Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Fiction, Realistic Fiction
Order Online: Amazon.com
Author Info: Website | Goodreads
Rating: 3 stars
Borrowed from a friend.
In A Nutshell:
This story was a little slow in the beginning, but worth it because it came together so well in the end. It is a story of healing and of creating new dreams when the ones you had are taken away. But most of all, it is a story of learning to really live and love.
As a senior in high school, Chelsea has to come to terms with the loss of her dreams of college basketball, a goal that has given her focus and determination for as long as she can remember. What does she have if she does not have basketball? On top of her own feelings of loss, grief, guilt and pain over the way her dream ended, she feels like she lost her connection with her family. They do not seem to know how to talk to her or interact with her without basketball.
Clint Morgan used to play hockey. He used to have a girlfriend. He used to do a lot of things, but that all changed when a devastating accident took it all away from him. He refuses to play team sports or compete in any way. He does not want to take any risks that could allow another accident to take even more away from him. So he sticks with what is safe—doing the summer job he loves and that he has been doing for years.
Holly Schindler weaves these two stories together by allowing both Chelsea and Clint to narrate at different times. The reader gets a chance to be inside each of their heads and their hearts and really comes to understand where they are both coming from.
But the element of this story that stuck out to me the most was the love story. The reader wants to support all three of the characters. This love triangle was not an instance of a bad guy, a good guy, and a good girl. It was a triangle of a good guy, a good guy, and a good girl. I kept reading waiting for some glaring flaw to surface that would justify Chelsea breaking one of the guy’s hearts, but…well I cannot say more because I do not want to ruin it for you.
I already have Holly Schindler's debut novel on my to-be-read pile, and, after reading Playing Hurt, I cannot wait to read it.