Friday, January 24, 2014

Review: Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles

Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1) 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?

My Review:

This is a quick and fun read.  It's a nice story with a sweet romance.  It is mainly a light read, but there are some heavier issues thrown in there for parts.  Basically, it was a book that I really enjoyed reading.


Ashtyn's character was interesting, though she sometimes made decisions that I didn't understand.  Dating Landon was one of those decisions.  She is the only female on her high school football team, and she gets voted as the team captain for the year.  Her boyfriend, Landon, wanted to be captain, so he is mad when she gets the position instead.  He makes it pretty obvious that he doesn't think she deserves the position.  I did not like Landon at all.  I thought he was a jerk, and his reaction to not being captain was a really bad reaction.  He should have been happy for his girlfriend, but he wasn't.  The world of football certainly isn't easy for Ashtyn, especially when she attends Elite for a week in the summer, a prestigious football camp that only the best players can go to.  The guys there definitely don't want to accept her as a football player, which is pretty much Landon's fault.  I thought it was really rotten of him to mess up her time at Elite.

Derek was a sweet guy who has been through a lot in his life.  His mom died from cancer, and his dad is deployed in the Navy, so the only family member he has near him is his stepmom who is closer in age to Derek than to Derek's dad.  When he gets kicked out of boarding school, he has to go live with her, and she decides to move back in with her dad and sister.  He has many things that happened in his past that doesn't want to share, one of them being how successful he was at football.  It is so sad to read about how he feels guilty that he wasn't there for his mom when she died.  He was a football practice, so he decides that he must quit football to make up for his mistakes.  Though Derek may have acted like he wasn't the type of guy who would be committed to a girl, he was a really good guy, and I didn't believe that he wouldn't be committed.

The romance between this book is slow-building and sweet, with plenty of problems along the way. There were parts of the book when I wanted to tell Derek and Ashtyn that they both liked each other, so I wanted them to hurry up and start dating.  Since it was dual POV between their perspectives, I assumed they would end up together, but watching the path of their romance was still fun to read.  Their relationship is also interesting because, technically, Derek is Ashtyn's step-nephew.  Of course, they are the same age, and they aren't blood-related, so it's fine that their relationship happens.  I really liked them as a couple.  I liked how they fell more each other even when they were trying not to.  I loved the "nondate" that Derek took Ashtyn.  Really, I just thought their relationship was adorable.

If you like YA contemporary, read this book.


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