So I’m a lucky kid. I got to read this book back and June when Julie was still drafting it. That’s what happens when you are friends with the author. And yes, that is my disclaimer. I am friends with the author. Just getting that out there so you know, but also know that my thoughts on this story have nothing to do with that friendship. I genuinely enjoyed this book.
When Julie first told me that she was going to write a 4th book in the Against the Wall series and it was going to be about Chase, I basically wanted to slap her upside the head and tell her no! Chase had to have been the worst character ever in the other 3 books. I really really hated him and how he treated Shelly and Summer. He was the biggest jerk ever. But in pure Julie fashion, she made me a believer in Chase. And by the end of Playing Chase I actually liked him and thought he was just misunderstood and it was a product of his environment that he did stupid things.
Playing Chase is the story of Chase Marino, the cheater that broke Shelly’s heart in Against the Wall and Summer’s heart in Straddling the Edge. He is selfish and a dirt bag and deserves everything he gets thrown at him from Summer, Shelly and Shelly’s best friend Mel. He knows this and has resigned himself to the fact that they plan to make his life miserable. Until Tiffany Gutierrez, his new student teacher, enters the picture. Fighting his immediate attraction to her Chase does everything he can to stay away because he knows his pattern and what he does to the women he cares about. But as Tiffany gets closer to him he starts to rethink his position and the reasons he does the same thing over and over to the women he supposedly loves.
Really Playing Chase is the epitome of a growth story. Although Chase was only a background-ish character in the first couple of books, he was a huge part of the story. Without him the girls wouldn’t have found their loves. But Chase was also just a horrible person. But Playing Chase really changes that. When you finally get to see Chase’s home life and inside his head you start to see him as a person and I think that was the truly remarkable part of this book. Without that you wouldn’t get to see the real Chase. The Chase that has feelings and worries about hurting other people. And the chemistry between Tiffany and him is so so good. I actually found myself, for the first time since meeting him, cheering him on and wanting him to get the girl and that is all thanks to Julie’s incredible story telling. She got it and made sure her readers got it.
Basically this fourth and final(?) book in the Against the Wall series was a nice finish to a fun tale of teachers and what happens outside the classroom. I loved how everything came together and how it all worked as a whole. Julie brought us on a fun and unforgettable journey that I enjoyed and I think you will too.