Playing Defense

Playing Defense

by Cate Cameron


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Playing Defense by Cate Cameron

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?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781682811290
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication date: 03/07/2016
Pages: 210
Sales rank: 471,604
Product dimensions: 4.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Playing Defense

By Cate Cameron, Alycia Tornetta

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Cate Cameron
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-574-1


"Claudia, you need more extracurriculars," Mrs. Davidson said firmly. She was a guidance counselor, among other things, and said almost everything firmly. "Your marks are excellent, and they'll probably be enough to get you into most schools. But you want more than 'probably,' don't you?"

I absolutely wanted more than "probably," and I wanted more than "most schools," too. I was looking for guaranteed acceptance to the engineering program at the University of Waterloo, the best engineering school in the country. That was my goal, and I was very goal oriented. But there had to be some other way to reach it.

"Maybe I should look at the list again," I suggested. I wasn't athletic, and the school didn't offer much besides sports, but there had to be something. Something else.

Mrs. Davidson handed the sheet of paper across her desk again. "We're a small school," she said. I wasn't sure if she was trying to be soothing, apologetic, or just realistic. "There are limited options. Student government is already full, and you said you weren't interested in the environment. So tutoring is a good option for you."

Okay, for the record, it's not like I hate the environment. I'm interested in it. I'm an environmentalist, even. But the club at our school was fairly radical — they were always talking about making a stand and getting arrested in the name of progress and a lot of other things that would not appeal to my dream school. So the Young Environmentalists club was out. "I just don't think I'd be all that good at tutoring," I tried.

"That's unfortunate. A lot of schools — Waterloo included — are looking for students who are strong communicators as well as strong calculators. Taking part in tutoring would show that you can share your knowledge, not just accumulate it."

Maybe it's because I'm an only child, but I'm really not that big on sharing. Unfortunately, it wasn't looking like I had much choice. "Okay." I sighed. "Tutoring. Alicia's doing that thing with the elementary students — is that where you'd put me?"

"Well, no," Mrs. Davidson said. "That program is full, and we actually have a need a little closer to home. A senior student is having some trouble with both the advanced functions class and chemistry. With your excellence in both subjects, I think you'd really be able to help him out."

I squinted at her suspiciously. "Which senior student?"

Her smile was too bland to be trusted. "Chris Winslow. Do you know him?"

Like she'd said, it was a small school. But even if it had been bigger, I still would have known Chris Winslow. He was pretty impossible to overlook. "The hockey player?" I squeaked.

She looked down at her papers quickly, but not fast enough to keep me from seeing her smirk. She was enjoying this.

I wasn't. "I really don't think I'd do well with Chris Winslow. I mean, he's — He needs — I don't think —"

"You'll do very well," Mrs. Davidson said firmly. "The world is made of all kinds of people, and to be successful in it you'll need to learn how to get along with everyone, not just with those who are serious and academically inclined."

"Okay, so that's something I should work toward. Fine. But baby steps, right? I mean, going from 'serious and academically inclined' to Chris Winslow? That's a pretty extreme transition."

"You've been resisting all my efforts at baby steps for over three years. You only have eight months left in high school. Eight more months to try things out while you still have a safety net. Once you leave this school, and this town, you'll find that people are much less forgiving. This is your chance, Claudia. I suggest you take it."

"Chris Winslow," I said dully. "Functions and chemistry." Then I saw my way out. "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."

"He's the one who asked me for help," Mrs. Robinson said gently. She glanced out her window as if something had caught her eye, then stood up from behind her desk and eased past the filing cabinet to get a better look at whatever it was. "Oh," she said.

I stood up, too, and looked over her shoulder. "Holy ... Well — holy cow," I said.

She turned to me. "Indeed." She took a deep breath and gusted it out like she was doing a breathing exercise. "Could you please go find Ms. Walker and let her know about this? I'll go down and try to ... I'm not quite sure. Try to control the situation."

"Yeah, okay," I said, and started for the door. It had been strange to see a small herd of cattle on the school's front lawn. Stranger still to realize that they weren't the usual black-and-white kind. Instead, these cattle were black and yellow. Brilliant, almost neon yellow.

Someone had dyed the cattle. And it probably wasn't a coincidence that the local hockey team's colors were black and yellow. Probably not a coincidence at all.

* * *

It was really hard to pay attention to whatever Dr. Stanis was talking about. I mean, it was always hard to pay attention to her — she was nice and everything, and clearly into her subject, but math just wasn't my thing. It didn't matter how excited she got about it, it was still all random numbers and symbols to me. So even on a good day it was difficult to keep my mind on her lessons. But on this day? Pretty much impossible.

We'd rigged up cameras, of course. Two phones propped up on the dashboards of cars parked by the front lawn, and a video camera taped outside the window of the second-floor history classroom. I was stuck on the opposite side of the building, so I couldn't actually see any of it live, but the guys with classes facing the front had promised to record as much of it as they could, once they were done playing innocent and were able to join the crowd of onlookers. So I'd be able to watch it all, eventually. But I wanted to know what was going on right then.

"Chris?" Dr. Stanis said gently. I hadn't even realized she'd been standing next to me. Hadn't realized she'd left the front of the classroom and was circulating around, offering help. "What's the first step going to be?"

I looked down at the numbers I'd copied off the board, then up at her. "Maybe I should make another guidance appointment? I could take a tech instead."

She shook her head. "You can do this, Chris. And if you want to go to university instead of community college, you will do this. You'll at least pass this course. But you need to try."

I nodded. We'd had this conversation before. This was actually her second year as my math teacher, so you'd think she'd have a pretty good understanding of my ability. Or my lack of ability, more like it. But she was an optimist. I guess for someone as smart as her, it would be kind of hard to understand how someone else could be so stupid. "Yeah," I said, because there wasn't much else to say.

But I wasn't getting rid of her that easily. She pointed at the page again. "So. What's the first step going to be?"

I stared at the page. Integration by substitution. That was what we were doing. Integration by substitution. I figured I had a fifty-fifty chance of being right. "We substitute?" She didn't answer right away, so I quickly said, "No, we integrate?"

"How do we know if we even need to substitute?" she asked patiently.

"Oh, the list!"

"Good, yes. Is this function on the list?"

"Give me a minute," I said, and started sorting through my notes. There was a list of functions, somewhere, somewhere ...

"Find the list, see if this function fits, and I'll be back after I help Amanda," she said, and left my desk to go harass the girl a couple rows over. Not that she was harassing. She was helping, or trying to. But she didn't seem to realize just how hopeless I was.

My phone vibrated then. We weren't supposed to have them in class, but short of a full-body search, there was no way to keep students from carrying them in. But if I got caught looking at it, Dr. Stanis would take it away, and it'd be a pain to get it back. So I eased it out of my pocket and glanced at it in my lap.

The text was from Tyler MacDonald, who'd been my best friend ever since we both came to Corrigan Falls to play hockey for the Raiders. There are yellow-and-black cows at school, it read.

A second later, the phone vibrated again. Tell me u didn't have anything to do with this.

Yeah, Tyler was my best friend, but he was pretty serious. When I pulled pranks, I left him out of it.

I glanced at the teacher to be sure she was still busy and quickly texted, Stop distracting me. I'm trying to learn.

There was no response, but I could picture Tyler's frustration all the same. Too mad to type, probably.

I grinned, and the bell finally rang, and clearly I wasn't the only one who'd been doing a little undercover texting, because the whole class surged for the door and headed toward the front of the school.

I know, they're just cows. Really not that exciting. But Corrigan Falls is a quiet place, except on game nights. So livestock at school, especially when the livestock was wearing Raiders colors, was worth seeing.

I worked my way out of the school and toward the front of the crowd, even though I was tall enough to have a good view from the back, and found Tyler wrapped around Karen, his girlfriend, both of them watching the cows like they thought the animals might start doing tricks. When Tyler saw me coming, he shook his head. "If you get caught for this, coach will bench you. Guaranteed."

"Of course I don't know what you're talking about," I said.

"Of course," Karen agreed. She was smirking a little, so I figured Tyler couldn't be all that mad. The two of them are usually on the same wavelength about things.

Then Karen's eyes widened, and she turned back to the cows really quickly. I wasn't too surprised when I heard a familiar voice from beside me.

"Chris," Mrs. Davidson said. She was kind of cool, as guidance counselors go, but probably not cool enough to truly appreciate my genius on this one.

So I gave her my best innocent look. "Hey, Mrs. Davidson! Cows!"

"Yes. Cows."

Damn. She had a pretty good stare, like she could see right through me, right into my nasty little prank-pulling soul. But she couldn't get me in trouble if her only evidence was soul-vision. "Where'd they come from?" I asked, still innocent.

She sighed. "That's an excellent question, Chris. Where did they come from?"

She asked like she really wanted to know, but I wasn't going to get sucked in that easily. Still, it wouldn't hurt to help her out a little. "There's a dairy farm just past the trees, isn't there? I wonder if they came from over there. Maybe they broke through the fence."

"Broke through the fence and dyed themselves yellow?"

"Well, I guess they probably didn't dye themselves, no."

"So maybe somebody helped them through the fence."

"Huh. Well, yeah, I guess. You're right." Some people like being told that they're right, but apparently Mrs. Davidson wasn't one of them, because her expression stayed stony.

"I wonder what they were dyed with," she said.

I frowned. "I bet it's something safe. Like, something that wouldn't hurt them. Maybe food coloring." I turned to Tyler. He'd be pissed off, but he'd back me up. We were teammates. "Does that look like food coloring to you, Mac?"

He gave me a dirty look, but then nodded grumpily. "Probably just food coloring, yeah."

"And I wonder why they're all collected on the lawn like they are," Mrs. Davidson said. "Seems like cattle usually roam around a little, don't they?"

"Maybe there's some sort of mystical force at work," I suggested, but she didn't seem impressed. "Or maybe somebody poured something on the grass to make it taste better. Sugar, or salt, or ... I don't know, Mrs. Davidson, I really couldn't tell you much about what cows like to eat. But maybe there's some of whatever it is on the grass right there."

"Maybe there was a path of it leading in from the forest," Karen said. She hadn't been part of the prank, but she was clearly having fun with the cover-up. "Somebody could have come last night and laid a path and nobody noticed it this morning." She looked from Mrs. Davidson to me. "Right?"

"I don't know," I said firmly. We all needed to remember that I didn't know. "But I guess that would make sense, yeah."

"Can I see your hands, Chris?" Mrs. Davidson said. Not aggressive or anything, just like she was a little curious.

So I lifted my hands. Clean and pink, no trace of artificial yellow. "I don't know if you'll be able to catch people that way," I said. "Whoever did it could have worn gloves, right?"

"Right," she said. Then she smiled. "Chris, you're a leader at this school, aren't you?"

"A leader? Uh —"

"Yes, you are. Don't be modest. And I think as a leader, you need to take some responsibility for things that happen here, don't you?"

"Take responsibility? Like how?"

"Like getting these cows back where they belong. Making sure the fence is in good repair. I'll drive over and let the farmer know what's going on, and I'll ask him to put out buckets and a hose and some rags so you can wash these cows and get them back to their natural color. You can take the cattle back now, on your lunch hour, and wash them after school today."

"Oh, no, I can't. I mean, the lunchtime thing, sure, I can do that. But I have practice after school. Maybe we could just wait until it rains on them?"

"I don't think the farmer should be asked to milk black-and-yellow cows until the next time it rains. I'll call your coach and let him know why you can't make practice."

That didn't sound like a good idea at all. "Uh ... well, Tyler can probably tell him. I know how busy you are, and Coach can be hard to get hold of. You don't need to worry about it."

She raised an eyebrow. "I have his cell number, Chris. I speak to him fairly regularly. I've never found him hard to get hold of."

"Huh. Well ... he must really like you. That's nice, isn't it? He picks up for you, even when he won't pick up for his players."

"So he'll be happy to hear from me, even if I am giving him some bad news."

This wasn't going well at all. The Corrigan Falls Raiders are an OHL team, semi-pro junior hockey. Technically, the team wasn't connected to the school at all. But we had the bad luck to have a coach who thought it was really important for all his players to get an education. "Wait. Bad news? Just that I'm going to be late for practice today. That's all. You're not going to tell him something else, are you?"

"Well, I should possibly talk to him about your grades, too."

This conversation was going in a lot of different directions and didn't seem to be taking a straight line in any of them. "Uh, wait. You said you'd set up a tutor." I'd asked her if I could just drop functions and chemistry, but the school's so small there isn't a lot of choice in any given period. She couldn't find a way to make my schedule work without those courses, not if I still wanted to get the credits I needed to go to university. Which I still kind of did, even if I was pretty sure I'd end up flunking out my first year.

"That's right. And I think I have someone in mind. But I don't want to waste her time if you aren't committed. So, Chris, I need to know you're going to follow through with it."

She knew me too well. "I plan to," I told her honestly.

She smiled, but her eyes were sharp. "I think I'd like a little more than that, Chris. Tell you what. These cows get home safely and get washed, and I get good reports from your tutor that you're making a genuine effort? And I'll hold off on calling your coach. But any problems with the cows, or with the tutoring? I'll not only call him, I'll ask him to bench you until your attitude improves. Clear?"

"But — the cows — you don't — that could have been anybody!"


Excerpted from Playing Defense by Cate Cameron, Alycia Tornetta. Copyright © 2016 Cate Cameron. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Playing Defense 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got to page 134 of 169 and then it just kept repeating the same 5 pages of the storyline over and over until the end. Where is the rest of the story and the ending? I paid for a whole book not a partial one.
THHernandez More than 1 year ago
Claudia is shy, reserved, and doesn't have time for rowdy hockey teams and their obnoxious groupies. Loud prankster, Chris, doesn't have time for school. It only gets in the way of hockey, and in this small Canadian town, everyone knows hockey is Chris's future. Or is it? With his grades struggling, he doesn't really have a plan B and doesn't give his all to the game the way he knows he should. He flounders until his counselor suggests tutoring, something Chris sees as a waste of his time, but feels he owes it to his mother to at least try. Chris and his new tutor, Claudia, embark on a fragile friendship that soon blossoms into something more. When Claudia's poetry teachers suggests that poems are more than just words on a page, Claudia and a few friends take that suggestion to heart and create a secret sisterhood of awesomeness where each member encourages the others to do random acts of awesome. For Claudia, it's attending her first ever hockey game and attempting to enjoy herself. For Chris, it's studying for himself rather than for others. But when tragedy strikes, Claudia and Chris will have to find a way forward in the manner that means the most to them. Plot This is essentially a teenage romance, but I love the awesome challenges that are woven through it, making it feel like something a little bit more than just a standard romance. The push-and-pull of the two romantic leads' very different backgrounds provides the conflict necessary to drive the love story, but it's the secret club that brings them and other unlikely characters together, giving them a purpose bigger than themselves. Characters I found both Chris and Claudia to be likeable and I rooted for them, but the rest of the characters fell flat for me, with the exception of the teacher. Both Claudia's and Chris's friends, other students, even parents were mostly props, Claudia's mom was a bit stereotypical, but she served a purpose to drive conflict, which she did quite well. Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Playing Defense 1. The hockey. I thoroughly enjoy sports romances and the hockey was a nice change from the football and baseball I've been reading lately. 2. The characters. Claudia and Chris came across as real, flawed, and easy to relate to. 3. The sisterhood. I loved the idea the kids (both boys and girls) came up with to challenge and support one another. 4. The romance. It was refreshing to read a sweet romance with an alpha male. 5. The lessons. It might not be cool to say it, but hard work pays off! Bottom Line A fun teen romance wrapped in hockey, with complex contemporary characters. Disclaimer I was provided with a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
astroyic More than 1 year ago
Loved this adorable story! This was light and fun as well as warm and fuzzy. Laughing and swooning and maybe some floating along with Claudia over Chris carried me through this story way to fast. Everywhere else in the whole town of Corrigan Falls Chris Winslow was large and in charge, but in the library it was Claudia's' ice rink and he had to play by her rules in their study bubble. I love Chris and Claudia together, and loved that it was written in dual POV, giving us all the nitty gritty that they are thinking and feeling and it was fantastic. Chris is a friendly, laughing, golden God, who is on the Raiders Hockey OHL semi-pro junior hockey team, who needs some help in chemistry and advanced functions class. Claudia Waring is wicked smart, super serious, very goal oriented and needs more extracurriculars for a guaranteed acceptance to the engineering program at the University of Waterloo. Always has been one to stay focused and on track, when she is given the task to tutor a senior student that is having trouble in two classes, she is swept off track by the golden God Chris and the social ladder that she has climbed up simply by being in his vicinity. Loved the Sisterhood of Awesomeness and that they challenged each other to be more awesome, with even two boys who join in the Sisterhood to make it even better. This is my first Cate Cameron book and I am hooked. Fantastically Awesome story. Get it now! Highly recommended! Received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Alexandra_the_Reader More than 1 year ago
What can I say ... I simply loved it. One of the things I love the most in a book it's being able to connect with the characters and that's whats happened with Playing Defense. I remembered my senior year and all the struggles, I could see a lot of Claudia in me and a little bit of the indecision of Chris in me. The story, the humor, the characters, the friendship and definitely the sisterhood of of awesomeness were my fav things of the book (in other words everything). We got a little bit of drama, humor, and real and fake friendship, that makes this book a page turner. **ARC received via, thanks Netgalley and CateCameron for the e-copy.**
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.5/5 When the quiet, hardworking, well behaved Claudia Waring is advised to take on the job of peer tutoring she knew it would count well in her college applications but didn’t expect it to change her quite so much. She's smart, focussed on her own attainment to achieve her career goals. She’s tasked with tutoring Chris Winslow, a hot, gorgeous, happy-go-lucky hockey player in Maths and Chemistry, neither expected their mutual chemistry to prove a different sort of challenge for them. Talk about opposites attracting - or are they really opposites? This is a great story where teen perceptions of themselves and others are challenged resulting in major changes in attitudes and expectations for all concerned. When parental influences are also challenged, life is something of an emotional roller coaster where the biggest challenges are personal development and meeting them can have a much wider impact on everyone concerned. I definitely didn't like Claudia's Mum - what an attitude that lady has! Claudia's English teacher, however, is a great character, I'd have loved having a teacher like her at that age. This is told from the points of view of the two main characters and I have to admit to getting initially confused at times by just who was narrating, which detracted from the flow and thus my enjoyment of the story. It was, however, a sweet story and the changes they made to their lives and attitudes was believable. Some of the dialogue was particularly good with great wordplay. It may well appeal more to younger readers looking for a high school based romance than to older readers like myself. Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
DownrightDystopian More than 1 year ago
To start off, I thought I'd praise Center Ice a bit, which was the first book in this series. I loved it so much and it was one of the first Entangled Crush books I read. I was super excited to hear shortly after reading it that there was going to be another book in the series following Chris. I'm so glad that I finally got the chance to read it now! I've been waiting for the longest time! The story follows two characters, Claudia and Chris. Claudia decides to go into tutoring at the beginning of the book in order to have better stats on her college applications. Of course, she ends up tutoring for Chris, who she can't really stand because he's such a jock and seems to be a trouble maker. Chris has been part of the Raiders for a while though Claudia kind of catches him off guard because of how different she is. He really likes it. I loved Chris and Claudia so much! They were so cute. As soon as they met, I could instantly see some chemistry and I absolutely ate it up. I really felt for Claudia and I loved that she was really into writing because I am too. I also loved how she was very much into school and doing well, which probably would have a positive impact on Chris. Chris really grew on me, which I was glad about! Also, I was absolutely ecstatic that there was a cameo with Tyler and Karen because they go to the same school. I loved them so much in book one so it was so exciting to get a bit more of them in dialogue and such! I really hope there's another book, because I can't get enough of these books.
BookFidelity More than 1 year ago
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
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is book # 2 in the Corrigan Falls Raider series. It can be read as a standalone novel For reader enjoyment and understanding I recommend reading series in order. This is best to avoid possible spoilers. Claudia and Chris meet when she becomes him tutor. Her counselor thinks she needs more on her college application. She assigns her to Chris. Chris is just trying to juggle it all. He has a mom who wants him to go to college. He is trying to do what he can to get by. Can he do more? The attraction between them is immediate. The sparks are flying everywhere and others are noticing. Really good addition to the series with some of our favorite characters thrown in. ***This ARC copy was given by and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.
lenorewastaken More than 1 year ago
4 stars -- I received a copy of this book through NetGalley! This was a quintessential YA wasn't just a romance, it had a lot of exploring the growth of both characters in it as well. And I actually really enjoyed the kind of blunt look it took on the issues that might face some teens, and that the environment in the high school wasn't so stereotypical and over the top. There were social circles, but it wasn't all Mean Girls all the time...I appreciated that Claudia wasn't horribly teased and ridiculed, but more like ignored I guess. And while there were mentions of parties after the hockey games, they weren't some lavish affairs like we see in so many teen movies. I also appreciated the way the characters talked about sex -- it felt reasonable and realistic. It wasn't a topic that was avoided, but it wasn't the whole focus either if that makes sense. Chris wasn't some manwhore, but he also wasn't a virginal saint. His views were reasonable for a teenage boy -- definitely a fan, but not to the exclusion of all else. I'm not sure I'm making any sense, I just read the part where they were discussing it and I was impressed that it didn't fall into the usual tropes. I really liked both Claudia and Chris. They each had their challenges to go through (and not just the ones from the sisterhood). I felt like these could be real kids in high school...Claudia dealing with the pressure of high achieving academics and Chris dealing with his own sense of worth and fear of failure. And I liked how they were with each other. You could really feel what was drawing them together, even if they didn't have a lot in common. I think my favourite part was the sisterhood of awesomeness. I didn't expect all these other secondary characters to play such a role, but I enjoyed the discoveries they were making with each other, and watching them try to grow and become more than they were. I was a bit dismayed with Claudia's mother. She was honestly horrific. She was so prejudiced, and narrowly focused on what *she* wanted for Claudia's life. I kind of would have liked to see Claudia stand up to her a bit more and for her mother to at least see some of Claudia's side, but I guess it's kind of realistic that she may's a more realistic outcome, but in that case I was hoping for a more storybook resolution, kwim? This book had me laughing, crying, and feeling all the feels (from dismay to hope). And I didn't even realize it was a Canadian author or would be set in Canada before I started reading, so that was a bit of a bonus to me. Will definitely be checking out the first book in this series to read about Tyler and Karen's story.
SCRAMER More than 1 year ago
This book was given to me for an honest review: Honestly I really liked this book, it was a fast read but not the kind where things were missing more of a can't put this down to join in life kind of fast read. I do admit there were some things I did have to look up because the story was based out of CANADA but than London was mentioned so I was slightly confused (learned there was a LONDON in Canada, which I did not know) but other than that I thought it was a cute story about a girl needing to get out of her comfort zone and to do that she tutors the prank doing, fun loving, hockey player. BUT she does have her misgivings about doing this of course! Using one of his teammates girlfriends to get the read on Claudia, actually backfires on Chris... which made me laugh because it was a typical HS thing! You don't NEED to read the first book in the series to understand what is going on BUT you will WANT to after reading this one. Its cute, funny and brought tears to my eyes from laughing so hard! Thank you Entangled, Netgalley, and Cate Cameron for giving me the chance to read this!
MELHUTCHINSON More than 1 year ago
If you love hockey and romance then this book is for you! Cate Cameron did an awesome job with this story and I can't wait to see what she does with the next books in the series. Claudia is what most people classify as a nerd. She is smart and very focused on her studies. When Claudia is told that she is going to have to tutor one of the hockey players, she thinks that this is going to be a disaster. Claudia reluctantly agrees to do it and finds out that she is going to be tutoring one of the more famous hockey players, Chris. The whole stigma that goes around a "jock" is that they like to play around are are mostly called "dumb jocks". Claudia knows that this is going to be a joke but she does it anyway to appease those that made the decision for her. When Claudia and Chris meet for the first time, Claudia finds out that there is another side to Chris that she really did not know about. Chris is not all that dumb, it is just that with him being on the hockey team, they do a lot of traveling and sometimes miss class and that puts him behind or makes it to where he doesn't really understand all of their assignments because of missing out on the instruction of the lesson. Claudia does her best to catch Chris up on everything. Claudia learns that with a little encouragement, Chris has great potential. Claudia and her friends meanwhile form a Sisterhood that allows then to be who they are. No acting or competing against each other, just friends being friends. There were several touchy issues that were brought to light in this story that I thought were very well approached and handled. Chris having a friend that was gay and him being a friend and accompanying him to a new youth group so that he wouldn't be scared. The fact that the coaches harped on the topic of sexual consent with the guys was impressive. I love that these topics were in this story, but in a very mature way. There wasn't any of the high school silliness that went along with these topics like there usually is. The characters handled them very maturely. I can't wait for the next book in this series. I love that the sport of choice in this series is hockey! Such a great read and well written!! I was given a copy of this book by Entangled Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
dsubsits More than 1 year ago
Cate Cameron’s Playing Defense is another win for the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series. The story starts off at the same time as the cow incident that took place in book one, Center Ice. I thought that scene was pretty funny, so I enjoyed reading about it from the mastermind’s point of view. Hockey player, Chris Winslow needs a tutor to help him out with advanced functions and chemistry. Claudia Waring needs to diversify her activities for her college applications, so she can get into her school of choice. The two opposites challenge each other to expand their horizons. This contemporary young adult sports romance takes place in Corrigan Falls, Ontario. I enjoy Chris’ character. He is a defenseman for the Corrigan Falls Raiders, a semi-pro junior hockey in the OHL. He is a senior who has been living with a billet family. He is carefree, not taking much seriously. I love that Chris is secure enough to be part of the sisterhood and to support his friend Oliver by going to a gay function even though he is straight. He doesn’t care what other think about him. He is confident, except when it comes to Claudia. I like that Claudia took a chance and stepped out of her comfort zone. I love that she did what she felt was right for her and not what was expected of her. Her mom was seriously overbearing. She would not be an easy person to stand up to. I love that Chris and Claudia are opposites and challenge each other to be “awesome." Both characters took chances to try to improve themselves. Chris helps Claudia loosen up, while Claudia helps Chris take things more seriously. The two are good for each other and their personal development. I appreciated Ms. Coyne. She was a great teacher. I like that she challenges the students, and that she is excited by the things they come up with. I think it is great that she valued the “sisterhood” and asked Claudia and Karen if they minded if she started a group with her friends. Some unexpected things happen in the story that tests both characters. This novel has a little of everything: humor, action, drama, tragedy, and romance. I enjoyed the plot. It was believable and well executed. The characters are well-developed and show tremendous growth. There are a lot of interesting things that happen between the main and support characters. I enjoy Cate Cameron’s writing style. Her stories flow well and keep you fully engaged. I love the Corrigan Falls Raiders Series and cannot wait for Toby Cooper's story in the next book, Winging It. Complimentary copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I really loved this one! It's been a very long time since I was in high school but the exceptional writing of this author brought me right back there. This is a classic story of the studious smart girl Claudia and the goof off hockey playing jock Chris. Chris is a prankster but his latest prank has gotten him into real hot water. Now it's get his grades up or there is no more hockey. So tutoring sessions with Claudia it is! These two characters were great together and they each brought out the best in each other. I felt really sorry for Claudia at times with her mother as domineering as she was it was hard for her to stand on her own two feet but she does it and you just want to cheer. She may be tutoring him in math and science but he's giving her lessons in living her life. This is a wonderfully sweet read and I would recommend it for everyone.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
I absolutely loved book 1 (CENTER ICE), and was sure that it would be a hard one to follow up. I'm so glad to be wrong! Book 2 might actually have been even better. It probably helped that once again, the book is written in the first person, dual POV perspective. As charming as Chris Winslow is (and gosh darn it, he is charming!) getting to see what's going on in his head in his own words just makes him that much, well, more. He give us this: “I'm usually a pretty confident person. Mostly because I'm clueless, so I miss a lot of the subtle insults that other people get all upset about. I'll be honest; it works well for me.” I might have snort-laughed a little on that one. And then there's the scene where Claudia goes to her very first hockey game as her first challenge in the Sisterhood of Awesomeness. (Which Chris is part of. How many heroes will voluntarily be a part of a sisterhood, I ask you?) Chris has just convinced himself that she's not going to come, or she's gotten a flat, or there's been an accident, or...anyway, well, here's what happens when his best friend Tyler points out that she's just arrived: “Claudia turned to look toward the ice. And that was when I smashed into the boards and wiped out. I'm a defenseman. I skate backward a lot, and I'm pretty good at it, usually. But apparently on that night I'd lost the ability to know where I was on the ice. Which is kind of a bad thing for a hockey player to lose.” OH MY GOSH. He skated into the boards! And fell down! Because Claudia looked over at him! Just too adorable. On paper, he and Claudia seem like an unlikely couple, but in fact they really work. Chris needs someone to help him see that he's a lot more than he's been trying for so far (as in, he hasn't really been trying much at all--he's "good enough" on the ice and barely scraping by in his classes) and Claudia needs someone to push her out of her comfortable rut of school, prepping for more school, and preparing for more school after that. She needs to get out of her brain--and out of her desk chair--and live. The Sisterhood of Awesomeness helps, as does having new friends and a teacher who believe in her, but Chris gives her the biggest push of all. The Claudia in chapter 1 would never have had this conversation with a guy: "You care about stuff, but it's good stuff. Like, school or whatever. You don't let it get in the way of doing what you want." "Did you catch the part where I'd never even kissed anybody before you?" she demanded. "Do you really think that counts as not letting school get in the way of doing what I want?" "Well, I've been thinking of that more in terms of you saving yourself for me. Or having really high standards that no guy before me has been able to meet. I wasn't thinking that you'd have been madly making out with guys if you weren't so distracted by your math homework." "I would have been," she said solemnly. "I would have been madly making out with guys. Lots of them. I have no standards at all. It was only the math homework that saved me." I could go on and on, but I need to leave some awesome quotes for the rest of you to find for yourselves. This book made me laugh, it made me cry (I was sobbing at one point; darn you, Cate Cameron!), it made me swoon, and it made me highight some of the longest passages I've ever highlighted before in a book. Bring on book 3! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I received a complimentary copy for an honest review.