Sarah's Reviews > Playing Hurt

Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
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Jul 19, 11

bookshelves: my-epic-ya-binge, ugh, sports, library, ya
Read in July, 2011

Playing Hurt was extremely disappointing to me. I was pretty excited, because I'm all about YA novels featuring athletes, and this had an intriguing premise: two young former athletes who have stopped playing their respective sports for different reasons. Unfortunately, it was more or less a schlocky teen romance with a lot of mixed, confused sports references. I never connected with Chelsea, the main character who's a former star basketball (yay!), and there wasn't a lot of chemistry between her and Clint, despite that it's fairly hot and heavy for a YA novel. The side story of her relationship with her parents felt somewhat like an afterthought to me as well. Finally, Chelsea's relationship with Gabe, her boyfriend, felt creepy and controlling from the beginning, but this wasn't really addressed--he was more or less tossed aside because he wasn't swoonworthy, rather than because he was a manipulative creep. And don't even get me started on the late-blooming orchid metaphor that's peppered throughout the novel--I can't even deal with that one. Or the compass metaphor, come to think of it.

I've read a lot of reviews saying this book dealt with "mature" themes. I actually disagree completely. Chelsea was extremely immature, and seemed stunted to me. I get that she'd had her life put on hold, but her attitude seemed like that of a younger teen than that of an 18 year old.

I did, however, enjoy the setting of Playing Hurt, a Minnesota resort--a really fun location that came alive for me.

If you're looking for a good teen sports-themed read with fun, swoony elements, I'd suggest Jen Echols' The Ex Games. If you like the alternating male-female POV thing, I'd recommend YA writer

Simone Elkeles (despite some awkward Spanish).
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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Keely Dunn I'm not finished the book yet but I'm finding it's one of the best YA-sports books I've found so far (what does that say?), so I'm really looking forward to "The Ex Games" that you mentioned here also. Thanks for the recommendation, if you can think of any others you've come across I'm all ears!


Sarah Keely wrote: "I'm not finished the book yet but I'm finding it's one of the best YA-sports books I've found so far (what does that say?), so I'm really looking forward to "The Ex Games" that you mentioned here a..."

Ooh! I made a list of YA sports recs awhile back - http://cleareyesfullshelves.com/blog/... :)


Keely Dunn Perfect, thanks so much!


Keely Dunn I picked up a couple on that list, and wanted to pass on my own recommendation. I just finished "Curveball" (see my profile for the link) and thought it was fantastic.


Sarah Keely wrote: "I picked up a couple on that list, and wanted to pass on my own recommendation. I just finished "Curveball" (see my profile for the link) and thought it was fantastic."

I've heard that one's good, actually. Thanks for the rec!


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