Eric Bittle is now team captain, and his secret boyfriend, Jack Zimmerman plays for an NHL team, the Falcons! Bitty and Jack have to navigate a long-distance relationship, and dating in secret starts to take its role on Bitty. He doesn’t want to jeopardize Jack’s career in a sport that is not known for being accepting of LGBTQ+ lifestyles. Slowly, the couple start to come out within their safe spaces, like to their friend group and a few other key people. Jack’s team manager believes the Falcons will be supportive, and she turns out to be right. Time marches on, and it’s suddenly Bitty’s senior year. He has a tough time breaking in one of the freshmen who can’t seem to come to terms with who he is. Bitty has to repair damage done to his relationship with his parents with the way they found out about Him dating Jack. When it’s time to write his senior thesis, Bitty’s supportive housemates disconnect the oven and warn every kitchen on campus not to let him come bake until his writing is finished. Not only does he have that looming over his head, but championships are fast approaching, and a win could validate everything Bitty has built and expressed over the last four years at Samwell.
Some readers might be extremely disappointed to find out that this is the last book in this series. Bitty is such a wonderful character, and the overall message of this book is of warmth and acceptance. While some might struggle to believe this could ever happen in a hockey team, that’s sort of the point.
There is a complete absence of the types of jokes and situations that elevated the first volume’s age rating. Ugazi shows restraint in the tender moments between Bitty and Jack, which cut away before any sort of hanky-panky happens. In fact, the moments Bitty and Jack are alone in a bedroom are chaste compared to the college-level humor that was present in the first volume.
Once again, I want all the beautifully illustrated pies, and I want to watch Bitty's vlog to see how he makes them.
Sara’s Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Reviews of previous volumes in this series: vol 1
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Graphic Literature, LGBTQ+, Romance, School Age
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