Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Publication Date: March 8th, 2011
Published by: Flux
Paperback, 312 Pages
"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: *** 1/2 = 3.5 Stars
I've heard much praise for this book, and as a fan of all things contemporary, I knew I had to check it out for myself. As a whole, I enjoyed the book. The idea of a one time star athlete, losing out on her dreams and passions due to an injury, is very interesting to read about. I imagine it happens to people all the time, but it's not something I've read about in a YA book, so I really appreciated how well Holly was able to transfer that into something I would actually pick up.
There is one major factor that took away from this book for me, and that is the cheating that occurs. The main character and her family head out on vacation for three weeks during the summer, where Chelsea, a one time basketball star who broke her hip, gets a personal instructor for the summer. Can you guess what happens from there? I won't deny that the relationship between Chelsea and her instructor, Clint, wasn't combusting with chemistry. It's obvious that the two of them are supposed to be together, even if for just three short weeks. My problem comes in when Chelsea, who has been with her boyfriend Gabe for two years, doesn't even care that she has a boyfriend back home and begins a sexual relationship with Clint. I've seen where some people have justified the cheating in this book saying things like oh they weren't right for each other and so on and such, but come on, even if you don't know yet that you aren't right for each other, you still shouldn't hook up with someone else all while planning to go back to your actual boyfriend. I think if anyone is considering doing something with someone other than their partner, than obviously there are issues in your relationship and you probably shouldn't be with your significant other in the first place. In my opinion, break up with someone if you want to fool around. Relationships are serious things, and should be taken seriously. As someone who has been cheated on before, I would much rather get dumped than have someone go behind my back.
Okay, my apologies for the rant. I get a little heated when it comes to that topic. Moving on.
As the book was focused on Chelsea and Clint, the chapters went back and forth between the two. This is something I really enjoy reading when done right, and Holly definitely has. We are able to see both different characters, but are also able to see the relationship between the two. It was very well written. I also enjoyed the side characters even though we don't get to know any of them too much.
One thing that I really loved was the healing that Chelsea and Clint both experience. It was great to see them change in 300 pages. While the book takes place over three weeks, which is a relatively short time frams, their growth isn't rushed. We get to see them come out of their shells and experience things they never thought possible again.
Definitely a good contemp read. As far as who I recommend this book too, definitely older teens because of some mature content (sex scenes).
Feel free to share your opinion on the book in the comment section!