Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Some things to look out for: Some heavy romance scenes and some language.

Summary from Goodreads.com

Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college-and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family.

As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain-or finally heal their heartbreak?

My thoughts

Holly Schindler brings back that refreshing and realistic writing that she strategically used in A Blue So Dark. She brings new characters to life the same way she brought them back in her previously debut book.

To be honest I was expecting a sweet and short summer romance when I read this book's summary. Playing Hurt is not your typical light summer romance read, and I am okay with that.

Clint and Chelsea are both broken, one physically and another emotionally, and uselessly trying to deny the attraction they feel towards one another.

One of the many things I liked about this particular story is that it takes a while for the romance between Chelsea and Clint to develop, and not everything is peachy all the time. From the beginning you could tell there was an attraction between each other, but it took some time for the flirting to develop into something more intense.

I am not a big sports person, I can't play outside without hurting myself or others, but I really was able to understand what both Clint and Chelsea were feeling. All of that passion that Chelsea had for basketball and how sudden all of it was taken away, or Clint's passion for hockey ripped away from him after some horrible incident. Holly's method of giving us both of their point of views really helped me visualize the story more.

The story is not only centered around Chelsea's relationship with Clint, but also the rocky relationship she has between her family, and how it improves as her love for the sport she loved returns.

But a certain relationship definitely worsened because of Clint's and Chelsea's connection. Chelsea leaves behind a boyfriend who is head over heals for her and cannot wait for her to get back so they can be together, really together*. I kinda felt bad for Gabe, he is what a perfect boyfriend ought to be, except not Chelsea's idea of a perfect boyfriend. So yeah, she cheats on him. While I wasn't okay with this, I cold see Chelsea's struggle and efforts to keep her distance. But I mean didn't she just break up with him?

Overall it was a very enjoyable quick read, I mean I read it it one day, I just couldn't stop! Perfect for taking it to the lake or the beach this summer and enjoying it in the outdoors, or indoors. I highly recommend both of Holly Schindler's books, if you pick up one of them or both you will not regret it.

*On that note, there is some romance scenes that probably should not be read by young readers, you can always wait and put it on your wishlist for later!

Those of you who are wanting to read it, but can't get your hands on a copy, watch out for a giveaway of a SINGED Playing Hurt on the blog soon!

About the author:

I dove headfirst into my writing pursuits after receiving my MA in English from Missouri (that’s pronounced Ma-zur-AH, for those of you not in the know) State University. After wearing out a mere half dozen keyboards (I’m completely serious) drafting enough manuscripts to form a pile that literally stretches from the floor to the ceiling of my office, I was ecstatic to release my debut novel, A Blue So Dark, with Flux. A Blue So Dark earned a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth, received a silver medal from the ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Awards, and won a gold medal in the IPPYs. Playing Hurt, my first romance, released March 8, 2011.


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