Published March 8, 2011
Publisher: FluxThis is the first novel I’ve read by this author and there were aspects of the story that I really liked while at the same time feeling that there was just something missing which ultimately left me slightly underwhelmed.
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?
Praise: "PLAYING HURT is a delicious, tantalizing love story that will captivate you until the final, satisfying sigh."--Kristin Walker, author of A MATCH MADE IN HIGH SCHOOL
Overall, I have to say that I liked the two main characters Chelsea Keyes and Clint Morgan. I definitely felt the chemistry between those two, probably a little bit too much for a YA contemporary type novel. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the steam, but this book definitely had more spice than what I feel is appropriate for this genre. I don’t feel strongly one way or the other about it, but I think Schindler should practice the art of fade to black when it comes to addressing her particular audience.
Now, I think the plot was engaging enough, where we see Chelsea Keyes and Clint Morgan cross paths during a time in their life where they are both going through a rough patch. It was definitely nice to see these two characters realize that being sidelined in one way doesn’t mean you remove yourself from the game completely.
I have to say the secondary set of characters were a bit weak. I couldn’t stand Brandon or Kenzie. I cringed every time they entered the scene. Gabe was placed in the background too soon for me to care that Chelse was being unfaithful to him; and Todd and Greg kept slipping my mind as they played a minor role in my opinion.
The writing felt a bit choppy at times, or maybe it was Schindler’s overuse of analogies and metaphors that kept me feeling like I walked into the middle of a conversation. It was frustrating having to re-read certain passages to fully get what the author was trying to convey. Who knows, I might be a bit dim after a long work week. But overall, I think the writing could have been polished a bit. The alternating POVs where okay, but I've seen other authors put this style to better use.
Will I try another novel by this author? Maybe so, if it’s accompanied by high ratings. But overall, Playing Hurt was just an okay read for me.