a Corrigan Falls novel
by Cate Cameron
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book contains adult language, swoon-worthy kisses, and sexy hockey players. It may cause you to watch a hockey game...or ten.
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
There are gonna be spoilers all over this review. I'm sorry - but it's that good.
Playing Defense impressed me. I don't know if I can describe it any other way. On one side, it is a cute, popular guy-geeky girl romance. A little insta-lovey, but not really because Claudia and Chris both grow into their feelings. The attraction, however, insta-there. There is some talk about sex which is handled very well. Bravo.
But then there's the other stuff. And the other stuff is what really makes this young adult book so different than others. The other stuff is the part that every young adult book is essentially about, but this one is so wonderfully blatant about it. Claudia is terrified of growing up - and never realized it until she met Chris. Chris signifies what she's been missing since she's so focused on her academic life. Friends, attraction, dating, caring about someone - these are things that Claudia has yet to experience even though she's nearing the end of her high school career. Chris isn't totally unaffected either - Claudia makes him realize that there is more to him than someone who is good at hockey. He learns that it's worth trying even if you think you're going to fail because, as Claudia so perfectly puts it, "Failure is temporary."
Together, Chris and Claudia learn that growing up can mean a different things for different people, but it's worth changing and growing because, even though you get to experience horrible things (you'll understand when you read the book), you get to experience really wonderful ones too.
This book made me think about how I challenge myself - and how I keep myself dormant. It's something I'm going to keep thinking about, and I probably wouldn't have done so at this time, had it not been for this book. I am no longer a young adult - but that doesn't mean I've stopped growing. I recommend this book to people of all ages - it may have teenagers in love, but there are real lessons being taught that are well worth our time.
Plus it's funny lol