Published by Flux
Pub Date: March 8th 2011
Format: ARC | Source: Blog Tour
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads
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?
Chelsea hasn’t been the same person since waking up after her surgery. She feels lost now that she no longer has basketball to make her great. On the surface though, and around everyone at school, she acts like nothing’s changed, especially with her boyfriend, Gabe, who is more devoted to her than ever. It’s like she’s trying to convince herself that her feelings toward him are the same as before the accident, when in fact they’ve began to change along with everything else inside her.
Clint is quite possibly the most desirable, unattainable guy on Earth…or at least in his corner of it. He had love and lost it in a tragic way, and is not remotely interested in dating. However, Chelsea wakes up something in him and the more time they spend together, the more he opens up, but not without hesitation. He first pushes her away because he doesn’t feel he’s ready to feel what he’s feeling towards her.
Together, Chelsea and Clint begin to mend one another, each in their own way. By the time Chelsea’s vacation is over and she’s due to return home, they are almost whole again. I say almost because once they’re apart they realize all they want is each other.
I really enjoyed some of the side characters in this book. Brandon, Todd and Greg…I’m looking at you guys! Brandon, Chelsea’s younger brother, tried really hard to be Chelsea’s moral compass to no avail. I loved his enthusiasm for playing bass in the band with Todd and Greg. Todd and Greg are really great friends to Clint. I really liked their dynamic.
I should mention that I can’t really advocate the cheating. Having been on both ends of that spectrum (yes, teenage Jess was sometimes terrible), I know the hurt that goes along with it and I don’t recommend it, kids! If you’re not completely happy with someone, just end it; as hard as that may be.
With that said, I really enjoyed the romance between Chelsea and Clint. Holly Schindler, you devil, you! This book is steamy!! I’d definitely say it’s for a more mature audience. I’m going to go out and by my own copy of Playing Hurt, because I know I’ll want to read this book again.
Thanks to Jen from I Read Banned Books for the opportunity to read and review this book as part of her book tours. :)