Title: My Heavenly Hockey Club Vol 1
Author: Ai Morinaga
Publisher: Del Rey
May Contain Spoilers
Hana Suzuki leads a simple life. Her only goals are eating and squeezing as much time out of every day to pursue her hobby – sleeping! The lazy girl even studied like a fiend to be accepted into the high school just minutes from her home, allowing her to sleep in every day. Her dreams are shattered when she’s blackmailed by classmate Izumi Oda to join the Grand Hockey Club. With early morning practice every day, how is she going to get all of her beauty sleep?
After overcoming my initial confusion regarding this title (I’m from Detroit – we play hockey on ice), I found myself enjoying the quirky characters populating the book. The game distinction hardly mattered, as they never actually got to play in this volume. Oh, how Izumi tried, though! He was foiled on every occasion.
Hana Suzuki is a girl after my own heart. All she wants to do is sleep! Oh, and stuff her face with food. A simple girl with simple pursuits. She causes a little accident to Izumi’s car, which allows him ample fodder to blackmail her into joining his hockey club. The Grand Hockey Club is a boys club, but the thought of coughing up the repair dollars for Izumi’s car keeps Hana attending meetings. She’s a little more eager to be a team member when she learns that it’s a travel team, and the guys use the club for an excuse to travel the countryside, staying at onsens and pigging out on the local cuisine. Wish I could find a gig like that!
The book is very humorous, as Hana’s proclivity for sleep causes troublesome situations for everyone. She hates having to get up early for team practice, and ends up snoring away in her classes as a result. She looks forward to sleeping on the train as they journey to an away game, only to discover that they’re taking a helicopter! And she hates heights! Yes, I forgot to mention that Izumi’s rolling in dough, and these guys do everything first class. Well, except play hockey. They just can’t catch a break with that.
Despite Hana’s lack of ambition and less than stellar school work, Izumi seems to have taken a shine to her. He spends most of the book in a state of gloom, either because Hana has rejected him or because his plans for the next (or would that be the first?) hockey game have fallen through, again. His biggest motivation is too look cool, charging across the hockey field and swinging the club in a manly, oh admire me sort of way.
The situations are ridiculous, and the author uses every opportunity to pour heaps of humor into the pages. A fun, light-hearted read about a girl who only wants to do one thing – sleep!
Rated for 13+