The Year of Ice
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The Year of Ice

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  1,164 ratings  ·  62 reviews
It is 1978 in the Twin Cities, and Kevin Doyle, a high school senior, is a marginal student in love with keggers, rock and roll, and--unbeknownst to anyone else--a boy in his class with thick eyelashes and a bad attitude. His mother Eileen died two years earlier when her car plunged into the icy waters of the Mississippi River, and since then Kevin's relationship with his...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published October 11th 2003 by St. Martin's Griffin (first published July 1st 2002)
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Marcelo
I don't want to rave too much about this book, lest I hype it up too much for a potential reader. But I will say that I really took an intense personal liking to this book for numerous reasons. The writing is excellent. It is one of the best written coming-of-age story about a gay boy that I've encountered. I found myself relating so naturally to the protagonist, as when he thinks about his high school crush, "standing next to my locker. I don't know how to look at him anymore. I'm afraid he'll...more
Anthony
It's 1978. I mean, the entire year of 1978 - January to December. Kevin the main character and narrative of the story is one pissed off teenager about to graduate from his high school. But, he's truly pissed off with the people around him (especially his father), and his personal conflict: a confused, conflicted, and closeted young man. He portrays himself as this tough and exterior alpha, but in his own world, it's something completely different. One of the main reasons that he is angry is the...more
cor ad cor loquitur
God, what a treat.
There's novels written in the point of view of teenagers and then there's this book: a novel written from inside a teenager's head. I've read loads of books, all filled with all knowing narrators who are much too advanced for their own good, but this book stunned me. A whirlwind of just perfect writing and angst, a lot of angst.
You won't regret reading this book, despite the heartbreak it may leave you with. It will be a book to stick with you and I won't forget about it anytim...more
Staci
Dec 20, 2009 Staci rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mature teens, adults, GL teens
Shelves: 2009-reads
I'm always looking for well-written and HONEST gay/lesbian YA books. This one is both of those things and so much more. It's not just a story about a young man named Kevin who knows he's gay and just wants to find someone to love. It's about how his life is in such chaos since the death of his mother and finding out dark secrets about his father. It's about life and being a teenager on the brink of adulthood and feeling like you're ready to take on the world, but also wanting everything to stay...more
Brigid
Fantastic book. The writing was stellar, and I couldn't put it down. I loved the voice. Kevin is a fantastic character, and his grief and angst and desire to be loved just jumped off the page. The narrative voice made me laugh out loud several times. Seriously, couldn't put it down. I was reading it at 3:30am this morning.

That said, the ending doesn't really resolve anything. It's like reading a narrative of a year of someone's life. It's vivid and compelling and fascinating to read, but don't...more
Mark
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Author Brian Malloy introduces the reader to Minnesota high school athlete Kevin Doyle, who is having as bad a senior year as Stephen King’s Carrie White. His mother, Eileen, was killed in a car accident; his father--who he never really got along with in the first place--has taken to drowning his sorrows; neighborhood women seeking entry constantly show up at his house bearing food, and he has an unrelenting crush on a male classmate, Jon, with whom he can’t even manage to fake a friendship. The...more
John Ames
I absolutely loved The Year of Ice. This novel starred Kevin, a secret closet case who was madly in love with Jon, a straight kid. I fell for Kevin instantly. He lost his mom at a very young age in a car accident and he was left under his dad protection. But as his senior year advances, Kevin becomes a young man and he begins to see his father under a new light.

Kevin, to me, was the bomb. He was the Alpha of his group and loved bossing Jon around just to have him close. In other words, he was si...more
Jeffery
"The Year of Ice" revolves around a 18-year-old and tells his experiences in the first person perspective in a single year, 1978. It's a novel about struggles on family matters, sexuality and other typical teenage as well adult problems.

The writing is beautifully done, and it lets the story absorb me as I read the book. The POV on Kevin Doyle gives the story a focus, and we witness events that in one way or another, relates to the coming of age of a not-so-ordinary teenage boy, one with an unusu...more
Coffeeboss
Kevin is a "foxy" senior at his small-town high school in 1970s Minnesota. He considers himself an "alpha" male, meaning he often uses his brawn to put other boys in his place, and all the girls want him. His mom died a couple years earlier, and his dad is being pursued by all the widows and single women in town. And Kevin just happens to know that he is gay, and doesn't know what to do about it. The Year of Ice was shelved in the adult fiction section of my library, probably because mention of...more
Thai
I was pretty excited to read this book at first cause I was pretty young. The audience follows the life of Kevin Doyle and one of the stand out things is that he isnt a gay stereotype which is refreshing. His life is a mess and it seems realistic enough and you come to actually care for him.

The plot definitely has its good points but in the latter half it became a bit tiresome? The events seemed a bit plain? You just seem to follow Kevin's life as he grows up and how he deals with family. The e...more
Dominic Potratz
This book was captivating, It really takes you through a wonderful experience of emotion, you will laugh and you will cry. This book takes family conflict to a point anyone can relate in some way. It's a story of age, anyone who enjoys a book about growing up will love this read. You are taken through the transformation from kid to adult in the pages of this book. Brian Malloy truly strikes the heart of the reader.
Adam
A lot going on with The Year of Ice. Kevin Doyle is a senior in high school, but two years ago, on his 16th birthday, he was attending his mother's funeral.
The theme of "ice" is well thought out, and an early reference to Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" leads Kevin to search for different meanings of this poem through-out.
Great read
Hillery
One of my favorite novels of the past few years. Set in 1978, the author perfectly captures the voice of a teenage stoner who is also realizing he is gay. I laughed out loud in many places, though it is a novel of substance. Ending was not as strong as I had hoped.
Lorena
This was one of the first gay fiction books I read, and what a way to start! It captured the struggle of realizing oneself is gay perfectly (in my opinion anyway). It was a heart-wrenching and completely consuming book and I'm glad to have read it.
Jeff Erno
Kevin Doyle is an eighteen year old high school senior from Minneapolis. It is 1978, and Kevin lives at home with his widowed father. Kevin's mother died two years prior in a tragic automobile accident when her car hit a patch of ice and careened off the highway over an embankment into the Mississippi River.

Kevin has a secret which he shares with no one...no one except his imaginary boyfriend Jon. Actually Jon is a real person that goes to school with Kevin, but the real Jon is straight. So Kevi...more
Suzanne
The Year of Ice, by Brian Malloy, was a good book, but it could have been a great one. Like so many books I've read, it was the ending that fell a little flat. In this book, Malloy takes us on a journey through the life of a teen boy as he deals with his mother's death, his father's betrayal and his struggle with his own sexuality. I thought this book was wonderfully and uniquely written. I liked the main character, liked how Malloy really pulled us into this life and made us feel for him. Howev...more
Duane
This is a difficult book for me to review for a number of reasons. To begin with, the author does a masterful job of describing the characters to us through actions and words. By the end of the book, you have a complete visual image of who they are and what they look like. Having said that, I didn't enjoy the lack of focus that the story keeps going through. The author will start a story sequence and then quit in the middle. I understand why he did it, but it's not to my liking. A warning that t...more
Zoe Rider
I'm not a very fast reader, but this book sucked me. I read two-thirds of it yesterday (and if I hadn't had work today, I'd have just kept reading!) and the rest today. Now I'm a little sad that it's all over.

It makes an interesting contrast the book I read just before it, DOO-LANG LOVE. Both were about young gay men (Rex, 23, in DOO-LANG LOVE and Kevin, 17/18, in THE YEAR OF ICE) looking for love, and in both the main characters found something more than that, in family and/or friends. But whe...more
Daniel
A few things about this book irritate me; most of all, I am not sure the author is all that literate. Two examples: he writes "should of" to capture a teen's jargon, but not consistently; at some point he uses "immanently" instead of "eminently." I mention both cases because one has the impression he has heard more than he has read.

Having said that, this novel was interesting and has its virtues. Chief among the latter is that it manages to be a novel about a gay teenager without turning it into...more
Brooklym
This book was like no other than I've read. I'm a teenage and he exactly captured the mind of youth. The way Kevin feels throughout the book and his mood is all so realistic. I felt like I was reading straight from a diary or something. Also, I'm an avid gay rights person, so this book was something I felt I could connect with personally. Many praises to Brian Malloy. His first book was definitely a major hit and I can tell her has major potential in the writing field. This is a must read!!
Hofdude
Being my first gay novel looking for inspiration, I was severely disappointed. I ended up hating the main character. The story was told from his point of view with his thoughts on things, which, being gay, would be extremely interesting, right? Nope. All it was was his fantasies which beg for pity, but the way he treats people in reality, makes you not care! He's a jerk to his dad, his dad's girlfriend, even his crush because he wants to act straight? I'm sorry, that's too much. Maybe that was t...more
Michael
I read so many books that I got about ten pages in and realized I had read this before and liked it very much, so I kept reading it again. It paints a picture of a gay character that is completely lost in the world of tough guy, beer guzzlers and has no role model or permission from anyone to explore the other side of himself. In many aspects, he's not a good person and unlikeable at moments, but there is enough raw material in him that you keep pulling for him to make it. The other people in th...more
Jerry Delaney
I enjoyed this book, especially as a historical account of 1978 and how far we have come since then. I liked Kevin, particularly his flaws, But there didn't seem to be much forward momentum in the book, and the ending was just an abrupt stop. I think anyone who likes YA books will enjoy this one. Malloy knows how to write.
Spoonbridge
Feb 29, 2008 Spoonbridge rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Twin Citians
I liked this novel, a poignant depiction of a troubled young man struggling to come to terms with his sexuality in 1970s Minneapolis after the tragic death of his mother in the icy Mississippi. I felt that Kevin's personality and feelings were very well developed and the book spared no details in the course of the very rough year of 1978, though I felt that some plot points were left unfulfilled. I especially enjoyed the setting of the Twin Cities in 1978, recognizing things still in existence a...more
Jason
I've read angsty teen books, but this takes it to a whole new level of angst, and not in a good way.
Jess
Mar 29, 2012 Jess rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: LGBT teens
Shelves: minnesota, gay
When I bought this book, I was intrigued by the LGBT themes, but I didn't even know it was based in Minneapolis, which is a huge plus. This was a quick read and a good story, I could relate to Kevin, and I loved the setting. Sometimes the plot was a little far-fetched and full of cliches, but the writing was solid and it had a lot of heart. I have a feeling that the familiar setting will stay with me for a long time, because it was a good story that literally took place in my backyard.

A quick re...more
T.j. Wall
Really a 2.5/2.0, it gets the bump for relevance to my adolescence.
Nick Hupton
Interesting characters and well-written, but I was never sure where it was headed and I felt a bit let down by the "blah" ending. But overall, definitely worth a read.
Fay Smith
I love love love this book. I don't know why I took it off the library shelf but I am so glad I did. I read it in one sitting. I laughed and I had more than a tear in my eye more than once. It ended before I was ready to say goodbye. that's my only complaint, it was too short.
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