Book Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler:

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?

This book is a tough one for me to review. Did I love it? I stayed up late reading last night and the first thing I did this morning was pick the book up and finish off the last 100 pages before doing anything else. Holly Schindler is a great writer. I was pulled into this story and didn’t want to put the book down. As soon as I get a copy I’ll read her debut novel A Blue so Dark. Those who enjoy contemporary young adult books are likely to love this one.

The only issue I have with this book is the sexual content. The books starts off with Chelsea being embarrassed that she is still a virgin. Being the conservative parent and reader that I am – to me that is not something to be embarrassed by but rather proud of – I know I’m in the minority in today’s world but those are my values. With such an emphasis placed on her virginity I assumed she would lose it before the end of the book and she did. There were 3 or 4 very passion filled scenes in this book that I would not let a teenager read. As an adult I was blushing, I know it still doesn’t take much to make me blush but it seemed like Chelsea had a lot of trouble keeping herself clothed. For a Young Adult book this had a lot more detail and passion then most of what I’ve read.  There wasn’t much “fade to black” in this one which would be more appropriate for a young adult audience.

This book had a really good message to it about overcoming loss and finding love.

Rating: 4 Stars

Content: Heavy sexual content and some language

Source: From author for review