Actual rating: 4.5/5I absolutely love the covers of Holly's books. Not only the pictures, but the feel of them. They feel like silk, and I find myself petting the cover more often than I'd like to admit.I'm a fan of Holly Schindler's, have been since I read A Blue so Dark. Playing Hurt is very different from Blue, but I still loved them both for their own reasons.Schindler's characters are so real, it almost makes you wonder if they're the kid down the street. Or that girl from high school. I feel like I know them personally, beyond the end of the book.In all honesty, I wasn't a fan of Chelsea. In fact, she pretty much drove me insane, and I found myself hoping everything would come crashing down around her, and I kind of smiled when it kind of did. I thought she deserved everything the guys said to her. That isn't a nice way to think, but I couldn't help it. She infuriated me, and made poor decisions, not really considering who it would hurt in the long run. If she were the girl down the street, I'd have to slap some sense into her. Alas, such was impossible. My distaste for her is literally the only thing that brings down my rating of this book. And even then, it isn't by much.Clint was a great character and I enjoyed watching him grow. I didn't harbor any of the resentment toward him that I had for Chelsea, although a bit of it was on his shoulders, too. So I probably should have. But I just couldn't. I found myself caring about his story much more than Chelsea's, though both are upsetting. I think it was just Chelsea's actions that made it difficult for me to really empathize with her.Their fling (though I think it can hardly be described as such, it's such a trivial word) was absolutely adorable. Once they started spending time together, I absolutely devoured Playing Hurt. I loved watching their love for each other blossom, and momentarily forgot about **SPOILER ALERT, ONLY KIND OF NOT REALLY** her boyfriend back home. Ah, and here lies the problem. I can forget about her boyfriend, because he isn't my boyfriend. But the fact that she did, disgusted me. That was my whole problem with her character. Cheating turns me off, no matter the situation.But, cheating and Chelsea aside, I had absolutely no issues with Playing Hurt. Holly proved once again that she has a fantastic way with words. The writing, the cover, the story (minus the boyfriend back home), the characters (minus the selfish one), the pace, the edge....loved it. (And yeah, I kind of realize what taking away the boyfriend back home would have done to the story, but it doesn't make me like it.)I'd recommend Playing Hurt to anyone who enjoys contemporary YA. Between Holly's writing and the characters and relationships she creates, I don't think you'd be able to put it down.