Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Review: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler + International Giveaway

Book Description via Goodreads:

 Paperback, 312 pages
March 8, 2011, Flux

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?

Source: Holly Schindler via Philippine Playing Hurt Tour (Thank you!)

My Thoughts:

Chelsea lost her luster after she got injured in her last game, losing her confidence and the brilliant future that she got ahead of her. With a hurt hip, a shattered heart and a ruined dream, she has nothing left but the sweetest boyfriend on earth – Gabe. He remained beside her through the hard times, proving himself worthy of her love. But when she went to Minnesota for a three week vacation and met Clint, she found something that she did not expect.

I liked Schindler’s writing. It was like poetry. She could show readers a different angle of reality, an artsy and sensitive side of life. I admired every word in this novel. But what I admired more was the way Schindler showed Chelsea’s complicated feelings toward Gabe, Clint and her life. The intensity of the emotions in this novel made it very realistic to me. I remember experiencing those emotions as a teenager.

Gabe and Chelsea’s relationship was what I would call sweet and smooth, as long as nothing happens. Before Chelsea’s accident, she was a girl of strength and confidence. But after her last game, she fell down, lost the girl she once was to a deep sadness and ache for the past. Gabe held her hand through it all and assumed the role as her knight in shining armor. Chelsea loved him for everything he did. Enter Clint. Clint was Chelsea’s trainer for her boot camp in Minnesota with a dark and melancholy past of his own. He and Chelsea were strongly attracted to one another. At first, they were unwilling to be with one another but as the days passed, they found out that they were drawn to one another and were already starting to develop feelings toward one another. Racked by guilt, they suffer because of their relationship but the guilt soon gave way to desire.

I guessed how this would play out but I was surprised at how some of the things turned out. I liked the other characters. They were amusing. Brandon, a passionate bassist, found himself in a band in Minnesota, rocking a restaurant. Todd and Greg were opposites. Todd was quite dense and clueless while Greg was the sensitive one. The ending was not as I expected it to be. I didn’t expect it to end like that but it was satisfying nonetheless.

Playing Hurt is an emotional roller coaster that is engaging, steamy and intense. I was instantly pulled in. I read this fast! Sex in YA is usually not detailed. Schindler did none of that. I like how the rawness of the desire, the lust, the longing was tamed by the loving tone of the narration. It has become an art, an image of passion. I recommend this to older teens, to readers of romance and those who like contemporary reads!


Giveaway: Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler 

If you’re interested in reading Playing Hurt, this is your chance!


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  1. I would love to read this. I have seen it around online and have read some great reviews for it, including yours! They have all been good. I am always on the lookout for new authors and this book looks like it will not disappoint! Thank you for the great giveaway and the chance at reading this :)


  2. This book looks very interesting. Thank you for this great giveaway and makeing it internationally! :)

  3. I follow your blog. Thanks for the giveaway! It looks like a nice book.

    annabell_lee_dk (at)

  4. The summary of Playing Hurt sounds really great and I've heard so many good things about it - and now reading that her writing is comparable to poetry makes me want to read it even more. I love novels that have a extraordinary/special style of writing. I'd definitely love to read this and enter this giveaway!

    fictionaldistraction (at) live (dot) de

  5. I've heard about this book before and I think it really has to go on my TBR list. I'm not heavily into YA but some books (fortunatelly) cross the borders between YA and adult fiction like this one seems to do. Thanks for the chance to win!

    danaan at gmx dot at

  6. I have read some great things about Playing Hurt and I liked your review. The book sounds awesome, definitely something I want to read.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  7. Great review!
    This book sounds really good, and I like how the ending sounds a bit unexpected!

  8. I really want to read Playing Hurt! I heard so much good things about it so hey it MUST be good. Plus, it'll be even better if I have a copy of it ...Thanks for the giveaway :)

    Mia @GrippedintoBooks

  9. I love coming of age stories. They're always a nice fresh read in the midst of all the paranormal. I'd love to read this novel.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  10. This look fine, I think :) I heard about books like this before, but when it is written good and characters are interesting... it is perfect! :)

    At last, I wanna to tell you: I really thanks you for this giveaway! :)

    I am GFC follower (like Simona Burcikova) and my e-mail:

  11. While I absolutely love those happy endings, I love a good emotional book, this book sounds like it is!

    Thanks a lot for this giveaway!

  12. I've read quite a few good reviews for Playing Hurt. Thanks for the giveaway!

    I follow - fwiw(dot)kea(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. You make this book sound really good. I've been getting more into contemporary/realistic books lately. I'd love to enter the giveaway

  14. I really enjoyed your review. I haven't read this book yet, but it sounds interesting to me, cause I like contemporary fiction with strong emotions and especially that ones with unexpected end.

    So thank you very much for this giveaway!:)
    I'm old GFC follower: annejude

  15. Sorry, I almost forgot:

  16. Wow! That's the first word that came to my my mind after I read your review! This book caught my eye with its descriptionbut what really made me put it in my to-read list is your review! It was great!

    Definitely count me in the giveaway!

    GFC follower: vickyvak


  17. Holly is so great I would love to read her newest book Playing Hurt. Thank you for the giveaway I'm a follower.

  18. I've heard a lot people like this, so I would love to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

    erinberry12 at charter dot net

  19. Thanks for the review. I read her debut and I'm sure I know what you mean about the poetic writing. I'm a bit worried since this one has sport in it, but it doesn't seem to mind that many people.

    cc932005 at hotmail dot com

  20. Thanks for the review and the giveaway !!!
    From your review, I know this book would be great. I love to read a book with emotional roller coaster. And I love the cover, it's simple and beautiful.
    I'm a GFC follower.


  21. This book looks really good. I love that it is so emotional. Thanks for the review.
    gfc follower


    thegirlonfire27 at gmail dot com

  22. Since I have heard about this book, I'm dying to read it! It have to be awesome! :)

    I am follower and my email is:

  23. I think the story has a good premise. Thanks for the chance!

    darlyn225 at gmail dot com

  24. Been hearing lots of good reviews about this one, this is totally a must read for me and will be reading it. another one to up on my long list of to read list!

  25. I can't wait to read playing hurt! I've been hearing lots of good things about it:) Thank you so much for this contest!


  26. The plot really intrigues me. And since I've been reading lots of good reviews about this book, I'm gonna try to hunt this down the next time I go bookstore hopping <3 Thank you for this giveaway. My fingers are still crissed though :)

  27. This story looks good... I think it will be very emotional. I like that.


  28. I'm so disappointed I didn't get to join the blog tour! Playing Hurt sounds really interesting as much as it looks really good. Thanks so much for the chance to have this book.

    sauvadeavelle @

  29. Wow, this sounds fantastic! Love your review, Precious! Especially how you describe "I like how the rawness of the desire, the lust, the longing was tamed by the loving tone of the narration." I'm really excited to see the beautiful way in which she writes. And the storyline, conflicting relationship - I think I'm totally going to eat that up!

    Thanks so much for the awesome giveaway! <3

  30. i love reading books with stories like this. enter me pls, id love to win

    punkme15 at gmail dot com

  31. Thanks for inviting me to the giveaway!


  32. Thanks for the great giveaway!

    I just finished A Blue So Dark today and loved Holly Schindler's writing, so I'm excited to read Playing Hurt - it sounds great too, but really different.

    hannah11200 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  33. Definitely sounds very interesting. It's not the genre I usually read, but the story hits close to home and I'd love to read it! Losing everything that one holds dear and having to give up a dream is always hard but being crippled - at least temporarly ... I'd love to read it, definitely!


  34. This sounds like a great read. I love stories like this!! Definitely enter me into the drawing.

    Thanks for dropping by my blog post and telling me about it.

    elfdrop AT gmail DOT com

  35. This book sounds freaking amazing! I cannot wait to read it. It sounds really interesting and intense. I also love the cute cover.


  36. I've been hearing great things about this one. I signed up to be on a book tour for it, but I'd love to have my own copy!!

    Cyndi- bettyluvsbooks(at)gmail(dot)(com)

  37. This book sounds great!! This is defintiely a must-read!

    email: herbal_angel102(at)yahoo(dot)com

  38. Sounds really great! I really want to read it! :)
    GFC follower - adrianga

  39. Playing Hurt sounds like a fantastic book! Please count me in!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  40. Sounds like a great read! Thank you for the opporunity to win this giveaway!

    pumpkin10031971 at hotmail dot com

  41. Looks good :)


  42. Sounds like a wonderful book to curl up this summer (when I finally have time to read purely for pleasure!).

  43. Wow!!! Sounds like a great book, and I love your review of it. It's definitely the kind of book that I would pick up if I came across it in a bookstore.


    Jolainne DeSouza

  44. Great review! Book has very interesting story. Thanks for the giveaway.

    artgiote at gmail dot com

  45. The story looks really great and romantic! :))

  46. Great review! I'm going through a HUGE contemp phase right now and Playing Hurt sounds perfect! I wasn't too sure about it before but you've convinced me. I love intense, steamy contemps!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  47. Hi ,

    Sounds like a great story of loss and acceptance.


  48. I love to read emotional rollercoaster books! Great review.

    Lesley1567 at gmail dot com

  49. Sounds really interesting, I would love to read it! Thank you for the chance to win it!


  50. Sounds like a great book, fingers crossed! Thanks for the chance.


  51. I like what I have read about this book so far.Sounds great!
    GFC FOLLOWER - Adriana

    Thanks for the giveaway.

  52. :) HI Precious!

    I havent read anything by the author but your review kind of tells me this might be my kind of book!... cool giveaway!


  53. Being a former student-athlete, I love to read books where the main character is an athlete. Being on a high-school sports team can consume a massive amount of time/emotion. Having all that taken away by an accident, I don't know what I would have done. This looks like an interesting read.

    Thanks for the giveaway.
    GFC: Candice

    candicerjames (at) gmail (dot) com

  54. Well this is interesting... I feel for Chelsea you know cause she's now disabled. I want to read this! I've seen this book on other Blogs and I keep reading positive things about this book. I'd really like to read this book!

    Thanks for the chance!


  55. I've heard a lot of good things about this book. I think this would be a great book to try YA contemporary novels.

  56. This sounds really good! Thanks for the giveaway!


  57. I really would like to read this book. I heard a lot of good things about it.