Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

Posted April 1, 2015 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina BowenReviewer: Casee
The Understatement of the Year (The Ivy Years, #3) by Sarina Bowen
Series: The Ivy Years #3
Also in this series: The Year We Hid Away , Blonde Date , The Year We Fell Down , The Shameless Hour (The Ivy Years, #4), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5), The Fifteenth Minute (The Ivy Years, #5), The Year We Hid Away (The Ivy Years, #2), Extra Credit
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 15, 2014
Point-of-View: First
Genres: New Adult
Pages: 300
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.

Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.

So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.

John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.

And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.

Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.

Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.


Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.

This is the third book in the Ivy Years series and the blurb (that I got off of Goodreads) does a bang up job of explaining what the book is about that I’m going to jump right into my thoughts on the book.

This was my very first m/m book. It’s not my usual thing but because I enjoy this series so much, I knew that I was going to read it and I’m glad that I did. My heart went out to both Rikker and Graham so many different times in the book but when all was said and done, I closed the book with a goofy grin on my face.

Of the two heroes, I think I liked John Rikker more. He was one of those what you see is what you get kind of guys and seeing what he went through day in and day out ever since he came out of the closet, made my heart hurt time after time. It was not an easy life to live in the spotlight all the time, not for what you do on the ice but for how you spend your personal time and the drama that they put this young man through made me want to punch everyone in their throats. Boy did I love the support system he had with his grandmother (but ugh on his parents) and I loved that he kept right on fighting the good fight to have a life, a life outside college hockey and outside of the media attention. Seeing his love for Graham throughout the book hurt my heart as well because he was so patient. A lot more patient than I would have been in his same situation.

Michael Graham was a good guy, a very scared good guy but a good guy nonetheless. Growing up the way that he did, it was understandable but I thought it took him far too long to stand up for Rikker. There were times when I wanted to give Graham a swift kick to the shin but when it mattered most, he stepped up in a big way. I ended up really liking Graham and thought he was a great character. Very three dimensional and just, real. His story reminded me of one of my very good friends. We grew up in very religious backgrounds and it took my friend over 25 years to finally come out to me. When he finally did, we hugged it out and I told him, “I know.” Being gay didn’t make me love him any less and I hurt for him because he was scared to tell me. That reminded me of Graham because when he finally comes out to his parents, the love they had for him was real and it was a relief to know that he would have a good support system.

This book made me cry, it made me laugh and it made me rejoice with a happy dance. I felt all of the emotions while reading this one so you know it was a good one. Sarina Bowen does a fantastic job of reeling the reader into whatever story she’s telling and that was the case with Rikker and Graham’s book. It’s a good one, this book. I recommend it.

Grade: 4.25 out of 5

The Ivy Years


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One response to “Review: The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

  1. animegirl31

    Okay, I skimmed because I totes plan to read this one but it sounds very promising from what I did read!! 😀

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