YA review: Center Ice by Cate Cameron

Title: Center Ice
Author: Cate Cameron
Series: Corrigan Falls Raiders #1
Acquired: Review
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Release date: 19th May 2015

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…

I have been searching for young adult books for a long time set in Canada or more specifically, Toronto. While this one isn’t set in Toronto (although it is mentioned) I was so happy to find this one. 

Protagonist Karen Webber is forced to move to a small town from her home in Toronto after her mother’s death. She has to live with her father who she barely knows and his ‘real’ family who he seems to care about more than he does her. I had to feel sorry for Karen because of her situation. She obviously doesn’t get on with her father or his family, especially her step-sister who seems hell bent on making things as difficult as possible. I can’t imagine being put in this situation and having to deal with what Karen did. 

Things to get a bit better for her though when she meets Tyler, a local hockey player heading for the NHL. Karen feels like she finally has someone she can talk to but she quickly learns of his reputation which puts her off. Karen and Tyler take their time getting to know one another and I really liked that. Each character has a lot going on in their lives and when they’re together they can escape everything else that is happening around them. 

The romance between Karen and Tyler was a bit too rushed for me. The book is quite short at only 196 pages and Cameron tries to pack in too much in only a short space of time. I don’t feel like there was enough time to really have strong enough feelings for one another especially in the way that was described. It was also a bit too predictable for me as well. 

It was refreshing to see ice hockey feature in a book because normally it’s football. I guess ice hockey is a very Canadian thing though so it did fit really well in this book. However, there just wasn’t enough of it for me. Karen had no idea when it came to hockey which I found a bit surprising to be honest. The whole hockey aspect was taken over by Tyler’s overbearing father and his need to control Tyler’s career. I found that all a bit too much. 

Overall, this was really just okay but I think it could have been great if the book had been longer to make things more realistic. 

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