Search This Blog

Playing Hurt: Holly Schindler

Thursday, April 21, 2011
I wasn't entirely sure about this book after the first 2 chapters.  I thought the whole novel could center around teen romance and "leaning to live after a major life event", and I still think that that idea was a large part of the novel. 

The main character, Chelsea, was maimed in a basketball game (she loses the ability to play her favorite game).  Chelsea struck me as a flawed character-I think it is impressive when an author creates a flawed character as it is not easy to do-Chelsea was self-centered, morose, and unwilling to push the limits.  The other main character, Clint, is a young adult who lost his girlfriend in a foolish car accident; as a result, he refuses to live life like he used to or play hockey (she was driving to see one of his games).  Both characters are a little silly in that Clint should be able to move on from his first love within 2 years, Chelsea is more understandable (if I tore my tendons I'd be complaining too), but she should come to terms with the accident-she's more than talented enough to find another love.  However, the fact that they both need to "heal" is the factor that makes this novel work so well.

Chelsea goes to a vacation in the country with her family and is sent off to join Clint's "boot camp".  They don't hit it off right away at all, but they do fight an attraction to each other.  Using small, but significant events, the author manipulates Clint and Chelsea closer together until they both decide to throw caution to the wind and admit that they like each other.  Chelsea stumbles into the very same copse of trees where Clint's girlfriend's body was found, Clint pushes Chelsea to canoe...  I was a little disappointed that it took them 200 pages to come to this conclusion.

The end left me with a bit of a cliff hanger, which drives me off my nut, but the end was fairly satisfying if not conclusive.  I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy novels where people overcome obstacles in their life with a bit of romance involved.