Help A Bitch Out

Habo-Thon: Ice Skating with Cloak and Dagger

Sarah (not me) requests your help with a YA novel that isn’t a romance, but sounds like something I would totally want to read:

Well, this is somewhat off topic because it is not, in fact, a romance, but
it’s such a random book I’m hoping at least one other person may recall
this.

I’m looking for a young adult book I read in the early nineties about a
young figure skater. There are a hell of a lot of books about young figure
skaters, but this one was unique in that said figure skater’s mother was so
dead against her precious baby falling into the den of iniquity that is
competitive pairs figure skating that she ships her daughter off to boarding
school. Whereupon shenanigans ensue as the daughter keeps sneaking away to
prepare for the big competition. This book is also unique in that the
heroine was pretty awesomely bitchy. When her classmates bully her, she’s
not afraid to be rude and flat out mean right back at them.

A few specifics that stuck with me all these years: I can’t remember the
protagonist’s name but her main tormenter at the school was called
something like Marlene or Margo, the heroine sawed the seat off her bike to
better develop her leg muscles, and she and her partner’s sexy long routine
was to the soundtrack of a spy movie called “Cloak and Dagger”. (Yes, I
remember the name of the fake movie but not the heroine. I don’t know.) I
think there was some kind of romance going on with the partner, who was such
a bad (figure skating) boy that they had to do their big performance with
him sporting not one, but two black eyes.

I really want to reread this. It was one of the first books with such a
flawed heroine that I’d ever read, and I’m very curious to see how it
actually stacks up against my memory.

Anyone recall this book?

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  1. 1
    Laurel Spatz says:

    No idea about the book but the movie was not fake. Dabney Coleman/Henry Thomas full of awesome despite very lackluster supporting cast. Cloak and Dagger is one I’ve been waiting with bated breath for my boy to be old enough to watch with me.

  2. 2
    Annie Pollert says:

    Oh god, I remember this.

    Two possibilities: Ice Dancing and/or Ice Princess, both by Nicholas Walker.

    http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Dancing-Nicholas-Walker/dp/0590467646

    http://www.amazon.com/Ice-Princess-Nicholas-Walker/dp/0590477277

    [Though I feel the need to point out that the details here don’t line up completely—the parents in this are dead-set because she gets ill before the first book. I don’t remember the details though; it’s been years since I bought the books secondhand and years since I sold them myself.]

  3. 3
    ReadzAlot says:

    I’m usually a lurker on the site but I couldn’t believe I actually know this book!!  I went through a phase where I loved all things figure skating in middle school and definitely owned this book.  I might even still have it in a box somewhere.  The book is, Ice Dancing by Nicholas Walker.  There’s also a sequel entitled, Ice Princess.  Good luck finding the book!

  4. 4
    Annie Pollert says:

    Also, just to add, as I googled to double check—apparently there was an entire series. There may be between two and three other books. (However, if the fact that very few libraries in the US actually have one of the books is a give away, the series may been a bit more popular outside of the US. For values of a great deal.)

  5. 5
    Anne Ardeur says:

    Hm.  This one sounds very familiar, but I can’t for the life of me think of enough information to actually find it.

  6. 6
    FD says:

    Oh, I read the Nicholas Walker ones – they were awesome, featuring a talented and entirely bloody minded heroine with a somewhat clueless but also talented hero.  I loved them because they were a) realistically stroppy and b) I had never coma across a heroine who wasn’t nice-miss-niceypants before.

    The routine and the bike fit, but I also am not sure at all sure about the mother – I too thought the disapproval was due to her having been ill. Although now that I am thinking about it, I think the parents tried to split them up because of not approving of the hero in one of the books, so I could be wrong.

    I may have to reread now!

  7. 7
    redgirl says:

    Ha! I knew what this one was the MOMENT you described it! It’s Ice Princess. I remember the part where the guy is trying to practice and he does so in a sheet on rollar skates in the gym. I LOVED this book :)

  8. 8
    Nicolette says:

    Thank you for both the HABO and the identification of the book.  I’ve been searching for these too.  These, the Noel Streatfield books and the Lorna Hill “Sadler’s Wells” books were a mainstay of my YA reading.

  9. 9
    sarah says:

    I think you guys are right!  Thanks so much, this is definitely going on my holiday reading list.

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