Playing Hurt - Review

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Publication date: 8 March 2011 from Flux Books

ISBN 10/13: 0738722871 / 9780738722870

Category: Young Adult Fiction

Format: Paperback

Keywords: Contemporary, romance, healing



Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college—and everyone's admiration back home. Then she took a horrible fall during senior year. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family. That summer, Chelsea's dad hires Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player and "boot camp" trainer, to work with her at a northern Minnesota lake resort.

As they grow close, Chelsea finds that Clint's haunted by his own tragedy. Will their romance end up hurting them all over again—or finally heal their heartbreak?

How I found out about this book: Alethea joined a blog tour at I am a Reader, Not a Writer.

Alethea's review: I had a really hard time rating this one. I liked it--it was definitely an enjoyable read. Chelsea and Clint are both very likeable, almost-perfect-but-not-too-perfect young people. The tension between them is palpable--practically wafting off the pages in pulsing waves of lust. The fact that Chelsea has a boyfriend, and not just any boyfriend, the almost-perfect kind--sure to trigger massive amounts of guilt in any girl who's considering cheating.

I thought the sports metaphors were going to be a little more heavy-handed; thank goodness Schindler knows how to lay an even coat of schmaltz, otherwise it would have been unbearably sweet. Apart from the hookups (yum) this could be a made-for-tv special on ABC or the Disney Channel. I don't say that to belittle the story at all--Chelsea is dealing with some major disappointments and frustrations, while Clint is still grieving for his girlfriend, who died in a car crash during a winter storm. It's definitely got the angst and conflict that makes good drama.

Readers of romance will thoroughly enjoy this sexy, well-paced novel. Chelsea and Clint both work through injuries, physically and emotionally. In the end, Playing Hurt leaves you with a sense of longing as well as a satisfying feeling of healing and hope. If you're going on spring break, this is the perfect book to take with you--not too heavy, but not too light!

Playing Hurt is Holly Schindler's 2nd YA novel. Visit the author online at Follow @holly_schindler on Twitter.

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Comments? What do you think? Is this something you would read? If you've already read it, put in your two cents... (no spoilers, please!)