Monday, July 18, 2011
Playing Hurt by Holly Schindler
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?
As the story swung from Chelsea to Clint, so did my opinion of Playing Hurt. From being intrigued, to being annoyed, then finally, me fanning myself over their encounters.... then back again. In the end, however, I can say without a doubt, I do not like Chelsea. As for Clint, well, I do not dislike as much.
She's selfish and she cheats. When she said no one could help what they felt. I agreed, but I wanted to add, they could help what they did. Perhaps, the cheating greatly affected my opinion of her, but it's everything Gabe had to say in the end that summarized what I felt; it's even what Clint had to say when they finally blew up, something that ran along the lines of her being a scared girl who could not even decide between to boys. (That last line alone had me boohoo-ing *insert sarcasm here* for her!) Everytime, yes, everytime she asked herself what was wrong her... well, I was wondering the same thing too.
As to Clint, I'm indifferent. Like Chelsea, he too was hurt. And like her, he too behaved in a way that's unacceptable ('it takes two to tango' and all that, right?) But I sympathized with him just a little more, his interaction with his friends, his relationships with other people beside Chelsea, proved he cared... and was not as callous as Chelsea could be, a callousness demonstrated by her brushing aside Gabe, as well as by her ignoring all the warnings from her brother.
One thing though, I'd have have wanted a little more on her and her father. Them trying to make their peace, them trying to put aside blame as no blame could be had... it was this part of the story that rang true for me. Sadly, it came too little and too late because her actions had entrenched her in my not-so-good people list.