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Comment: This book has already been well loved by someone else and that love shows. It MIGHT have highlighting, underlining, be missing a dust jacket, or SLIGHT water damage, but over-all itâ€TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Playing Hurt Paperback – 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Everland
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Holly Schindler (Springfield, Missouri) dove headfirst into her writing pursuits after obtaining an M.A. in English from Missouri (ma-zur-ah) State University. Her essays, poems, and short stories have appeared in such journals as The Explicator, Slipstream, and Short Story. A Blue So Dark is her first novel. Visit her online at www.HollySchindler.com.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738722871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738722870
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,793,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Rating is 2.5

Having heard a lot about the author's previous book and because of my mostly good experiences with YA contemporary novels, I expected a lot from Playing Hurt. The book turned out to be completely different from what I expected and unfortunately, not in a good way. Though I am sorry to say I am a bit disappointed in the book, there still are things I did like about it which I will come to later.

Chelsea Keyes was the star basketball player in her high school. Everything changed after a disastrous accident that stopped her from playing any further games. Chelsea is broken not just physically but mentally too. Everything she worked towards is falling apart. Her boyfriend, Gabe supports her through the rough time. Chelsea goes to a three week "boot camp" program which is a gift from her father. Her trainer is 19 year old, Clint, who has his own painful past to deal with. Chelsea and Clint are two broken people trying to be whole again. When they meet, they are immediately drawn to each other, but Chelsea is torn between Gabe and Clint.

I have not read the author's previous novel, A Blue So Dark, but I have heard it being praised a lot, especially the author's writing. I agree completely. Her beautiful writing creates a lingering effect - there are lines and paragraphs that I could read again and again.

Playing Hurt is told from both Clint and Chelsea's perspectives, which is something different because usually we only get to know one of the main protagonists' point of view. In Playing Hurt, we get to know what both of them are thinking or feeling in more detail. The transition between the two POVs is smooth and unlike what one might expect, it's not confusing at all.

Initially, I really liked how the story evolved.
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Going into a read like this, I think it is important to know what you have in store. This is a story of two people overcoming tragic events in their lives that have caused them to retract within themselves. When they meet, they push each other to break free from those restraints. There is a love triangle. There is cheating. BUT, it all made for one touching, sweet and realistic novel that I enjoyed immensely.

We start off the novel by meeting one of our main characters, Chelsea, and learning about the tragic event and injury that took her away from her dreams in basketball. We also meet her boyfriend Gabe, right before she heads out if town with her family on vacation for a few weeks, and her 'boot camp' with our other main character, Clint. The pace was a little slow for me up until these characters met and developed a connection to each other, but once they did I was hooked. Their struggle to hide their attraction kept me on the edge, wondering what would push them to finally give in and step into that territory they so were trying to avoid.

The characters in Playing Hurt are not perfect, but I don't always need them to be. And you know heading into this that you are dealing with a girl who is conflicted with her life, including the love aspect. It's okay to see the flawed person and how they work through what predicaments they find themselves in. Of course there were quite a few moments where I wanted to hit Chelsea and ask her what the hell she was doing, but honestly, I can say the same thing when I reflect on my own youth. What is so great with what the author has done here is that despite the less than desirable situation, you as the reader grow attached and root for the characters to find a way to get through it.
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I read Holly Schindler's A Blue So Dark when it was released and fell in love. Schindler's writing was beautiful and the premise was so unique. I was really excited to read her follow-up. Playing Hurt has a pretty unique plot as well. The main character, Chelsea, is a star basketball player and when she's injured everything she's known comes crashing down around her. The book really doesn't have much to do with sports, though so don't let that keep you from reading.

Chelsea was an okay character. She definitely had her faults. I didn't like her boyfriend from the very first scene he was in. I can't really pinpoint why, maybe he seemed too perfect. I didn't give the fact that obviously Chelsea is cheating on her boyfriend much thought-it says so right in the description. I guess I thought `Oh well, whatever...the other boy will be the one or something' but that's really not the case. Chelsea and Clint had a very physical attraction. They had a lot of steamy chemistry that I loved, but I never really felt anything more from them. I might be too much of a romantic but if your going to screw up a relationship I like for it to for love, ya know? (I mean in books, of course) I also didn't really like the way Chelsea handled the situation later with her boyfriend. I would have liked a little more growth and remorse.

Other than those things I did enjoy the book. It's outdoorsy, which I always love. The very steamy scenes between Clint and Chelsea did keep me turning pages. Yum! Overall, it was a good, fast read. I'm anxious to see what Holly Schindler has in store for us next.
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