Book Reviews

Review: Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Stones by Ngozi Ukazu

You know those books you want to keep up with and then just completely slip down your TBR pile? That was me and Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Scones! I remember loving the first book and knowing I had to read the second, and then it came out last April. And it was a combination of having difficulty putting holds on before release date and the trash fire of April. Keep reading this book review to find out what I thought of one of my favorite graphic novels!


Bitty is heading to junior year of college and though he has overcome his fear of getting ‘checked’ on the ice, he and Jack now face new challenges. They must navigate their new relationship while being apart and also decide how they want to reveal their relationship to those around them. Not only that, but Jack and the Falconers are now a big part of the NHL–and Bitty’s life! It’s a hockey season filled with victories and losses.

A collection of the second half of the mega-popular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: Sticks and Scones is the last in a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.


TW: homophobia

Check, Please!, Book 2: Sitcks & Scones is mostly about Bitty being himself. About learning to express himself and navigating his new relationship. Not only do Jack and Bitty have to contend with the homophobia and heteronormativity in the (hockey) world, they have to figure out if they can be public about their relationship. Their relationship has the potential to be dangerous to Jack’s career and it displays the very real fear of homophobia.

Bitty also has to figure out how to come out. How to have that conversation with his parents, while also struggling hiding his relationship from his friends. While navigating these issues and prejudices, this graphic novel book also allows us to get to know, and love, the side characters even more. Having done a lot of long distance relationships, I appreciated seeing Bitty and Jack navigate the emotions and longing. As they talk through their issues, our love for them only increases. This book made me laugh out loud and it reminded me why I love the whole series.

At the same time, Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Scones celebrates the ways a place can transform us. The moments when we just look behind us and realize the miles we’ve traveled. The friendships we have made that have marked our hearts. This book was very much a celebration of friendship and being ourselves. Find Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Scones on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound, & The Book Depository.


Do you have a favorite sport book? Bonus points if graphic novel!

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