker and Graham. This story parallels the second story, following the same timeline but not connecting all too often. When Rikker and Graham were in middle school they were best friends. Entering into high school their feelings developed into something more. The two were headed down a romantic road until a horrible incident separated them, leaving one beaten and broken and the other paralyzed with fear.
“There weren’t any time-outs, though. Not in life, and not in hockey.”
Now about 5 years later Graham is on the hockey team for his school Harkness and a new player just came on board… Rikker. The two haven’t seen each other in years, and for Graham who is deeply in the closet, it’s a full system shock. Rikker was outed at his last deeply conservative college and transferred to Harkness when he was pulled from his other hockey team. Rikker just wants to play hockey and move on with his life, out in the open.
As the year goes on Graham and Rikker confront each other and their buried feelings. Rikker has finally become comfortable with himself, but Graham is spiralling down a dark path and it might be up to Rikker to save him.
“We’d been so close all those years ago. My subconscious just couldn’t get over the idea that we weren’t anymore.”
I think I read this series at exactly the right time. I haven’t read a new adult series that I wanted to devour all at once, and here I am binge reading this one. M/M is one of my favorite genres and this book blended NA with MM perfectly. For those of you hardcore MM fans out there, this one may be a little too sweet, but I loved it. It had the perfect amount of angst for me (buckets full) and Graham’s struggle with who he was is what made this book so special. Yes some gay men struggle with who they are, but Graham was given the worst dose of reality of what could happen at a very young age and it scarred him and fucked him up for a while.
“It turns out that trying to ignore somebody is about the most, exhausting thing in the world.”
One of the more interesting side characters was Skippy and I loved his sass. Especially the scene with him and Rikker’s mom. That one had me literally laughing out loud in public.
I was absorbed in this book from the very first page, I loved seeing the romance play out and how the complications and issues were dealt with. You would think that now, in our time people would be more open minded, but that’s not the case and it makes me sad. Love is love. It’s beautiful. And it’s that simple to me.
So if I haven’t convinced you yet, please go out and read this series.