I’m doing two book reviews in one post today! The last two books in the Off-Campus series.
The Goal follows the last of the 4 best friends, hockey teammates, and roommates – Tucker or John Tucker.
The Goal takes place at the same time as The Score. If you read The Score then you know that it’s mentioned multiple times that Tuck has been “missing” or off doing his own thing a lot and the guys never know where he is. They suspect he is dating someone but whenever they ask him he denies it. Well, he is dating someone and again it is hinted at in The Score. There is a scene early on in The Score where Dean is at the bar with Hunter and Tuck comes in right when the guys are talking about this girl in the bar. Hunter thinks she’s gorgeous, but Dean knows her and they do not get along so he tells Hunter to not waste his time because she (Sabrina) will eat him alive. Tuck sees who they are talking about and thinks she’s gorgeous as well and can’t believe that’s the Sabrina that Dean has complained about for years.
Then, Dean leaves and we know that it’s because he’s going off to pine after Allie some more. But, now in The Goal Tuck goes to talk to Sabrina. Tuck is a little quieter than his best friends and although he hooks up with girls like his other friends (before they got into their relationships) he is the most relationship accepting out of all of them to begin with. While the others were all into just hook ups originally, Tuck welcomes relationships. Sabrina, though, has no interest in a boyfriend. She works 2 jobs, is applying to Harvard Law School, and has practically every minute of her life scheduled. Sabrina and Tuck do end up hooking up and he would like to see her again and although she’s attracted to him she thinks a guy is the last thing she needs. But, soon enough she can’t help but let Tuck into her life. Just when she’s accepted that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad to date someone, she and Tuck learn that she’s pregnant. Now they need to navigate becoming parents at 22 and their feelings for each other.
I wasn’t sure how I would like this book because Sabrina had made little appearances in one or two of the previous books and I didn’t really like her. Then, there was the fact that Tuck is not around as much as the other guys in the other books so I wasn’t sure what to make of him either. I quickly learned that Sabrina was not very likable in the previous books for a reason. She has no time for friends and all that for multiple reasons which are explored in this book. I also ended up really liking Tuck. Sabrina and Tuck are great together, but I didn’t love the fact that it took Sabrina a very long time to let her guard down and be vulnerable with Tuck even after they were already pregnant and everything.
It’s not my favorite of the series (we’ve already established my favorites are The Deal and The Score), but I did really enjoy it.
The Legacy was written a few years after The Goal was published and is made up of 4 novellas, updating readers on how our favorite couples are doing 4 years later.
There are a lot of mixed reviews about The Legacy, but I liked it. I didn’t love it, but I still really liked revisiting the couples.
The stories go in chronological order and connect together in little ways so it’s like an ongoing story and each novella focuses on a different couple.
- We start off with Logan & Grace who are trying to navigate life with Grace finishing up school and Logan playing for the Bruins. He’s on the road a lot for games and when he’s home she’s busy with school. They start to feel disconnected from each other despite being very much in love. With the advice of Garrett, Logan plans a mini getaway for them for New Year’s Eve. The two get stuck in a snowstorm on their way and reaffirm their love and commitment to each other. I liked seeing how much Logan and Grace still love each other and I thought it was realistic for them to be having some trouble with the distance and their schedules.
- Then, we get to Dean & Allie. They head to Boston from New York, where they now live, for Tuck and Sabrina’s wedding. Dean plans to propose to Allie soon, but Allie has no interest in getting married anytime soon even though Dean is her forever person. She doesn’t see the point in being engaged if you’re not going to get married for another few years. This leads to a fight and they need to figure out what they want to do. Dean needs to decide whether being engaged right now is that important to him if he knows eventually they will get married. Allie needs to decide if it matters whether they have a long engagement if she knows they will be together forever anyway. I loved this novella. First of all, this one is hilarious (the guys’ conversation at the wedding about Coach Jensen!) and I also thought that it was really insightful. There’s a part where Allie is talking to a friend/co-star of hers and saying she didn’t want to get engaged yet because she views her life as a ladder and the rungs all have to go in order. Her friend tells her that yes, theoretically things go in order but who says the rungs have to be evenly spaced and maybe your rungs aren’t the same as your partner’s rungs, etc. I really liked the explanation and obviously love Allie & Dean together.
- The next story follows Tuck and Sabrina on their honeymoon. They go to St. Bart’s and stay at Dean’s family’s mansion there. The two go through a string of bad luck – seriously one thing after another – on their trip, but everything leads them to have serious conversations about their future and relationship. Their honeymoon gives them time away from work and their 3 year old daughter to focus on themselves and their relationship. Sabrina is so career oriented and Tuck has a tendency to try to make everything as easy as possible for everyone around him and put himself last that this time alone makes them realize things need to change. I really enjoyed their story and how they worked things out. I think it’s really realistic to be in that kind of situation where you’re like “how am I supposed to know you’re not happy (or whatever it is – you can fill in the blank) if you always say things are good?” I also really liked that Sabrina, who was kind of standoff-ish as a character trait for so long, is really good friends with the other girls now.
- The last story is all about Hannah and Garrett. At Sabrina and Tuck’s wedding, the girls find out that Hannah may be pregnant. In this novella, she confirms that she is pregnant, but she is afraid to tell Garrett. She never finds the “right” time to tell him because of his hockey season and then other things that are going on with Garrett and she doesn’t want to stress him out further. She’s also struggling with her feelings about the baby because Garrett is away a lot as a professional hockey player for the Bruins and the thought of doing a lot of this on her own is scary. Garrett’s evil dad makes a reappearance in this story, which definitely effects how he handles the baby news. Hannah and Garrett go through a lot in this novella and I do wish they got more happy time together (don’t get me wrong – they’re still ridiculously in love and it’s a happy ending) but I would’ve loved it if their story was even longer and we got to see more lighthearted times with my fav couple.
Overall, I liked The Legacy. It wasn’t my favorite, but I’ll never pass up more time with beloved characters!
It’s weird to be done with the series, but they are comfort reads for me for sure now. I also started reading the Briar U series (I’ll explain how I got sucked into that later!) and we get appearances from the Off-Campus characters so that makes me happy.
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