Like Real People Do, Breakaway #1 by E.L. Massey

"Because this is big. This is huge. And the happiness in his gut is tempered by warranted fear." Like Real People Do.

From the blurb:

Nineteen-year-old hockey phenom Alexander Price is the youngest-ever captain in the NHL. With a
polarizing social media presence and a predilection for dirty play, he typifies the stereotype of young, out-of-control athlete. But away from the cameras, Alex is a kid with an anxiety disorder and the expectations of an expansion franchise on his shoulders. And maybe he tries too hard to fit the part of asshole playboy, but it’s better than the alternative; in his line of work, gay is the punchline of an insult, not something he can be.

Eighteen-year-old vlogger Elijah Rodriguez is a freshman in college recovering from an injury that derailed his Olympic figure-skating dreams. Mixed-race, disabled, and out of the closet since he was fourteen, Eli is unapologetically himself. He has no qualms about voicing his disapproval of celebrity jocks who make homophobic jokes on Twitter and park their flashy cars in the handicapped spaces outside of ice rinks.

After an antagonistic introduction, Alex and Eli’s inexplicable friendship both baffles and charms the internet. But navigating relationships is hard enough for normal teenagers. It’s a lot harder when the world—much of it disapproving—is watching you fall in love with your best friend.

Angel's Review:

Like Real People Do by E.L. Massey is a new to me author, and I'm so blown away by this book that I'm now a huge fan! 

This story will stay with me for a while, Alex and Eli are now stuck in my brain. I don't think I've ever wished characters existed in real life more than I do with these characters. I'm not just talking about Alex and Eli either, I'm talking about all the characters in this exceptional story! Jeff, Rushy, Cody, James, and of course, Kuzy. 

The hockey theme wasn't glossed over or was barely mentioned, it was definitely the forefront of this story. I thought everything about it was well detailed and explained, I mean I don't know hockey but I understood what was going on, so I consider that a plus. I really enjoyed the figure skating component in this as well, it's not mentioned as much or as detailed as the hockey but it is still prevalent in the story. 

I don't know how else I can say I loved this book, it made me smile the whole way through and giggle out loud. It also made me wish I could have friends like Alex and Eli have. 

This book was so well written I could practically see this playing out like a movie in my head as I read it, all of the characters had their own personalities and quirks that added much needed humor and lightness to the story, while also simultaneously adding seriousness to certain situations as well. I don't think the story would've made such an impact if any of these characters were taken away, I thought that the background writing was very detailed, the plot was well outlined and executed, and this was overall really, really, fantastic. 

The only 'issue' I have with this book, (and I use the word issue very lightly cause it's not that big of a deal.) Is I wish that we would've gotten when they kissed written out more, when they did make out it was mentioned and then the story moved on. I still really enjoyed the book for what it was, I just also couldn't help but want more writing of those two together. 

I highly recommend this book, it's so sweet and funny, it's such a feel good romance book. Friends to Lovers, Slow Burn, a chef/figure skater and a hockey player falling in love. 
I'm excited to read the next book in this series, I'm really looking forward to it!!

Rating: 5 Stars

Miki.J's Review:

I absolutely adored this book.  It’s sweet and poignant and oh so adorable.  We see how Eli and Alex first meet, which is awkward and cringe-worthy…… but there’s a spark…. And we follow them as they become friends, best friends and then something else.  

Those lightbulb moments are classic !!  This story evokes so many feelings – I laughed at their antics, banter and general goofiness and then cringed when those words leave their mouth …. they certainly did not think those words through !!.   And then the realisations and the decisions that are to be made ….. it’s beautiful yet sad.  

The author does take you on a journey that is so real with plenty of heart-warming and heart-wrenching moments.  And the other characters – all very well written in (and the nicknames !!! bahahaha).   And if this is what is/has occurred in the sporting teams … then that is truly heartbreaking – if they’re playing the sport, then it shouldn’t matter who they date.  

This may seem to be a YA novel (no sex scenes) but in no way did I think I was reading kids book.  

The only thing that got me was the conversations in Spanish not being translated.  But overall, a beautiful story and I can’t wait for the next installment.  

Rating: 5 Stars

Lori C's Review:

Like Real People Do captured my attention before chapter two even ended. I was laughing and giggling as I read. I think my husband is used to it as he didn’t even ask me what I was laughing at this time around. 🫣 Eli, one of the main characters, is a freshman at Houston University and is on the figure skating team when he meets Alexander Price, an NHL player for the Houston Hell Hounds at their practice rink. In an amazingly funny meet cute, they end up going on a lunch date and becoming friends. 

Seriously, if you aren’t laughing by the end of chapter two, you might need your funny bone examined!! 😉 Not only is this book funny, it is adorable in the way the author builds the relationship between Eli and Alex and the rest of the Hell Hounds. I want more of Eli and Alex and maybe James and Cody?  I am not kidding when I say I messaged my reader chat to say I wasn’t ready for this book to end. This is a book world that I want to come back to. I can’t wait for book number two. I’m ready for more of The Breakaway Series!! 

Rating: 5 Stars

Janet's Review:

Like Real People Do is an outstanding read! 

EL Massey is a new to me author, I will definitely be looking for more by them. Elijah is a vlogger that suffers from epilepsy due an accident. He’s also a figure skater. He meets Alex at college when he parks in the handicapped parking that Eli needs. Alex is a captain of an NHL team. They begin a tentative friendship. I loved watching their friendship grow! It felt so realistic. 

There is a fantastic cast of secondary characters that feel so real, Cody, James, Jeff, and Kuzy. I could imagine them all living in my small hometown. The story was really, really well written, the plot was fantastic. The pacing was that type that hooks you, keeps you thoroughly engaged. 

Overall, a phenomenal story. I cannot wait for the next one. I definitely recommend this one, highly recommend. 

Rating: 5 Stars

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