22 April 2011

Review: Playing Hurt By: Holly Schindler

Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Holly Schindler
Publisher: Flux, 312 Pages (March 8th 2011)
From: the Blog Tour, Thanks!

Synopsis: 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?

Review: 4 Stars - Playing Hurt is author Holly Schindler’s sophomore title and though I haven’t had a chance to read her first book – A Blue So Dark – I was excited to give her second book a read. Her writing flowed beautifully, creating realistic characters and teen angst that easily made this a book I’d recommend to others.

When a sports injury leaves Chelsea unable to do what she loves, she’s forced to see and do things totally differently. What she used to know of her life is no longer and she’s struggling with many different issues as a result. She has a loving boyfriend, who’s the guy all the girls want and Gabe goes out of his way to make sure she knows she’s the same person she’s always been and always will be. Their relationship is sweet and honest, on his part but confused on hers. It was easy to understand her confusion due to so many drastic changes that happened so quickly. I mean teens go through so much as it is and then to have such a huge part of who you are taken away, as she did would mess with anyone’s head.

Schindler does a great job writing the normal trials of teens and then mixes in some of the added stresses many face day to day….

When Chelsea’s family goes away on their summer vacation she has no idea that her dad has set her up with a trainer for their time away. Her family knows she’s hurting emotionally and they’re as much at a loss as how to heal as she is. They just want her to feel as normal as she can again. So through this “boot camp” she meets her trainer Clint, who is dealing with his own issues. He’s not much older than her, but he does have some scars that are in need of healing.

Clint is one of those rugged all around good guys. He helps his parents, works a couple of summer jobs and goes to school. He just can’t get over something that happened in his past… just as Chelsea has. Through the alternating character points of view – which, by the way, I love more and more – we get a better sense of just how both are and get a better feel for just how deep their scars run. I loved Clint, plain and simple. Schindler did an amazing job writing both the female AND the male side of teens and their physical along with emotional turmoil.

There were some parts of the story that will leave people with some issues. One major thing that I’ll only quickly mention is teen sex. While there were some extremely intimate moments throughout the story, I stand by what I said above in this review. That Schindler has written a realistic story and with a realistic story comes real emotions and issues that teens face. Very important to know - please understand - and I do need to stress, that while there are intimate moments between characters that there are no actual sex scenes in this title. Not all sex (if just mentioned or alluded to) in YA titles work, but for me, as a reader who loves the YA genre, as long as it’s true to the story and setting, I see nothing wrong with it.

All in all, I am now a huge fan of Schindlers work. With characters and writing such as this, who couldn’t find much to enjoy? I know am looking forward to her next book and I’m excited to check out A Blue So Dark soon. Happy Reading.

FTC Disclaimer: I did NOT pay for this book, nor have I been compensated at all in any way or means for reading and writing this HONEST review.

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1 comment:

  1. Every review I've read for Playing Hurt has told me to pick this one up. And I think I will. Hopefully soon, but I don't want to force it to linger in my TBR mountain. I think contemporary YA is my favorite genre to read, so this one would be perfect for me. Thanks for the review Lisa!

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