I love reading about sports, so I compiled a list of my eleven most anticipated sports book releases coming out in 2022 including two Adult novels and nine Young Adult novels. I have everything from hockey to roller derby and a marching band sapphic romance with ace rep!
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Icebreaker by A.L. Graziadei (January 18th, 2022)
A. L. Graziadei’s Icebreaker is an irresistible YA debut about two hockey players fighting to be the best—and the romance that catches them by surprise along the way.
Jaysen and Mickey, rival hockey players battling to be the NHL’s #1 draft pick & maybe falling in love!
The Winners (Beartown Book #3) by Fredrik Backman
This book is not yet available in English.
This is a little story about big questions: What is a family? What is a hockey club? What is a society? And what are we willing to sacrifice to protect them?
It has been two years since everything that no one wants to think about happened, everyone has tried to move on but something with this part of the forest never really allows us to do it. We are a city with sadness in our hearts and violence in the air, we love fairy tales with happy endings, but deep down we probably always knew that this was not the case. It starts with a storm, this time, and ends with a fire. Someone who has been away for a long time is on his way home. Someone was buried. Someone falls in love, someone dreams of the NHL and someone dreams of revenge. Someone is sleeping back to back with their best friend, someone is trying to fix their marriage and someone is trying to save their children. Someone hates, someone fights, someone takes a firearm and walks towards an ice rink. Everything we fought for will not survive, all we love will not grow old.
So what is a family? A hockey club? A community? They are the sum of our choices. What are we willing to sacrifice to protect them?
All. Just everything.
This is the last part of Fredrik Backman’s beloved trilogy about Björnstad. The first two books, “Beartown” and “Us against you”, reached the New York Times bestseller list and became a television series on HBO. “The winners” is a striking, violent and deeply loving ending to the history of the hockey city and its people.
BREATHE AND COUNT BACK FROM TEN by Natalia Sylvester (Clarion, 5/10/22)
Verónica has had many surgeries to manage her disability. The best form of rehabilitation is swimming, so she spends hours in the pool, but not just to strengthen her body. Her Florida town is home to Mermaid Cove, a kitschy underwater attraction where professional mermaids perform in giant tanks … and Verónica wants to audition. But her conservative Peruvian parents would never go for it. And they definitely would never let her be with Alex, her cute new neighbor. She decides it’s time to seize control of her life, but her plans come crashing down when she learns her parents have been hiding the truth from her—the truth about her own body.
Man o’ War by Cory McCarthy (5/31)
An achingly honest and frequently hilarious coming-of-age novel about an Arab American trans swimmer fighting to keep their head above water in a landlocked Midwestern town.
The jellyfish commonly known as a Portuguese man o’ war is neither Portuguese, nor a jellyfish, nor a man, nor even a singular organism. If you can cope with those facts, you can begin to understand River McIntyre, an elite high school swimmer who’s bad at counting laps.
River McIntyre has lived all their life in the shadow of Sea Planet, a now infamous ocean theme park slowly going out of business in the middle of Ohio. As Sea Planet drifts toward its final end, so does River’s high school career and, worse, their time as a competitive swimmer. Or maybe not. When River makes an impulsive dive into Ocean Planet’s shark tank, they unintentionally set off on a wrenching journey of self-discovery, from internalized homophobia and self-loathing through layers of coming out, gender confirmation surgery, and true love. And at the end of this race? Who knows. After all, counting laps has never been River’s strong suit.
CAFÉ CON LYCHEE by Emery Lee
May 10, 2022
Theo Mori wants to escape. Leaving Vermont for college means getting away from working at his parents’ Asian American café and dealing with their archrivals’ hopeless son Gabi who’s lost the soccer team more games than Theo can count.
Gabi Moreno is miserably stuck in the closet. Forced to play soccer to hide his love for dance and iced out by Theo, the only openly gay guy at school, Gabi’s only reprieve is his parents’ Puerto Rican bakery and his plans to take over after graduation.
But the town’s new fusion café changes everything. Between the Mori’s struggling shop and the Moreno’s plan to sell their bakery in the face of the competition, both boys find their dreams in jeopardy. Then Theo has an idea—sell photo-worthy food covertly at school to offset their losses. When he sprains his wrist and Gabi gets roped in to help, they realize they need to work together to save their parents’ shops but will the new feelings rising.
Jan 18, 2022
A charming and inclusive YA anthology all about games—from athletic sports to board games to virtual reality—from editor Laura Silverman and an all-star cast of contributors.
From the slightly fantastical to the utterly real, light and sweet romance to tales tinged with horror and thrills, Game On is an anthology that spans genre and style. But beneath each story is a loving ode to competition and games perfect for anyone who has ever played a sport or a board game, picked up a video game controller, or rolled a twenty-sided die.
A manhunt game is interrupted by a town disappearing beneath the players’ eyes. A puzzle-filled scavenger hunt emboldens one college freshman to be brave with the boy she’s crushing on. A series of summer nights full of card games leads a boy to fall for a boy who he knows is taken. And a spin the bottle game could end a life-long friendship.
Fifteen stories, and fifteen unforgettable experiences that may inspire readers to start up that Settlers of Catan game again.
June 7, 2022
“Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.
IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL by Sarah Henning
May 31, 2022
Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down.
Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns….
Turning by Joy L. Smith
March 1st 2022
In this raw, searingly honest debut young adult novel, a former aspiring ballerina must confront her past in order to move forward from a devastating fall that leaves her without the use of her legs.
Genie used to fouetté across the stage. Now the only thing she’s turning are the wheels to her wheelchair. Genie was the star pupil at her exclusive New York dance school, with a bright future and endless possibilities before her. Now that the future she’s spent years building toward has been snatched away, she can’t stand to be reminded of it—even if it means isolating herself from her best friends and her mother. The only wish this Genie has is to be left alone.
Brace for Impact: A Memoir by Gabe Montesanti
May 24, 2022
A crash course in the brutal, big-hearted world of roller derby, told through the unforgettable story of one young woman’s fight to find her place in the world.
Gabe Montesanti grew up queer in a working-class, Catholic family in a conservative small town in the Midwest. In this turbulent environment, she developed a severe eating disorder, learned to distrust herself, and lived in constant fear. As she enters graduate school, she vows to put the trauma of her past behind her and to learn to fully inhabit her body. She joins Arch Rival Roller Derby in St. Louis, one of the top-rated teams in the country, and instantly falls in love with the sport’s roughness, intensity, and open embrace of people who are literally and figuratively scarred. Gabe soon finds community, safety, and a sense of belonging, reveling in the queer-friendly environment, tattoos, glitter, and campiness. She chooses the derby name Joan of Spark, modeling herself after the fierce and independent Joan of Arc, to signify all the ways she’s left behind the baggage of her childhood.
But when Gabe suffers a catastrophic injury, her unresolved trauma catches up with her. In the aftermath of her accident, it becomes impossible to ignore the parallels between the physicality of roller derby and the emotional violence of her upbringing. Gabe’s arduous physical recovery is matched only by the painful process of beginning to heal her emotional wounds. Forced to reckon with her past, she must decide if she can be Joan of Spark off the track, too–skating into a bolder, truer future.
Forward March by Skye Quinlan
March 22, 2022 (New Pub Date)
What’s worse? Someone using your face for catfishing or realizing you actually do have a crush on the catfished girl?
Harper “Band Geek” McKinley just wants to make it through her senior year of marching band—and her Republican father’s presidential campaign. That was a tall order to start, but everything was going well enough until someone made a fake gay dating profile posing as Harper. The real Harper can’t afford for anyone to find out about the Tinder profile for three very important reasons:
1. Her mom is the school dean and dating profiles for students are strictly forbidden.
2. Harper doesn’t even know if she likes anyone like that—let alone if she likes other girls.
3. If this secret gets out, her father could lose the election, one she’s not sure she even wants him to win.
But upon meeting Margot Blanchard, the drumline leader who swiped right, Harper thinks it might be worth the trouble to let Margot get to know the real her.
With her dad’s campaign on the line, Harper’s relationship with her family at stake, and no idea who made that fake dating profile, Harper has to decide what’s more important to her: living her truth or becoming the First Daughter of America.
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