Monday, September 23, 2013

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler

This novel explores what it means to redefine yourself after a tragedy changes your course. Certain subject matters makes this book better suited for mature teens.

In high school, the name Chelsea Keyes was synonymous with basketball. Her whole like was planned around the sport, until a slip on some spilled soda shattered her hip, thereby ending her basketball career. With her whole sense of self now put into question, Chelsea and her family head out to a lake resort where Chelsea is signed up for a "boot camp" program to get back to the person she once was (with or without basketball). The person running this camp, Clint, has his own demons that have prevented him from pursuing his own favorite sport. The two form an instant connection and spend most of their three weeks together discovering each other as well as re-embracing their past passions. Things get a little complicated, however, when Chelsea's current boyfriend is considered in this equation.

This book is a good romance, although somewhat questionable when you consider the fact that Chelsea is basically cheating on her boyfriend. However, it does factor into the whole "self-discovery" aspect of this novel considering how different Clint is from her boyfriend Gabe. The novel does explore the loss of Chelsea's virginity - at times in some mature detail. For someone wanting a meatier romance, though, I think this book is a good fit.

This novel is more than just falling in love. It is a great story about getting back up and recreating yourself when life throws you a curveball. It's about not letting life's hardships prevent you from living life to the fullest, or - as the book says "Never live timidly."

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