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Check Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

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Content/Trigger Warning: Hazing, under age drinking, panic attacks, scene of drug abuse/addiction, and a lot of sexual content comments (mostly about hooking up with girls)

Everyone, this was too cute for me to handle! Scratch that, Bitty was the cutest, ever! This graphic novel was nothing short of cute, heart-warming, of a joy to ever grace my reading time! Hockey games, behind the scenes, a sweet slow-burn attraction, the blossoming of a romance, and one of the most relatable main characters. What more could you want from a graphic novel? Ngozi Ukazu has given us a graphic novel of pure sunshine. How did we get so lucky?

So if you’re not familiar, this is the published version of the very popular web comic (you know I love a good web comic) that everyone has been reading, following, and adoring for a long time. It stars a boy named Eric Bittle, AKA: Bitty, who is leaving his southern home to go to college in the north to play hockey, and he is gay and not yet out! He is also a very talented ice skater, but he has a little improving to do on the ice with hockey. This book is broken up in two parts that follow him during his freshman year and sophomore year at Samwell University.

Bitty also makes video blogs where he talks about everything that’s going on his life. He also gives some baking tips and secrets out to his followers as well (lots of pies!).We get to slowly see the seasons change, and Bitty’s changes as well during his vlogs. And he especially likes to talk about the captain of the hockey team, Jack, who he is pretty sure dislikes him, even though he is constantly helping him improve on the ice (like his checking). And can I just take this moment to say, yes to the bisexual representation we get from Jack in this comic! As bisexual myself, it warms my heart every time I see some representation! Easily my favorite moment of watching Jack discover his feelings for Bitty after we learn about Jack’s dating habits!

“I gotta go, but I’ll text you, okay?”

But we also get to see Bitty interact with the rest of his team: Ransom and Holster (these two, I swear!), Shitty (what is his name anyway!), Chowder, Nursey, Lardo, and Dex! And Bitty builds some really beautiful friendships among all of them. He is a little pocket of sunshine for them all. Shitty is such a sweetheart who was so accepting and wonderful about so many things. He’s just this subtle character, but when he comes into the picture it’s like Yoda making an appearance. Easily my favorite side character and my favorite brewing side romance with a certain someone (waiting for that ball to drop!) And I think I can confidently say that Shitty was probably the one who was the closest to Bitty.

I also loved getting to see Bitty move into the team house his sophomore year! He had so much excitement and energy, he really made it his own. And speaking of moving into the dorms, all that baking! I can’t say how many times he was baking that I wanted to fall into the book and be like “Share your secrets with me!” Meanwhile, his team were also embracing their love for eating his baking. Seriously, seeing him build friendships and bond with others was so pure and so wonderful (especially when baking was involved)!

“Let me bathe!” “Then stop singing Justin Beiber or whatev—DON’T SPLASH ME WITH WATER!”

Lastly, I think my most favorite part of this book was the banter Ngozi Ukazu delivered so delightfully into this comic. It was so realistic and hilarious. Trying to physically sit down anywhere to read this and just busting out in laughter was so wonderful. I haven’t experienced a comic making me laugh so hard in such a long time. The dialogue was above and beyond with this graphic novel! It was written with the intent of making the reader smile, feel warm, and just fall in love with the characters even more. Plus, the art work was so perfect and pleasing to the eye. If I could live within the color tones of this graphic novel in a state of awe, I absolutely would.

Overall, I am in love with this comic of absolute perfection. I can honestly say that I’m not looking forward to the long wait that lies ahead of me. I need volume two to be here in my hands right this minute. This slow burn m/m romance is precious, and I will forever be screaming to the universe that Bitty is a precious bean who deserves the world and more! I’m not a sports type of read, but this has easily become a new favorite for me!

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7 thoughts on “Check Please! Book 1: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

  1. I don’t read a lot of graphic novels, but… well, I really want to give this one a try now, I love slow-burning romances and this sounds WAY too good with the blossoming romance and friendships and ahh. What a fantastic review ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awe thank you so much! I can’t recommend it enough! Another book blogger had recommended it to me and I was a little skeptical myself (not really a sports reader), but after I started it, I just couldn’t put it down! Bitty and all the other characters just pull you in and you can’t help falling for them and wanting the best for them!

      Liked by 1 person

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