Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Review: Playing Hurt

Title:  Playing Hurt
Author:  Holly Schindler

     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?"

     Chelsea, one of the main characters of this story, is not your typical high school female character.  She is not a cheerleader or boy-crazy. She isn't student council president or a slacker.  She is flawed.  She was once the star player of her high school basketball team when an unfortunate accident changed her basketball career and her life.  There are a lot of things that I like about this book including the way that Holly Schindler writes so realistically that you actually believe that she probably did most of the things that she is describing, later to find out that she didn't.  But my favorite thing about this book is that the two main characters, Chelsea and Clint are written as flawed characters.  There lives are far from perfect and I believe because of this many readers will be able to identify with them in some way.
     I also really like that Holly Schindler explores the difference between having love for a person and being in love.  The differences between the relationships that Chelsea has with Gabe, her boyfriend back home and Clint, her trainer at summer camp are significant and remarkable.  It was easy to see how Chelsea could be drawn to both boys in very different ways.  I found myself really feeling bad for Gabe because he is such a nice guy, but being drawn to Clint's ruggedness and sensitivity... much the same as Chelsea.  The chemistry between Clint and Chelsea was undeniable and many of the scenes between them were hot, hot, hot!

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