Book Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
Release date: 8th March, 2011
Source: Bought

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?

My Review:

Favourite Quote: "Funny thing about fear, I guess, is that if you just look away from it, toward something else - like dark eyes in a beautiful face, a lock of black hair hanging over a sweaty forehead - you realize you've turned a full hundred-and eighty degrees away from fear.
You're staring straight into your own strength."

I have been dying to read Playing Hurt even since I heard about it back in June last year.  I love a good YA contemp romance (which it is) especially one with a gorgeous cover like this and while overall I enjoyed it I am left feeling a little teeny bit disappointed.   

First up, I love the premise.  Two broken ex athletes meet over the summer, fall for each and learn to face their fears.   It was romantic, touching and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy.  It is written in dual narration switching from Chelsea to Clint in each chapter giving us a good insight into each character head and heart.

Chelsea and Clint were both well rounded characters that are easy to empathize with.  I think you could feel both their guilt, pain and angst.  The secondary characters were pretty standard and nobody stood out.  It was pretty much all about Chelsea and Clint which I didn't mind at all.

They had a great connection and loads and loads of chemistry.  The pages were sizzling!  I felt it was realistic portrayal of how older teens act especially how sometimes your hormones take over.  There are some make out and sex scenes in this book that are quite steamy for young adult book but I thought they were well done.

What stop this book from being a 5 star read for me was the writing.  Now it wasn't bad at all, it was pretty and thoughtful kind of prose but it was way too wordy for my liking.  I felt like I could skim parts and still know what is going on.  It just seem to drag the plot out too much.    It took me 4 days to read this when normal it would be 2 days.

Overall, despite the couple of things that bothered me Playing Hurt was a good solid read that I am glad I read.  It is a story about not being afraid to live your life and to take chances for something you love no matter how much it scares  you.

Overall: A high 3.5/5
Writing: 3/5
Plot: 4/5
Characters: 5/5
Romance: 5/5
Cover: 5/5

For more info:  Visit Holly Schindler's website.

For more reviews: Visit Goodreads.


Misha said...

OMG! I love that quote. That sounds exactly like something my mother would say to me as a child, when I would get scared.

Playing Hurt seems like a great book with a good message. I am sorry to hear it dragged at times, but I will be definitely reading it.

Jan von Harz said...

The opening quotes is awesome, too bad the writing was too wordy. I can relate though as I think sometimes authors do get carried away trying to put more into their prose than is necessary. I am also fearful that the romance would be too steamy for my students. Thanks for the honest review.

Lamia (The Book Eater) said...

Great review! Sizzling pages and pretty writing, you say? I need this book NOW. I don't like it when the writing is too stuffy, though. Hmmm.

Alix said...

Sounds worth checking out, I do love a good romance and chemistry and I am finding I really love duel narrations lately.
Thanks for the review and I'm sorry you were left a bit disappointed, I hate when that happens with a books I've been dying for.

Jenny said...

I'm excited to read this one despite all the wordiness though I can definitely see how that would be distracting. The characters sound amazing though, and I need to read more contemporary YA:) Lovely review Nic!

Miss Page-Turner said...

I enjoy your reviews so much! Your blog is the first address I stop at when I am looking for new contemporary or YA romance reads:)
Think I am also going to read this novel, haven't tried Holly Schindler yet. A good writing is always very important to me when it comes to liking a novel.
The relationship sounds so intriguing, although I don't like them both being ex athletes.

Miss Page-Turner said...

P.S. Don't you have a blog button?

Jacinda (The Reading Housewives) said...

I don't like wordiness either! I'm not sure if anyone does, I just finished I book like that yesterday. But since these characters have tons of chemistry and done well sex scenes...I'm wanting to read it! Great review Nic!

Savannah said...

I must read this book! Great review! I got her other book A blue so dark that I want to read first.

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

hmmm.. It usually depends on what type of mood I'm in for me to appreciate a narrative that is more wordy. I like it best when it has a point, like with illustrations of something, but that works best in world-building type books.

Good to know what it was that you found issue with Nic. I'm definitely going to be checking this one out because it appeals to the older YA crowd. Plus, like you, I love the cover. ;)

Jenny N. said...

Wordines in stories slows the story down for me and it usually takes me longer to finish a book too. But since I've heard great things about both Holly Schindler's book I'm still interested in reading this one.

Leanna Elle said...

I love the sound of this one - all that sizzling romance! I haven't read anything by the author before, so I dunno about her writing style, but I would give this one a go and see what I think!

Great review, Nic! :)

Nomes said...

great review matey.

and i also love your book boyfriend post for this. hotness...

A Canadian Girl said...

This is a book I've been looking forward to reading when I get the time so I'm glad you loved the characters and romance. It's too bad that you found the writing wordy though.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Such a great quote. Perhaps when I just want to read in my own time (or can), then I think this is what I might pick up. That quote with your review really makes me want to read it despite the wordiness.

Chel said...

I love a good YA contemp with sizzling pages! I am dying to read this book, but I'm still banned from book buying. :(

Nina said...

ooh, I don't like it when a story seems to drag a lot. ;) Great review.

Audrey (holes In My brain) said...

Ohh I've been seeing this one around lately, I love the idea of ex-athletes, except I wish they were just athletes sometimes because YA books needs more sports! Ahh, anyways, random tangent. Great review Nic! I love the idea of alternating POV, though I agree with you about how flowery writing doesn't always work (esp for the boys). Anyways, I might pick this one up :)

Small Review said...

Hm, wordiness bad enough to lower 1.5 stars...I think I'll pass for now. The rest of it does sound good though so maybe I'll pick it up at another point. Thanks for your review. It was very helpful :)

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