Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Playing Hurt Blog Tour: My Review

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Flux, March 8, 2011
Read for Blog Tour & A-Z Challenge

Summary from Goodreads:
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?
A Blue So Dark was Holly Schindler's explosive debut, but Playing Hurt proves that she's got what it takes to thrive in the in the world of YA fiction. Chelsea and Clint are both highly likable characters. Chelsea is recovering from hip replacement surgery and trying to come to terms with the turn her life has taken. Clint is suffering from what can only be described as mental anguish because of a recent tragedy affecting his girlfriend. Chapters alternate between Chelsea and Clint's point of view, but without rehashing the same event twice. Instead, these alternating voices move the story along quickly but with purpose.

I thought this book was going to be more sports-oriented (this is not a complaint; I was relieved that it wasn't so sports-heavy) and a lighter kind of read. Was I wrong! This was not a light-hearted romance at all (and to be honest, I'm not sure why I thought it was going to be light-hearted--perhaps the cover. It's deceptively fluffy.)! Chelsea and Clint both have their own personal demons within, and are both afraid of being hurt again. In addition, Chelsea has the added factor of a weirdly creepy very attentive boyfriend. Gabe loves her, calls her, is borderline stalker-ish in his desire to know her whereabouts every minute of every day. I don't think that he'd every hurt her on purpose, but he might accidentally smother her to death. Sheesh. He definitely got the short end of the proverbial stick, but he was such a jellyfish that I wasn't even that upset for him.

Holly's writing is exquisite throughout this novel. I particularly enjoyed Chelsea's sections and I thought that her narrative was so descriptive. Here's just one example:
There's just something about him, It's like he's hotter than a steering wheel in August--he burns me every single time I get close enough to touch him. But the thing about a steering wheel in the summer is, even though it stings, you still have to touch it in order to get where you want to go. And besides, sometimes that burn feels kind of good against your hand, anyway. (p. 113)
Hot, right? And that's not even halfway through the book--it gets so much hotter! But the romance is a main part of the story, but there are so many other components. You'll be anxious to find out what happens not only between Chelsea anc Clint, but between Chelsea and her dad (what is his deal, anyway?), Chelsea and Gabe (ugh), and Clint and Kenzie (double ugh). This is an incredible novel about love, loss, life, and hope.

Holly stops by for an interview on Thursday!

Book received as part of blog tour.

Enjoy your reading!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful review! I really want to read this book. I've heard so many great things! Thanks for sharing!


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