I’ve been dreaming of making a post like this for so long, and I’ve finally gotten the motivation to put it together. As a novice figure skater, my biggest inspiration is Hanyu Yuzuru, Japan’s two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in the Single Men’s Division. He is a shining beacon for figure skaters and figure skating fans alike, and all of his performances manage to sweep us off our feet.
But his costumes are the real breath stealers for sure. And because of that, I thought I’d give you book recommendations I feel match each of his costumes!
Take a gander and find your next favorite read, along with maybe your next favorite program and costume from Hanyu Yuzuru.
Let Me Entertain You (2020-21)
Yuzuru is always one to impress, and he loves to “wow” or surprise his audience. During the 2020 and 2021 competitions, his hope was for his program “Let Me Entertain You” to bring a light to those who may be feeling lost or surrounded by darkness because of the pandemic and current world affairs.
He did just that, and his costume shocked quite a few of us, who are used to seeing him in more artistically crafted wear. But I can’t say I’m not in love with it, as I am with everything he manages to put out and through.
Based on this costume and the overall feel of the program, I personally recommend Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston.
Heart of Iron
by Ashley Poston
Published by Balzer + Bray
Released on February 27th, 2018
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Romance, Retellings > Anastasia
Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.
Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.
When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.
What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?
Chopin’s Ballade No. 1 (2014-20)
I don’t know about y’all, but I held my breath watching this program during the 2018 Winter Olympics. Hanyu is a master of footwork, technique and artistry (though the International Skating Union will never admit that with their shady judging and scoring), and this program absolutely proved that.
Not only did it set the expectation for Hanyu’s second Olympic Gold Medal win, but it also satisfied fans in a way we can’t quite explain without squealing.
Based on this costume and the exhilaration of the program, I personally recommend The Bright and the Pale by Jessica Rubinkowski.
The Bright and the Pale
by Jessica Rubinkowski
Published by Quill Tree Books
Released on March 2nd, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Fantasy > High Fantasy, Fantasy > Mythology > Russian Folklore, Romance
Seventeen-year-old Valeria is one of the only survivors of the freeze, a dark magical hold Knnot Mountain unleashed over her village. Everyone, including her family, is trapped in an unbreakable sheet of ice. Ever since, she’s been on the run from the Czar, who is determined to imprison any who managed to escape. Valeria finds refuge with the Thieves Guild, doing odd jobs with her best friend Alik, the only piece of home she has left.
That is, until he is brutally murdered.
A year later, she discovers Alik is alive and being held against his will. To buy his freedom, she must lead a group of cutthroats and thieves on a perilous expedition to the very mountain that claimed her family. Only something sinister slumbers in the heart of Knnot.
And it has waited years for release.
Phantom of the Opera (2014-15)
During the warm-up session before his program, Hanyu and a Chinese figure skater collided, resulting in head injuries to both skaters. Despite this, Hanyu went on to skate a flawed program that still landed him in second place on the podium (which, for someone who had a concussion, is seriously impressive).
This program was filled with worry over Hanyu’s performance and well-being, and I’m sure a lot of us were still surprised they allowed him to skate afterward. But despite that, Hanyu still delivered a well-choreographed program that re-invented itself the following year.
Based on this costume and the high-tension of his program, I personally recommend The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto.
by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Published by Sourcebooks Fire
Released on February 2nd, 2021
YOUNG ADULT FICTION—Thriller, Mystery, Contemporary
A classic sort of love story… except somebody might wind up dead.
Nobody knows Delilah like Logan does. Nobody. He makes sure of it by learning everything he can through her social media and watching her through a hidden camera he has trained on her house. Some might call him a stalker. Logan prefers to be called “romantic.”
But after Logan sees Delilah killing her abusive stepfather, he realizes there’s still more about her to discover. His sweet, perfect Delilah isn’t so perfect after all.
Delilah knows she should feel guilty, but all she feels is free. She’s so over the men in her life controlling her. Except Logan saw what she did, and he won’t let her forget it.
Delilah is done being the victim. And she refuses to be a character in Logan’s twisted fantasy. If Logan won’t let her go… she’ll make him.