Playing Defense Review

Playing Defense by Cate Cameron.

Star Rating: ★★.5

Published: March 14th, 2016

“‘He’ll never agree to it. All he cares about is hockey, and girls, and beer, and goofing around with his friends. He’s not going to want a tutor.'”

If your looking for another hot, popular althete falls for the shy, nerdy girl story, here you go! Special bonus: he doesn’t even know her name because she’s just so unpopular.

Chris Winslow is a star athlete. If only his grades could be as good as his skills on the ice rink. Desperate for help, he asks the guidance office to help him find a tutor.

Claudia Waring is the exact opposite of Chris. She’s book smart and has never been *gasp!* kissed. She is not looking forward to tutoring Chris, because all she sees in him is a meathead hockey player whose only concerns are sex, booze, and pranks (see quote above.) Once their tutoring sessions start, though, she realizes how down to earth he is.

Claudia also befriends Karen, a popular girl who asks to join her friends poetry circle in English class. They decide to form a sisterhood (Chris included) where they would challenge each other to expand their horizons.

I’ve seen this story done so many times before, so this wasn’t a very special book for me. There wasn’t anything new or exciting. The writing felt very childish to me. It almost felt like it could be a children’s book, if you just got rid of the sex and drinking aspects.

One of the better parts of this story is how Claudia grows. As she starts branching out and meeting new people, she becomes so much happier than she was at the beginning of the book. She learns to speak out and say what’s on her mind, to her parents and in public-speaking.

Her crazy mom is one of the reason growth was really important for her (also so the story wasn’t super 2-D). Her mother is extremely overprotective and gets very mad when she gets a ride home from Chris from a hockey game. Claudia is such an innocent person: she doesn’t drink, do drugs, etc, so there really isn’t a reason for her mother to be worried about her. You can tell that she makes responsible descisions.

Yet, she treats her daughter like this:

“My mom glances in my direction, then away, then back again for a longer look. ‘I should take a photo of you,’ she said, sounding almost amused, ‘I could call it ‘Teen Attitude.””

In conclusion, this is a fluffy book with an unoriginal plot. There were too many cliches for me to enjoy it. It did have a positive message about friendship and family, but the whole book was just so unrealistic. If your looking for a good romance, I suggest My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick.

xx, Sophie

(this is my 50th post!! also happy international women’s day!)

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