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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Released: March 8, 2011
Publisher: Flux
Rated: YA

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?

What I thought:

It's hard to say, since I have 6 more months this year, but this is one of the best reads this year for me. Such an extraordinary tale of learning to live again and finding a path in life that still helps you live your dream. Chelsea and Clint were exactly what each other needed to heal and starting living again. They were fantastic.

I don't really like love triangles. In this, we don't really see much of Gabe though, since he is left behind. Maybe it's because I couldn't get attached to him, but I didn't feel terribly bad when Chelsea started to feel alive with Clint. Or maybe the fact that she had never felt passion for someone else until Clint. Whatever it was, it didn't bother me like it normally does. Mostly, I just felt bad for Chelsea when she felt torn in two.

So much tension in this novel. Between Chelsea and her father, Chelsea and her brother, Chelsea and herself. It was great to see the growth instead of just having it there. It was brilliant, beautiful writing. It only seemed fitting that Chelsea tries to heal someone else along with herself instead of letting someone who is seemingly perfect try to put her back together. In a strange way, she feels more whole to me when she's with someone who is flawed as well.

Such a great read. It really was. It had a bit more sexually explicit scenes in it than I normally expect for YA. While we don't see the act itself, we sure do get the full picture leading up to it. I'm still on the fence. As an adult, it doesn't bother me as much, but I still don't like to see too much in YA. Kids aren't stupid, they know what sex is, but sometimes I just wish the more descriptive stuff would get left out.

My Rating:

Copyrighted 2010-2011 by Coffee Table Reviews. Use of all or any part of review is prohibited without consent, except use by authors/publishers.


Katie said...

Great review! I have this one on my shelf and it sounds like I need to start reading it soon since it's this great! Chelsea and Clint sound like great characters!

Mary said...

I've been wanting to read this one for a while. Great review -- guess I'm going to have to crack it open next!
Happy Reading!
Mary @ Book Swarm

Jess (Gone with the Words) said...

I LOVED this book, too!! Great review! I agree that I didn't feel too badly for Gabe, either. Clint was...whoa. Just incredible. hehe

Candace said...

I agree with everything you said! I think Holly is a brilliant writer and she did a fantastic job with this book. I do wish the more descriptive sexual stuff was left out as well. This one was even more descriptive then most YA as far as the sex goes.

Allison said...

I'm glad you loved it! I recently got a copy and you've made me really excited to get to it.

Sara said...

Thanks for the wonderful review! It made me want to read this one asap. :)

My keeper shelf said...

I really want to read it now.

Reading Angel said...

So glad you loved it Aimee!! Holly just blows me away with her writing :) I just can't recommend her books enough!!!!!!!!!!!!

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