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Playing Hurt Paperback

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Flux (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738722871
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738722870
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #140,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

More About the Author

Holly Schindler's debut novel, A Blue So Dark, received a starred review in Booklist, was named one of Booklist's Top 10 First Novels for Youth, and won both a silver medal from ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year and a gold medal in the IPPY Awards. She is also the author of Playing Hurt (YA romance), The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky (contemporary MG), and the forthcoming Feral (YA psychological thriller). Visit her online at

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 43 customer reviews
I respected Chelsea and I fell in love with Clint.
princess bookie
Just like hearing your favorite band come on the radio at just the right time, it gives you a little hope that things are going to go your way.
Ashly Ferguson
Holly Schindler detailed the characters' lives, thoughts, and emotions perfectly.
Lucy (Moonlight Gleam)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Misha on June 15, 2011
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucy (Moonlight Gleam) on April 15, 2011
Format: Paperback
Unable to cope with losing her ability to play basketball, Chelsea Keyes tortures herself endlessly by replaying the moment the accident occurred in her mind. Chelsea was already physically weak from putting herself through so much training, that after slipping during a game, she falls and breaks her hip. Chelsea continuously blames herself for not being more careful in preventing it from happening. Now graduating from high school, having a supportive and seemingly perfect boyfriend, and a brother who cares for her and just wishes she would move on with her life, Chelsea simply refuses to forget and let go of the past.

Clint begins in a similar emotional state as Chelsea does, although his source of tragedy is very different. Clint struggles with coming to terms with the loss of his long-time girlfriend in a car accident years ago, and loads himself with endless work to try and forget it even occurred.

This all changes the instant Chelsea and Clint meet at a lake resort during the summer. Clint is hired by Chelsea's father to help her get back into shape. Throughout their time together, they develop great chemistry and although Chelsea has a boyfriend back home, their attraction to one another is undeniable.

Playing Hurt is a moving story about two broken characters that together find ways to heal their wounds, face their fears and ultimately discover what true love is.

My favorite element of the novel is the way Playing Hurt is written in alternating perspectives through Chelsea and Clint's eyes. By presenting each of their perspectives, I was able to connect to the characters on a more personal level and was captivated from the first scene about Chelsea's athletic past until the very last line of the novel.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Reeves VINE VOICE on May 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
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.
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