Author: Jeff Adams
Publisher: JMS Books
Cover Artist: unknown
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Simon Roberts’ plan for his senior year is simple — help his high school hockey team win the state championship and earn a college scholarship so he can get away from his dysfunctional family, especially his belligerent father and obnoxious older brother.
When the Central High Falcons open their season with an away game, Simon is forced to deal with the problem he’s struggled with for months — his crush on teammate Alex Miller. After the game that night, Alex makes an unexpected announcement — he’s gay, and in love with Simon.
Simon’s elated but scared to openly acknowledge that he’s gay, especially with so much at stake in their senior year. Now that they’re out to each other they have to decide what to do next. Should they date? Should they keep things between them secret? What about the team? Can Simon and Alex hide that they’re more than friends from the guys they spend so much time with?
Then a simple kiss is witnessed and their secret is out. The team fractures, and Simon’s family explodes as news about the gay hockey players quickly spreads. The guys must figure out how to move forward with everyone watching. Being the center of attention was in no way part of Simon’s plan for the year.
Can Simon juggle school, commitments to the team, his new relationship, and an unexpected tragedy all before the end of the hockey season?
Hat Trick Overtime: A Classic Winter’s Night
Continuing the adventures of Simon and Alex from the best-selling book, Hat Trick, this free story follows the boys into college.
The boys have settled into their freshman year playing hockey for the University of Michigan. After an outdoor game, the two break away from their teammates to enjoy time alone under the magical Christmas lights.
Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound
The events from two years ago are still fresh in Simon Robert’s mind as he and Alex Miller begin their sophomore year at the University of Michigan. Nightmares are a routine occurrence as Simon relives the crimes his father and brother committed. Now, with his father ill and asking to see him, Simon must decide if he should see the man who tried to send him away to be fixed. And then there’s Zach. Simon’s conflicted about making peace with his older brother who tormented him as they grew up and caused him to be outed to his parents, friends and teammates.
Alex wants Simon to find closure, but Alex is furious at the thought of forgiving Zack. With no clear direction, Simon finds guidance from an unexpected, but very welcome, source.
At the same time, the University’s student body is faced with an anti-gay attacker among them. When he witnesses an attack first hand, memories threaten to overwhelm Simon. At the same time, he’s also emboldened to take action, which might turn him into a target.
Despite the distractions, Simon works towards his future as he begins working with teens at the local LGBT community center. He has the opportunity to use his story as a teaching tool to help others come out. While he’s never enjoyed telling his story, he looks for the courage to speak his truth to an audience.
Luckily, not everything is chaos. Simon and Alex mark their anniversary in epic fashion, continue to play hockey and hang out with good friends. But with many demands on them, can Simon and Alex set up the rebound necessary to create the scoring opportunity for their future?
Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp
Simon and Alex, now between their junior and senior years at the University of Michigan, decide to put their jobs on hold for a month and take the opportunity to coach hockey at a summer camp for teenagers.
They have a cabin full of good players to work with and the focus is getting them ready to win the camp championship. One camper, sixteen-year-old Dylan, requests extra help because he needs to get a scholarship and the guys make it their mission to help him succeed.
With their best friend Leo along for the trip, Simon and Alex are set up for a great time at camp, until another coach tries to seduce them. How they respond to the unwanted advances, while balancing commitments to their campers, will put them both — and their relationship — to the test.
If I could only use one word to describe the Hat Trick series from Jeff Adams it would be enchanting.
Much like any of my favorite YA/Teen titles, I fell in love with the characters early and just wanted everything to go right for them. Of course, like in any good fiction, not everything goes well for Simon and Alex. I laughed with them. I cried with them. I feared with and for them. I felt their anxiety and grief as if it was my own. With unwavering support of friends, family, and each other they manage to weather every storm.
The Hat Trick series by Jeff Adams currently consists of four titles (two novels and two shorts). They are:
- Hat Trick
- Hat Trick Overtime: A Classic Winter’s Night
- Hat Trick 2: Playing the Rebound
- Hat Trick Overtime: Summer Camp
Along the way, we get to see young love grow and strengthen. Yes, they are in high school when they first get together, but we get to watch them mature together.
Some of the villains may be over the top, but sadly I think they are pretty representative (if exaggerated) about what lengths some may be willing to go to in order to prove they are right.
The two overtime installments are sweet looks at Alex and Simon outside of the pressure of school. One is an engaging holiday scene. The other is a bit longer and looks at how they interact with and teach the next generation.
Actually, we start to see Simon’s destiny to help those like himself in Hat Trick 2. Hat Trick 2 is about acceptance, forgiveness, and being a role model. Like it or not athletes are role models. Simon and Alex are good ones.
I don’t know what else to say about this series except that it is going on my bookshelf for my kids when they get older. I don’t think there is a higher praise I can give this series.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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