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The Next Competitor

3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  34 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
It's the all-important Olympic season and eighteen-year-old American figure skater Alex Grady is discovering that there are many obstacles along the way on his quest to win a gold medal. For starters, he has to get through endless hours of practice under the watchful eye of his stern and slightly terrifying Russian coach. Then he has to contend with his all-American rival, ...more
Paperback, 236 pages
Published January 13th 2010 by Prizm (first published 2010)
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Jamie Deacon
Feb 11, 2014 Jamie Deacon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Being the best isn’t easy, something eighteen-year-old Alex Grady knows only too well. Taking place in the world of professional figure skating, this is a vivid account of competing at the highest level. It leads the reader through Alex’s highs and lows, from the grueling training sessions and constant bruises, to the adrenaline rush that comes with performing for a crowd, as we follow him on his quest to win big at the Olympics.

Alex is single-minded, confident in his ability, and often too self
Apr 08, 2010 Kris rated it it was ok
The Review:

I’ve done away with my usual subheadings for this review. This is because my reactions to The Next Competitor were up and down, which means that I’m going to be spending a large part of this review trying to articulate why at the end I thought it was only an ‘okay’ read. Sorries in advance if this is not the kind of review you were hoping for.

Firstly, the extent of my knowledge of ice skating comes from watching Hollywood movies and the German soap opera Alles Was Zahlt. I’m not a w
Apr 16, 2014 Rochella rated it it was amazing
Shelves: m-m, ya, glbt, ebook
Can I say I love this book? Yes, I can.

also posted on

Alex is a great character; he has flaws and sometimes seems a bit oblivious. The only thing on his mind is skating. He needs to win his competitions, then Nationals and then of course the Olympics. So when a cute guy comes along, he doesn't know what to think. A relationship isn't a option! (even if the guy is cute and amazing) And how can he even like him? He pretty much dislikes everyone!

Just like Tanner. He
Sep 10, 2010 Staceyr rated it it was amazing
I'm no fan of ice skating, but over the course of this story I became a fan of Alex. Considering he starts off as such an unabashed prick, that was quite a feat. I could relate to his lack of a brain-to-mouth filter, and seeing his internal flinching I got that it wasn't that Alex wanted to hurt anyone, so much as he couldn't control his desperate need to keep distance between anything that might dampen his drive and distract him from his ultimate goal. I know what it's like to pursue a goal wit ...more
First a disclaimer: I'm a big fan of figure skating. Although I can't tell one jump from another when watching a program, I follow all the main competitions in the skating season and I can name world top 20 skaters off the top of my head. So I was thrilled to find a m/m romance featuring my favorite sport.

Several reviews mentioned the book main characters are based on real skaters. That dimmed my enthusiasm a bit and for nearly half a book I couldn't stop comparing Alex to skater X, Matt to ska
Mar 28, 2010 Kassa rated it did not like it
I recently was saying I’d love to see Olympic caliber athletes in m/m romance books so I was excited to read this particular offering. Unfortunately The Next Competitor takes a well-known Olympic figure skater named Johnny Weir, renames him Alex Grady and writes a story that has many similar elements from Weir’s movie “Pop Star on Ice.” I’m not sure if this is called fan fiction or simply stealing from a celebrity’s life but either way the choice is incredibly disappointing and nowhere near as g ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Claire rated it liked it
Just finished this as an eBook at work today. This is a cute YA novel, about a gay ice skater headed to the Olympics, and the pairs skater he winds up hooking up with. As YA goes, it's cute and nicely positive for a book with queer characters, and it's hilariously serial-numbers-filed-off such that even I can pick up on some of it, but the main character is a bit too much of a jerk sometimes - I wanted a happy ending but more for Matt than Alex's sake. Super adorable though, and the skating scen ...more
Jul 02, 2011 Harley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not going to lie - I had the lowest expectations coming into this book. I knew just from the summaries I'd read that it was essentially published figure skating RPF. And it definitely gave that vibe throughout. But besides the cliches that I've read in countless fanfictions over the years, it was still a small, cute YA novel with a Spicy Gay Twist. Most of my enjoyment came out of find/replacing character names with the actual figure skaters they were (obviously) based off of, but it was sti ...more
Ariani Lee
Sep 21, 2013 Ariani Lee rated it it was amazing
I really wish there were more books about figure skating (and not cheesy romances stories in which it's just a background). I loved this book, the protagonist is really great and it's hard to stop reading when you're taken by the story - which is really easy.
The only thing that could bother some readers is that said protagonist is gay and had a same sex love interest. If you think it may bother you, don't read it, but if you don't mind it, don't hesitate!
Apr 05, 2012 Li rated it liked it
A story revolving around ice-skating? Just after the Winter Olympics? Excellent timing.

This was written in present tense, which was unusual enough to unsettle me for the first few pages, but I soon got used to it and enjoyed the story, especially the take on skating - you could tell the author was familiar with the topic. It was a sweet romance, even though I didn't connect 100% with the characters.
Elisa Rolle
Oct 25, 2015 Elisa Rolle rated it it was amazing
2010 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Sep 19, 2010 JenMcJ added it
Shelves: e-books
This is a YA book. I wasn't expecting that.
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