Playing Defense by Cate Cameron

Posted in Advanced Reader Copy/ Contemporary Romance/ Netgalley/ New Adult/ Reviews/ Sports/ Young Adult 28th February 2016
Playing Defense by Cate CameronPlaying Defense by Cate Cameron
Series: Corrigan Falls Raiders #2
Published by Entangled: Crush on March 14th 2016
Pages: 178
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three-stars

Sixteen-year-old Claudia Waring has never kissed a boy. Never been popular. Never been to a hockey game. All that’s about to change. Assigned to tutor Chris Winslow, a prank-loving, gorgeous hockey player, Claudia’s perfectly planned life immediately veers off course. And she kind of likes it. But as fun as Chris is, she knows she'll never fit in his world.
After his latest prank lands him in hot water, Chris has to get serious about school or lose hockey. Not an easy thing for someone as carefree as the defenseman. The biggest problem, though, is how much he wants to help his cute, buttoned-up tutor loosen up a little. But while confidence has never been a problem for him, around Claudia, Chris is all nerves. Why would a girl as smart as her ever fall for a jock like him?

‘Playing Defense’ is a very whimsical take on central teenage identity and sexuality issues, couched within the predictable trope of the geek girl tutoring the dumb jock, given a little more depth with the sensitivity of Ms. Cameron’s storytelling.

Yet perhaps it is age – being at least a decade removed from the hormonal melodrama of teenagehood – that accounts for my being blindsided and flummoxed by the strangeness of the characters’ actions and behaviour. I could definitely appreciate the target demographic for this story though; the feeling of standing on what seems like the cusp of a ledge where a future of limitless possibilities lies before you is narratively well-captured, as is the conflict described with difficult parents and friends.

There isn’t quite the sense of breathless anticipation or unresolved sexual tension (it’s after all, a PG-book) that I’ve come to expect from the genre I normally lurk in, but the lingering sweetness and innocence in ‘Playing Defense’ would definitely appeal to those who prefer a cleaner, uncomplicated read.

three-stars

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