The Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga (Blog Tour Review, Interview & #Giveaway)

This looked like a cute read, so I thought I'd give it a try. The author is also stopping by
for an interview (love those!), so check that, my thoughts and the giveaway out below...

The Slope Rules
by Melanie Hooyenga
YA Contemporary
Paperback & ebook, 350 Pages
February 24th 2017 by Left Handed Mitten Publications


Fifteen-year old Cally accepted her fate as one of the guys, so when she meets Blake, a hot snowboarder who sees her for more than her aerials on the slopes, she falls fast and hard. But their romance can only last as long as vacation.

Or so she thinks.

A twist of fate—well, her Dad opening another brewery in a new town—lands her in Blake’s school, but the charismatic boy she fell for wants nothing to do with her, and worse, the Snow Bunnies, the popular clique, claim her as their newest recruit.

Cally must learn to be true to herself—all while landing a spot on the ski team and figuring out who she is without her old friends. And when she finds out what Blake is hiding, she learns the rules on the slopes apply to more than just skiing.

(Affiliate links included, meaning that I will be compensated if you make a purchase using my links.)


Q: What inspired THE SLOPE RULES?

A: I first came up with the idea in the winter of 2014 while watching the winter Olympics. West Michigan was buried under 100 inches of snow and I’ve always loved skiing, so I thought it’d be fun to write about a trick skier. I borrowed the idea of two kids meeting on vacation and cliques with silly names from the movie Grease, then I tossed in a few Mean Girls and added a brewery because my husband and I love craft beer and brew beer at home.

Q: Would you tell us a little about your characters?

A: Cally, the main character, is the most like me of any character I’ve written. I was always a tomboy growing up and while I had a few close female friends, I was more comfortable hanging out with guys. She’s stronger than I was at that age—I WISH I’d stood up to the mean girls in my school—but I like to think we share our loyalty to our friends and determination to do the best we can at whatever we’re doing.

Blake… well Blake is the boy we all wish we had at that age. ☺ He’s handsome and athletic and sweet, but he comes with his own baggage—something he needs to learn to get over.

The Snow Bunnies are a conglomeration of all the mean people I’ve met in life. There’s usually a leader who’s the worst (Brianna), then the level of meanness lessens as you work your way down the ranks (Kenzie and Mike), and that’s true for this clique as well.

The Moguls and Ski Bums are all good guys—even though they’re complete opposites as far as Brianna’s concerned—and are framed after friends I had in high school and college.

Q: Have you ever had a vacation/summer/snow trip romance, or would you want to?

A: My family used to travel to Mexico a lot and when I was 13 I met this beautiful boy who seemed to like me too, but he didn’t speak English and I didn’t speak Spanish. I was traveling with two cousins so the three of us hung out with him and his friend for the week (we were all staying at the same resort). I was totally smitten, even though we never did more than sit next to each other and share secret smiles. I later wrote a poem about him called My Silent Romeo, which is why I think he’s locked in my memory.

Q: Are you a skier or a snowboarder and do you have any fun stories to share?

A: I’ve been a skier since I was five. I tried snowboarding when I was 23 and while my friend who taught me said I did better than he expected, I was terrified the entire time. I prefer to have my feet on two separate pieces of fiberglass. At one point, I fell so hard I literally knocked the snot out of myself—which I didn’t know was possible—and that’s when I decided I should stop.

My best memories are from ski club in middle school. That’s where I met the first boy I kissed and a lot of the kissy slope scenes in TSR were inspired by those experiences. (Mom, if you’re reading this: no, I totally didn’t make out with boys when I was skiing.)

One funny thing about TSR is Cally makes fun of the Snow Bunnies because they ski like they’re being filmed for a vacation ad—and that’s exactly how I ski. My goal is to have perfect form and never fall down, so that’s where I’m different from Cally.

Q:  If you could sum up THE SLOPE RULES in one sentence, what would you say?

A: Grease meets Mean Girls with downhill skiing.

Q: What are you working on next?

A: I originally planned for THE SLOPE RULES to be a stand-alone novel because it took me five years to finish my YA trilogy, The Flicker Effect, and I was ready for something fun and light. And I definitely didn’t want to do another trilogy. But our characters often have minds of their own, so now I’m plotting two companion novels to TSR. I don’t want to go into specifics yet, but there will be more action, more romance, and more “rules”!

My Review

THE SLOPE RULES was a cute, drama-filled romance with plenty of ups and downs. The story was easy to get into from the beginning and the characters fun. If you enjoy contemporary YA with the main focus being romance, then you may enjoy this one.

I really enjoyed the beginning of this story. There were some sweet moments as you get to know the characters and then some great romantic tension. Then things change when Cally ends up moving. From here on, things just felt slightly off to me, like I'd fallen for these characters just to have them turn on me. When that started to improve, it turned to a lot of kissing and gushing and all around mushiness. Now, don't get me wrong. I love romance. However, generally less is more. I also felt like these characters seemed young for what was going on and for their dialogue. Cally is 15 and Blake is 16. They're both sophomores in high school, if I remember right. Half the time I was like, dude, she's 15. Maybe I'm just really out of the loop.

So back to things I liked... I really liked all the skiing and the all the skiing jargon. It was so easy to get into those scenes and feel a part of the action. It was also easy to envision what was going on. I also liked Cally's dad. He's really gotten involved in her life and done well balancing being a dad and also a friend. The ending was adorable cute and perfect for this story.

In the end, was it what I wished for? This one had some ups and downs for me. Overall, a likable story if you're looking for lots of focus in the romance department.

Content: Lots of innuendo, heavy making out, consistent swearing (mainly the s-word and b-word), a girl kissing another girl, some bullying.

Source: I received a complimentary copy from the The Fantastic Flying Book Club, which did not require a review nor affect it in any way.

About the Author

Melanie Hooyenga first started writing as a teenager and finds she still relates best to that age group. She has lived in Washington DC, Chicago, and Mexico, but has finally settled down in her home state of Michigan.

When not at her day job as the Communications Director at a nonprofit, you can find Melanie attempting to wrangle her Miniature Schnauzer Owen and playing every sport imaginable with her husband Jeremy.

Tour Schedule

Tour-Wide Giveaway

1 copy of The Slope Rules by Melanie Hooyenga
US Only

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Have you read this one? Will you be? What was your favorite part of the interview?

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