Playing Hurt

Playing Hurt

3.76 (3,972 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

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Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas Expected to be delivered to the United States by Christmas


Star basketball player Chelsea "Nitro" Keyes had the promise of a full ride to college--and everyone's admiration in her hometown. But everything changed senior year, when she took a horrible fall during a game. Now a metal plate holds her together and she feels like a stranger in her own family. As a graduation present, Chelsea's dad springs for a three-week summer "boot camp" program at a northern Minnesota lake resort. There, she's immediately drawn to her trainer, Clint, a nineteen-year-old ex-hockey player who's haunted by his own traumatic past. As they grow close, Chelsea is torn between her feelings for Clint and her loyalty to her devoted boyfriend back home. Will an unexpected romance just end up causing Chelsea and Clint more pain--or finally heal their heartbreak?
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 312 pages
  • 132 x 203 x 17.27mm | 285.76g
  • FLUX
  • United States
  • English
  • 0738722871
  • 9780738722870
  • 349,992

Review quote

"With no slick, happily-ever-after ending, this novel will capture teens with the characters' guilt, anger, and, especially, the intensity of the young people's connection." --Booklist "Playing Hurt is a delicious, tantalizing love story that will captivate you until the final, satisfying sigh." --Kristin Walker, author of A Match Made in High School
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About Holly Schindler

Holly Schindler (Springfield, Missouri) dove headfirst into her writing pursuits after obtaining an M.A. in English from Missouri (ma-zur-ah) State University. Her essays, poems, and short stories have appeared in such journals as The Explicator, Slipstream, and Short Story. A Blue So Dark is her first novel. Visit her online at
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Rating details

3,972 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 33% (1,308)
4 28% (1,124)
3 25% (1,011)
2 9% (345)
1 5% (184)

Our customer reviews

I really enjoyed the premise of Playing Hurt and I connected well with Chelsea. The romantic tension between her and Clint but I did not appreciate the cheating. I think that Gabe got played and while it is realistic and I could see it happening, it just is hard for me to read and accept and pull for cheating. Love triangles to me are somehow different because there isn't that attachment already there and established over a long period of time, and also, the guys normally know about each other so it seems more fair. Despite that hang up, I loved the story. It flowed well, I sympathized with Chelsea and she had some real emotional turmoil going on. I also devoured Clint's story. I think that his pain, and his past really are the depth to this story. The romance between Clint and Chelsea could have stood on its on without the Gabe aspect, and with him being in the picture, I just wish that he would have really had a shot and that it wouldn't have been the comfortable and the adding the tension because I think that was already present. I will say that this maybe should be considered NA because it is pretty sexual and steamy in the real sense, not letting much to the imagination. Bottom Line: Good character development, just had issues with the more
by Brandi Kosiner (Brandi Breathes Books)
Previously published on my blog: I started reading this book on a whim, really. I was just browsing through the books in the library and thinking that I needed to read more contemporary (I've read too many paranormal romances and dystopians lately!) when I happened across Playing Hurt, so I just shrugged and added it to my pile. I completely underestimated how good this book would be! Chelsea's life is incredibly tough. I mean, imagine being a prominent basketball player - one who will get tons of scholarships to colleges and will probably have a great career in basketball - and then one day, you fall and your body takes it hard. And then you can't play basketball anymore. Add that in with the metal plate on your body, and you'll be constantly reminded of that instant that changed your entire life. Yeah, well, could've would've should've. And for Clint, it's different. Sure, he played hockey before and he quit, but it wasn't because of a physical injury. It was because of an emotional injury: heart ripped out of your chest because someone close to you died. It's hard recovering from things like that. And sometimes, people don't understand why, and it's even harder. What I loved incredibly about this book was that it was believable. Chelsea and Clint were two normal people whose lives abruptly changed by one tiny moment in their lifetimes that left them broken afterward. But after they meet, they slowly become patched up again. They learn from each other. The only thing I didn't like about this book was on (spoiler!) how Chelsea cheated on her boyfriend. I mean, we all knew it was coming, but honestly, who expected her to just flat out have sex with someone else? It's morally wrong. Yeah, that last word? WRONG. I'm just worried about the message that this book was sending across. It almost makes it seem like cheating is okay, which it isn't. But other than that, Playing Hurt really was a fantastic book. Compelling. Honest. Perfect for those who need to recover from tragedies in their pasts. And, without a doubt, full of both sadness and happiness, regret and longing ... I'd recommend it to any young adult (more on the older side).show more
by Linda
Holly Schindler has never failed to rock my socks! Her debut novel, A Blue So Dark, continues to top my favorite book list, and this, her second book is going to go right up there with it. This book is completely different from her issue-charged, emotionally challenging, A Blue So Dark, but it was just as good and just as lyrically beautiful. I loved this story of Chelsea, an athlete who is injured and can no longer play basketball, which is her passion, and Clint, an ex-hockey player, who is injured just as badly, except he is emotionally damaged. Chelsea and Clint's whirlwind romance took me on a crazy ride and I devoured every page, every moment that they spent together and was left completely breathless and satisfied, yet dying to read more!!! Chelsea was a fantastic female lead. She was damaged and vulnerable, but she was also incredibly strong and so smart, snarky, and funny (which is one of my favorite combinations). Clint was so completely swoon worthy. He keep my heart fluttering and I fell completely in love with him right along with Chelsea. Overall, this is a great story of healing, moving on, and learning to live your life each day to the fullest and never holding back. The writing is absolutely beautiful, I was once again left feeling like I should be writing down my favorite quotes but realizing I would be writing almost the whole book down! I recommend this book to anyone who loves love. Anyone who loves a story that will leave you with a smile on your face and a skip in your step needs to pick this book up RIGHT NOW!show more
by Reading Angel
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