Book Review: Wild Cards (Wild Cards #1) by Simone Elkeles

After getting kicked out of boarding school, bad boy Derek Fitzpatrick has no choice but to live with his ditzy stepmother while his military dad is deployed. Things quickly go from bad to worse when he finds out she plans to move them back to her childhood home in Illinois. Derek’s counting the days before he can be on his own, and the last thing he needs is to get involved with someone else’s family drama.

Ashtyn Parker knows one thing for certain--people you care about leave without a backward glance. A football scholarship would finally give her the chance to leave. So she pours everything into winning a state championship, until her boyfriend and star quarterback betrays them all by joining their rival team. Ashtyn needs a new game plan, but it requires trusting Derek—someone she barely knows, someone born to break the rules. Is she willing to put her heart on the line to try and win it all?

Release Date: September 24, 2013
Age Group: YA
Source: NetGalley

I really enjoyed Simone Elkeles' Perfect Chemistry and Leaving Paradise series, so I was thrilled to be able to read Wild Cards early through NetGalley.  I did really enjoy this book, but not as much as some of her previous work.

I liked Ashtyn and Derek but had a little bit of trouble identifying with both of them.  Ashtyn was full of surprises and I never quite knew which side of her was going to be predominant at any time: the tough football player or the softer young woman desperate for love and approval.  Derek was at first glance your stereotypical bad boy, but there was more to him that I initially suspected.  

My favorite characters in this book ended up being Derek's grandmother and Ashtyn's sister, Brandi.  They both added a lot of spunk and interest to the story.  I thought the conflict resolution was very sweet and well-done, with a couple of surprises to spice things up.  I think what kept me from loving the book was the focus on football. I just don't like football and wasn't really invested in that part of the story (which was a huge part of the plot).

Overall, I did enjoy Wild Cards.  It wasn't one of my favorites, but it was still a great read and I would definitely read the next book in the series.  Simone Elkeles excels at writing realistic characters experiencing emotions that are part of growing up (falling in love, for example)----and for an adult reading her work, her books are great at taking me back to that first-love feeling.   


No comments:

Post a Comment

Word verification stinks--- but spammers are worse. Thank you for your patience!