Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

Title: Playing Hurt
Author: Holly Schindler
Page Count: 308 pages
Summary: Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had 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?

Review: I really wanted to like this book. I really did.

But I didn't. That's not to say I disliked it.

To start, there's something about Schindler's writing style that gets kind of bulky to me. I found that some sentences and paragraphs were so overloaded that I had to go over them a couple of times to figure out their meaning. And it got really cheesy at some points, kind of like an adult romance novel that features Fabio on the cover would, as if the chemistry between the main characters was really forced and had to resort to cliches to make it sound real.

I thought Chelsea was absolutely selfish, though. I mean, I understood her motives and why she didn't break it off with her boyfriend, but from the standpoint of someone who's been broken-hearted in that kind of situation, it just seemed really immature. I think I couldn't get into her character as much because of that - I didn't agree with what she did.

That being said, I did enjoy Schlinder's writing style when it wasn't terrible bogged down with details and I really did like the idea of the setting; it sounded absolutely beautiful. And, as an athlete who was sidelined because of an injury, I know how crappy it feels when the thing that you love is suddenly taken away from you.

Overall, I'm not sure I'd recommend this one. I didn't enjoy it very much and it seemed like a chore to get through. Some of the writing was very good, but other than that, everything else seemed forced. Also, the cover? I'm not a fan.

Overall: 2.5/5 stars

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